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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 June 7, 2007 / 21 Sivan, 5767

Rules for radical living

By Steven Greenhut


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Dear graduate,

As you head to college or into the great beyond (i.e., the working world), you are sure to get plenty of unsolicited advice, such as this column, which perhaps some well-intentioned parent has given you.

Some advice will resemble the sort offered in that infamous scene from "The Graduate" (it's one of those "old" movies you really ought to watch) when a friend of the family gave Dustin Hoffman's character this wisdom:

"Plastics." I betcha lots of people are telling you what career to pursue with similar short suggestions: "Computers," "The Internet," "Cheap Chinese imports."

Smile, but ignore them.

If I were cynical, and offering career advice from the standpoint of the highest-possible pay and benefits with the lowest-possible risk and fewest hours, I would say: Get a government job. Do it for 30 years. Retire in style. Of course, you might get hit by a car 15 years into that plan. If so, you've invested your life doing something you didn't really want to do.

The key is finding out your "calling" - that thing you love to do and are darn good at doing. You can earn a living one way and fulfill your calling in another, but it's best when the two merge into one, given the amount of time you'll spend on the job.

So here are a handful of Rules for (not-so) Radical Living. It is a not-so-exhaustive list designed to prod you into thinking about your life and how to spend it.

#1 - Consider your life, your work and your time as investments. Your labor really is the most valuable thing you possess.

Think about how you want to invest your time and energy and what you want to accomplish in life. That doesn't mean you have to spend your years totally immersed in serious, frenetic drudgery. But the time goes quickly.

It's easy to fritter away your days in an endless sea of pointless worries and pursuits. If you're lucky, you've got maybe 85 good years on this Earth.

If you're graduating college, you've already used up a quarter of those years. Why not spend the remainder trying to accomplish something worthwhile?

#2 - Remember that such an investment - your life, your liberty and your property - is yours to make.

These things are your God-given rights. Don't let anyone take them from you or suggest that any of these things come from their graciousness. Frederic Bastiat wrote these important words in the classic, "The Law": "Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place."

Furthermore, Bastiat explained, "Man can live and satisfy his wants only by ceaseless labor. ... But it is also true that a man may live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others. This process is the origin of plunder."

Thieves can plunder, but governments also plunder. So resist strongly when others want to use force - either their own force or the force of government action - to limit your rights. And don't be the type of person that uses force against others.

#3 - Your biggest enemy is the path of least resistance.

That phrase probably explains most of what happens in the world. We're human, which means we're lazy. Just as water winds its way downhill along the easiest path, so do we wind our way along life's pathway in the direction that gives us the least hassle.

Don't take the easiest path simply because it is the easiest path.

Sometimes you have to embrace the Other Path, even if it means some inconvenience and difficult times along the way.

#4 - Don't be a functionary.

The dictionary gives a rather tame definition of the term, as "one who serves in a certain function." The real meaning is someone who is a cog in the wheel, who just follows orders and serves in a function in a manner nearly indistinguishable from the person that came before him, or the one who will come afterwards.

I gave a talk a few years back to a group of up-and-coming government officials, and I found among them an almost unanimous tendency to embrace the current ideas and outlook of the agencies upon whose boards they wanted to serve. I lectured them about the pointlessness of not challenging conventional wisdom. Anyone can fill a spot. Do you want to have a title or change the world?

One reason so many big organizations have floundered is that they are filled with people doing functions and never thinking about the purpose of their work. But the zeitgeist can be wrong. Organizations cover things up.

To make your life count, you need to be willing to be the one who says what other people might not want to hear.

#5 - Always do the "right" thing.

That sounds trite, but it's a lot harder than it sounds. Given that this is life and it doesn't come with a blueprint you've got to figure out the meaning of "right." Given what I mentioned above about the frequent corruption within even the most established organizations, doing the right thing can sometimes come at immense personal cost and sacrifice.

Sometimes you only get one moment to shine, one chance to be the truth-teller in an ugly situation or to use your position to effect a just outcome. Be prepared to accept that role, but don't be surprised at the consequences.

#6 - Like the lefties used to say: `Question Authority.'

Unfortunately, lefties and righties tend to embrace governmental authority these days, although they have different ideas about which authorities to slavishly follow. You need to understand the true nature of government it's about force, coercion, bureaucratic inertia and the self-interest of those who run it.

Governments want more resources. They want more power. They want to expand and control your life. The sooner you learn that truth, the sooner you will decide to spend your life trying to exert change through your own efforts rather than through lobbying the government. And the sooner you will learn to laugh at the time-tested joke: "We're from the government, and we're here to help you."

#7 - Respect other people's freedom.

The most annoying people I know are those who don't let other people be.

That's the problem with our political system these days, as politicians constantly pass new laws monitoring our behavior for our "own good." Such laws often have support from the public, especially those who tend to be nosy. Don't become one of those people.

Don't be a busybody. Mind your own business. Help out if others request it, but don't go imposing yourself on others. Don't support politicians who want to control others, either. Never say, "There ought to be a law."

#8 - Maintain your skepticism.

You will be assailed by people who tell you to be trusting and who suggest that to be a good person you have to have a childlike faith in others'

motives. Nonsense. There are lots of good people out there, but there are plenty of fools. Don't suffer them lightly. Good people are willing to earn your trust, not guilt you into trusting them at face value. Don't accept patronizing answers and self-serving explanations from anyone. Remember the advice of Ronald Reagan, who was talking about arms agreements with the not-so-trustworthy Soviet Union: "Trust, but verify."

Live by those words. Skepticism is not bad. One local politician, whose skepticism of official answers helped him predict a county fiscal meltdown, told me recently: "You need to notice that the temperature is rising in the pot around you." Most of the world is content being slowly boiled.

#9 - Don't be so rule-bound that you have to complete everything, even lists such as this one, on an even number.

OK, that's a joke, but the basic advice isn't: Color outside the lines, blaze your own trail, don't just go with the flow or be driven by someone else's purpose, even if it's noble-sounding. Be an individual. Fight to be free. Don't let others do your thinking for you. And be careful out there.

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.

Steven Greenhut is senior editorial writer and columnist for the Orange County Register. Comment by clicking here.



Previously:


03/13/07: Even when companies mess up, consumers still rule

© 2007, The Orange County Register, Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services

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