Posts in Susan’s Musings

We Shall Cower in Our Basements?

May 21st, 2020 Posted by Susan's Musings 43 comments

I just placed a library hold for a book reviewed in my morning paper. I have no idea when I will be able to pick it up. As in so many cities, our libraries are still closed. Why?

I understand that initially governments responded by closing down areas under their control. Yet, weeks have passed and libraries are still closed. What might have happened if libraries were privately run businesses that existed on yearly subscriptions? If they wanted me to renew my membership, they would realize that encouraging me to use only their download facilities might lead me to decide that my membership was no longer a worthwhile investment. 

Like many stores, private libraries might have organized pick-up appointments. Maybe it was time to resuscitate the idea of traveling librarians, who brought books (sometimes on horseback) to patrons who lived far from the library building.  Perhaps each returned book would be cleaned and put aside for 72 hours before recirculating. Owners and employees of a private business would be brainstorming to find ways to serve their customers. Yet, since the public library system and employees are on a government (read taxpayer) payroll, physical libraries, at least in my area, are simply closed.

I understand that those who are mourning the serious illnesses and deaths of loved ones are overwhelmed by this crisis. But, one of the saddest outcomes, in my opinion, has been the proliferation of fatalistic thinking, the very opposite of a traditional American can-do attitude.

Imagine if previous notable figures in American history were alive today and behaving as their modern counterparts are.  Instead of a General Washington who camped out at Valley Forge with his men during a brutal winter, we would have pictures of him feasting on venison at Mt. Vernon, similar to Nancy Pelosi’s tone-deaf shots of her ice cream selection.

Instead of hearing from Franklin Delano Roosevelt as we faced tough times during the Depression that, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself,” we would hear, “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” I may not agree that President Roosevelt’s solutions helped to end the Depression, but at least he projected confidence in a better future.

On the eve of D Day, General Dwight Eisenhower famously said, “Pessimism never won any battle.”  Imagine what might have happened had he told his troops, “Now is the time to fear all that could go wrong.” 

In response to Russian achievements in space, John F. Kennedy said, “…this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the earth.” Today’s leaders warn us that not only will we not have a vaccine soon, we may never be able to manufacture a reliable one. Life as we knew it, is over.

If you will cross the ocean with me for a moment, can you imagine that instead of Mr. Churchill declaring that “…we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets…, he might say, “We must surrender our way of life, we will cower in our basements, we will hide in our homes, we will tremble in fear in the fields and in the streets.” 

Are we facing a challenge in our country and around the world? Certainly, we are. Yet, it is hard to find a time when victory was earned through fear, cowardice and pessimism, the guiding lights for far too many of today’s media voices and politicians.

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A Room with a (Distorted?) View

May 14th, 2020 Posted by Susan's Musings 22 comments

With local libraries closed, my reading has branched in two directions. I am re-reading old favorites from our shelves and browsing available library downloads for fresh selections. Among the latter is E.M. Forster’s 1908 novel, A Room with a View. Written just over a hundred years ago, it may not qualify as a new book by most definitions, but I have neither read it nor seen a movie of it, so it is quite new to me. 

As I tend to read in bed at night, my mind is far from fresh and I sometimes fall asleep in the middle of even the most interesting book. Nonetheless, I was jolted awake by these words at the beginning of chapter 4:

“Why were most big things unladylike?… It was not that ladies were inferior to men; it was that they were different. Their mission was to inspire others to achievement rather than to achieve themselves.”

These words described what young Lucy, the protagonist of the novel, was taught as a budding English lady in Edwardian England. In my experience, a number of people today who are antagonistic to those who choose to be traditional wives, homemakers and mothers think that these “old-fashioned females” share this 19th-century view of a lady’s ‘mission’. 

I found something off-putting about those first and third sentences (I have no problem with men and women being different), but only once I awoke the next morning did I realize what I didn’t like.

I realized that the troublesome word in the first sentence is “big” while the annoying word in the third sentence is “rather.” Not only do they suggest that inspiring others is the only thing women can do, but they also imply that inspiring others is a secondary achievement.

Over the course of many decades, my aunt was a popular science teacher. Incredibly, she continued teaching into her nineties. Accompanying her as she walked the streets of her town was slow going as so many people, young and old, stopped to greet her. Once, while in her eighties and in the hospital for some tests, an orderly settled her in a wheelchair and took her away from the hospital’s main corridors towards a suite of offices. Confused, she was soon joined by a doctor introducing himself as the hospital’s head of cardiology. Bringing her into his office, he pulled out a junior high yearbook, pointed to her picture, and said,

“I am here today because of this science teacher. I wanted to thank you.”

I don’t believe that in all her years of teaching, my aunt saw herself as inspiring others to achieve rather than achieving herself. Her achievement was being an excellent teacher. I see no reason that replacing the word “teacher” with “wife” or “mother” changes the equation any more than replacing it with “doctor” or “executive.” While I wouldn’t say that every woman must make being a wife or mother her priority, I think more women than it is politically correct to believe would find being an excellent wife and mother to be a big achievement in and of itself.

In early 20th century England, it may well have been unladylike (probably impossible or close to it) for a woman to become a barrister or surgeon. That is certainly not so today. However, many women today are not choosing to “achieve big things” through their jobs but are, instead, regretfully working to afford a high cost of living and high rates of taxation.

