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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 Jan. 21, 2011 / 16 Shevat, 5771

Humility, not blame over Tucson, will aid public discourse

By Betsy Hart



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | What's wrong with being a little bit more humble in our orientation?

Of course, I grant the many premises of my conservative friends and colleagues regarding the murderous rampage in Tucson, and the absurdity of blaming it on the right. Responding to those charges was and is a discussion well worth having.

But now what? So what? I've long been taught -- and taught my kids -- that no matter where the criticism is coming from or what the motives of the source, the first question we ought to ask ourselves is: "Is there any truth to it?"

Forget the left -- there are some conservative politicians, commentators and talk-show hosts I can't listen to because I find them to be too snide, arrogant or condescending.

Even where the criticism that conservatives experience isn't fair at all, shouldn't we be at least willing to humbly put our own pride aside if doing so is genuinely helpful to the national debate and interests?

For instance, I think it would have been wonderfully gracious of Sarah Palin to have said, during her recent high-profile interview with Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity: "You know, depicting a political target in gun crosshairs is inappropriate. No more." (Yes, I'm well aware the practice did not originate with her.) Or, "I had no idea where the term 'blood libel' came from. Now I do, and I'm so sorry for using it and hurting certain people."

But it was not to be.

Well, this is not about Palin anyway. It's not, ultimately, even about our rhetoric. It's about all of us. I know that in the heat of any debate, and I've been in plenty, one wants so much to be right. But really, are any of us that important? I fear that so many of today's public figures have a greater sense of self-importance than previous generations. That's coupled with a bigger "prize" to be won in controlling Washington, since it's grown into such an enormous power center.

And that makes for a volatile mix.

David Brooks beautifully wrote in a recent New York Times column about the national debate swirling over the Tucson murders: "The problem is that over the past 40 years or so, we have gone from a culture that reminds people of their own limitations to a culture that encourages people to think highly of themselves. ... Over the past few decades, people have lost a sense of their own sinfulness."

Humility, that sensibility about one's own limitations and failings, is one of the things that made Ronald Reagan so different, and so successful, among recent presidents. He knew what he believed, but there was a sense from him that he was just a bit player in a drama far more important than himself. In the grand scheme of things, he was right. For him to be condescending or arrogant? I can't think of it.

Now, I'm not suggesting we never offend others, particularly if truth is a casualty on that course. I appreciate vigorous debate, and the political stakes are indeed high. I just think there are higher stakes still. It seems to me that a lot of the problems of our current public discourse could be minimized if we just didn't consider ourselves more highly than we ought, to paraphrase Scripture. And if we engage in a little humility and commit ourselves do doing what's right, even when we are the only ones doing it or we have the "right" to do otherwise.

Look, I need to preach to myself here. As someone who has made a certain number of enemies in her life -- and no, I'm not just talking about my kids -- a particular Scripture passage recently struck me. Proverbs16:7 says: "When a man's ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him."

There is simply wisdom in humility.

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