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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 May 20, 2011 / 16 Iyar, 5771

Influential people

By Betsy Hart



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When I was in junior high, I wanted to someday be president of the United States. I think it was late high school by the time that plan evolved into whatever the next thing was. But, I had this idea that I wanted to do something significant and influential. Something that would last. It seemed to me that had to be something BIG in a worldly sense. And the bigger the better, right?

Fast forward to my birthday. I'm at the age where my mother started saying as we celebrated hers each year, "I'm 29 winters and a few summers!" I'll just leave it at that.

So anyway, as I reflect on my own years on the planet, how is that plan for "significance" going for me? Judging by the cover of Time magazine this week, not well. The cover blares: "The World's Most Influential People." Time featured Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey (of course), Pixar creator John Lasseter and so on. Many on the list are younger than I am.

It's dial-a-letdown material, for sure. Of course, politicians, actresses, philanthropists and inventors are changing the world, or at least brightening it a bit. It's a fair story for the magazine.

But what about the rest of us?

Today it seems that if high-school kids aren't digging wells in sub-Saharan Africa or finding a cure for cancer, good colleges aren't interested in them. And after college? We'll typically tell these same young people to find work they love and to pursue their passions. A couple of generations ago, the focus was on getting a good job you could keep your whole life so you could care for your family.

How times have changed.

I do happen to have at least one child whom I think might well change the world. However, I don't know yet whether it's for good or bad. But still, what I want to teach my children is something that's taken me many winters and a few summers to learn myself: that "the world's most influential people" aren't always the most well-known or the ones whose contributions are the most obvious on some grand scale.

They're often simply people of integrity. The folks who are faithful in their relationships and their work. Who quietly put others ahead of themselves. Who stay in a marriage going through a tough time or stick with a church even if the new pastor isn't as exciting as the one down the street, just because someone else is depending on them. The people who aren't so worried about their egos. The folks who don't ask first, "Am I happy?," but rather, "Am I doing the right thing here?" Such people are often more significant and influential than they know.

I've mentioned this well-known story before: Three men are found smashing boulders with iron hammers. When asked what they are doing, the first man says, "Breaking big rocks into little rocks." The second says, "Feeding my family." The third says, "Building a cathedral."

My guess is that the third fellow didn't feel that way all the time. I bet sometimes he felt like one of the first two guys, just breaking rocks or putting food on the table. But if those things were his calling and he did them well and with integrity, then that was significant. Yes, it was a great thing to get a glimpse of that cathedral-in-the making once in a while, too. But the value of the endeavor was there even when he couldn't see the bigger picture.

And you know what? If I can convince my four children of all this, then I will have been as influential as I could ever hope to be, and in the world that matters most to me: theirs.

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.

JWR contributor Betsy Hart, a frequent commentator on CNN and the Fox News Channel, can be reached by clicking here.

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