Posts tagged " values "

Self-made Men?

November 2nd, 2017 Posted by Susan's Musings 31 comments

The November 14th issue of Forbes magazine includes the 35th edition of the annual feature, “The 400 Richest People in America.” I don’t know if the scorecard I noticed this year is new or just one that I never paid attention to previously, but as part of each billionaire’s biography there is a “self-made” rating.

Each individual is given a score on a scale of 1-10 as to whether his or her wealth was inherited or self-made. Although I looked, I couldn’t find a reference guide anywhere that defined what earned one a score of 4, let’s say, versus 5, leaving me to guess for myself. The top four entries, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg are all rated as 8s, while 10s are doled out sparingly. Not surprisingly, some descendants of great entrepreneurs rank as 1s and 2s.

These rankings irked me. While I abhor the notion of “white privilege,” “male privilege” or any other kind of privilege terminology employed as a form of extolling and perpetuating victimhood, these rankings seemed to ignore reality.

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Can I keep my children safe?

August 15th, 2017 Posted by Ask the Rabbi 2 comments

Michelle Carter was just sentenced in the text message case [where she was found to encourage a young man to commit suicide and didn’t call for help when he did so]. Is there a moral equivalent in the Bible by which one could instruct their children so that they do not go down the path of either of the participants in this event? 

Is it possible that both were equally mentally disturbed and this is only an anomaly? Is social media distorting our mores and morals?

 How would a parent use scripture to keep their children on the correct path when young people are so absorbed in social media to the point it takes over their life, personality, and time?

Michael G. 

 

Dear Michael,

You actually asked four interesting questions tucked inside your letter. In the case you reference, a young woman was sentenced for encouraging her boyfriend’s suicide. It got attention because there was a trail of text messages detailing her words. Yet, from a moral perspective (rather than a legal one because of proof) there is no difference between this case and one that might have taken place decades ago with conversation substituting for texts. Urging someone to take his life, whether by letter, speech, texts or skywriting is wrong. The message is the problem, not the medium.

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A New Chance

November 10th, 2016 Posted by Susan's Musings 22 comments

Thousands of words are being written about Donald Trump’s victory, but I feel compelled to add my own. I am immensely proud that this election reinforced a proper American rejection of corruption, demanding that our country recommit to the principle that no one is above the law. It upheld the idea that the IRS, Justice Department and other institutions of government must be apolitical rather than instruments of revenge or favoritism. Voters recognized that with Supreme Court nominations hanging in the balance, they wished to opt for Justices who would respect our country’s foundations rather than make a country in their own image.

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Sneering At Virtue

May 3rd, 2016 Posted by Thought Tools No Comment yet

Here is one of the most important lessons to teach your children: Wrongdoers detest those who don’t join in. It’s also not a bad lesson for you to understand and absorb if you want a clear picture of the behind-the-scenes politics in your place of business. It is just as necessary in order to understand how power and money have corrupted much of our political process.

More than one dedicated and idealistic candidate has won election promising to become a representative of the people. Finding his place in the corridors of power, he discovers to his dismay that many of his colleagues are there to feather their nests. What is more, he is quickly made to understand that if he holds himself aloof and refrains from participation in the plunder he will never receive invitations to the best parties. More seriously, he will be overlooked for committee appointments. There are no easy ways to deal with this reality, leading many earnest and well-intentioned people to succumb to the enticements of power. It is very difficult to live with one’s virtue being mocked. (more…)

Should my daughter nanny for a lesbian couple?

October 29th, 2015 Posted by Ask the Rabbi No Comment yet

Question:

My daughter has been calling me to ask my opinion about working for a married lesbian couple as a nanny to their child. I quote scripture to dissuade her, however she says they are so nice to her and Christians are being unfair to their lifestyle and the couple can’t help who they are, etc. 

Could you please address this situation and help me explain this from God’s point of view. Anything will help because political correctness is so pervasive in our society.

Thank you for your consideration,

∼ Jo

Answer:

Dear Ann,

It’s wonderful that your daughter is calling to ask your opinion. This suggests that she values your thinking. You should be proud. It also suggests that she is conflicted about this job opportunity and willing to think independently rather than flow with her peer group. That is a good thing.

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Building a ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Home in a ‘Gossip Girl’ World

June 8th, 2010 Posted by Susan's Musings 15 comments

 

Have you ever seen the TV show, Gossip Girl? Well, I haven’t, which means that I went out on a limb a bit by mentioning it in the title of a presentation I am giving in a few weeks, “Building a Little House on the Prairie Home in a Gossip Girl World.” I thought it was a safe bet that the two shows present contrasting views of family life and fortunately my college-aged neighbor confirmed this fact.

 

I have no desire to live back in the 1800’s. Among other things, I am immeasurably fond of indoor plumbing. But I don’t accept that technological advances must go hand in hand with the loss of strong families and values. After all, the world of Ma and Pa Ingalls was technologically advanced compared to a hundred years earlier and while technology has (with a few exceptions) pretty much marched on throughout history, adherence to standards and morals seems to wax and wane.

 

Most parents in what I think of as the Gossip Girl world have little of substance to convey to their children. The idea of their passing on sage wisdom and life guidance as the Ingalls or more recently the Cleavers or even the Munsters did, is ludicrous. When you aren’t sure yourself whether being honest, self-reliant and faithful is laudable, it becomes difficult to transmit that message.

 

What if you do have strong principles and beliefs which you wish to share with your children, but the educational, entertainment, political and general society around clash with you on every point? Barring moving to the middle of the prairie with a few oxen, what can one do? That is what I hope to explore in a few weeks and I am highly interested to hear your insights and suggestions on the topic. Do use the comment box below to let me know your thoughts. Thank you.

 

 

 

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