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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 18, 2006 / 26 Tishrei, 5767

Everyday sweetness in America

By Garrison Keillor


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I was misunderstood growing up and have often been misunderstood since, but then so is everyone else. People are busy, and you can't expect them to drop everything and try to understand you. If you want to be understood, practice kindness and mercy. Kindness is seldom mistaken for anything else. Small kindnesses reverberate a long time in people's hearts.


A woman checking IDs at the airport saw me coming the other day and said, "Good morning, sunshine." She didn't know me from Adam. She glanced at my driver's license and said, "Have a good flight, darling." This was in the South, of course — in Austin, Texas, to be exact. Northern women would no sooner address a strange man as Sunshine than they would ask if you wanted to see their underwear. But that woman's Sunshine shone on me for the rest of the day, and a week later I still remember it. Like I remember old waitresses in diners who addressed everyone as Love. "Care for more coffee, love?" Yes, dear. And you left a quarter tip instead of a dime. Fifteen cents for a little endearment.


On the flight from Austin, I sat next to a black woman my age from Alabama who was in a chatty mood. I said, "You've seen a lot of history in Alabama." She said, "And it isn't over yet." We got to talking about Dr. King and his family, and she blurted out, "I just cannot forgive those children of his for never giving their mother a grandbaby. Four healthy children. I don't know their sexual orientation, but you would think that one of them could've produced one baby for Mrs. King to hold. She died without ever getting those babies to hold in her arms. Do you have grandbabies?" I said I have two. "I've got two," she said, "and every time I look at them, that's me. They're the continuation of me." She patted my hand. "I am going to pray for your grandchildren. Tell me their names." So I did. When the plane pulled up to the gate in Chicago, she touched my knee and said, "It was good talking with you, darling."


Up here in the north, a man wouldn't touch a stranger on the knee or address her as Darling, lest he be reported to the Attitude Police, but once in Nashville, a lady said to me, "Sweeten up to me now," meaning "give me a squeeze," so I did, of course. She smelled of lavender and talcum and lemons. Everyone craves a little sweetening now and then, but in Minnesota we don't squeeze easily or address each other as "darling."


I went to a big dinner of diehard liberals in Texas and was darlinged left and right and sweetied and even occasionally precioused, but if you were among Democrats in Minnesota, we offer a cold handshake and a thin smile and that's all you get from us. We are wary of the big grin and the shoulder squeeze, the trademarks of the con man, and we resist being drawn into friendly banter with strangers for fear we'll end up with a truckload of aluminum siding or a set of encyclopedias.


We're burdened by the need to be cool. When I was in college, I read Kafka and Camus and tried to write like them, in flat non-American English, as if written under the influence of a migraine, until it slowly dawned on me that I was missing the basic experiences that had formed them. Enduring high school is not the same as growing up Jewish in Prague or fighting in the French Resistance. I had no solid basis for being cool in that existential motorcycle James Dean absurdist chain-smoking hero sort of way, so I gave up being cool, and settled for being pleasant. And now I see teenagers locked up in iPods, looking sour and sleepy and hostile, and I hate to see them reliving that part of my life.


If we can't talk to strangers, if there is no public life in America, then it's no wonder politics is so out of whack.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Garrison Keillorís "A Prairie Home Companion" can be heard Saturday nights on public radio stations across the country. Comment by clicking here.

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© 2006 by Garrison Keillor. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, INC.

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