Some women are working long hours at an office because they and their husbands were indoctrinated to believe that only a Neanderthal man would want to support a family on his own. Along with their wives, these men assumed lifestyles dependent on two careers. Some women graduate college and professional school believing that a career is the best road to satisfaction and achievement only to find themselves unhappily missing other parts of life. They discover that they would love for their “big thing” to be focusing on their husbands, homes and families, yet society’s message taught them that doing so is unimportant and unfulfilling, perhaps even a betrayal of womanhood.  The prevailing cultural message of today may not be the one best suited to them just as Lucy’s wasn’t in her time.

For us mere mortals, trade-offs in life are inevitable. Along with that, most of us have moments or days or months where we dream of doing something other than what we are doing. The reality of our dreams is rarely part of a 24/7 actualization of said dream. I haven’t finished A Room with a View and at this point, I don’t even know if I like the book, but from what I have seen of Lucy, I am pretty sure that if she faced the hard work, sacrifice and obstacles of “big things,” she would be no less discontented. I do know that doing whatever we undertake with dedication and commitment is a “big thing.” If it is a worthwhile endeavor,  then whether it is in our own homes or outside of them, if we do it well we will have achieved a great deal.

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Vaccine Development: Seeking Poets?

April 30th, 2020 Posted by Homeschooling, Practical Parenting, Susan's Musings 28 comments

My husband and I were discussing whether the production of pharmaceuticals and other vital commodities would move back to the United States from China. He brought up an angle that had eluded me.

“We aren’t raising enough people with the education and ability to produce many of these things,” he said. “To make matters worse, not only are we not producing nearly enough design and production engineers, chemists, and people who know how to operate numerically controlled machine tools,  powerful unions have placed almost insurmountable impediments to manufacturing in America and have pushed wages beyond the economically sustainable.  Add to that all the politicians willing to buy votes with unrealistic economic promises and seeking power via unnecessary regulations, and we simply are years from returning to a manufacturing economy. That’s without even mentioning lawyers poised to attack any successful company.

With that in mind, my attention was caught by a newspaper article that was part of a series of how a variety of professionals are working during this pandemic. We have all read so much over the past few years about a renewed focus on STEM— science, technology, engineering and math—exactly those areas in which my husband was declaring our country to be deficient. This particular article featured a science teacher developing remote lessons. Although meant as a laudatory piece, it actually showed how meaningless a STEM label can be. To paraphrase Shakespeare, “A touchy-feely humanities class by any other name would still be a liberal arts class.”

As the article describes, at the beginning of distance learning, the featured 6th-grade teacher decided that it would be hard to interest the class in her planned lesson on thermal energy.  She chose to substitute a lesson on the science of social distancing, showing a flexibility that is, indeed, admirable.

However, when she described her new lesson, I was left shaking my head. Where I was expecting a lesson encompassing data, statistical analysis, and maybe even experimentation based on scientific principles, the teacher provided writing prompts for the students to describe their feelings and personal experiences and to express how they felt about government officials’ responses to the virus.

Excuse me? As a homeschooling mom, I was a big fan of integrating different subjects. For instance, mentioning how Sir Isaac Newton invented calculus during the 1666 bubonic plague outbreak from which he quarantined himself at his mother’s home in Lancashire brings math alive.  But that is not studying calculus. When we read a biography of a scientist such as Robert Boyle, I didn’t think that we were learning science. It was a history lesson that, depending on the strength of the writing, might also include some language arts. I hoped it would stoke interest in learning Boyle’s Law, and thus complement a science class, but I didn’t confuse reading a biography with studying hard science.

For our country to survive, we do need citizens who are scientifically, technologically and mathematically versed. As our infrastructure crumbles, engineers are vital.  If we intend increasing homeland manufacture of strategically important products like pharmaceuticals, semiconductor chips, and heavy machinery, let’s start by making sure that our schools don’t mistake teaching science and math with teaching about science and math. Whether we need a bridge buttressed, a vaccine developed or silicon chips manufactured, let us not confuse being able to wax poetic about those developments with the technical skills required to do the actual work.

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Time to Outlaw Homeschooling?

April 23rd, 2020 Posted by Homeschooling, Practical Parenting, Susan's Musings 36 comments

Rabbi Simcha Wasserman, an esteemed mentor of my husband’s and a revered teacher of thousands, once gave my husband an unusual blessing. He said, “May God protect you from those who believe they are acting for the sake of Heaven.” His eyes twinkled as he spoke, but there was deep sincerity behind his words.

Those who believe that their motives are entirely pure, selfless and represent the only truth are dangerous indeed. Those who deliberately use the language of morality, selflessness and idealism to bamboozle others are likely even more dangerous.

I do not know Professor Elizabeth Bartholet or whether she believes that she is acting only for the public good, but having read her essay in the Arizona Law Review warning about the potential abuses of homeschooling and recommending judicial action to counter parental authority, I do know that her thinking is dangerous indeed. As the Faculty Director of the Child Advocacy Program at Harvard Law School, she is in a position to do great harm.

I could nitpick with various parts of Professor Bartholet’s words. I imagine that my definition of religious ideologue differs from her when she claims that, “It is the religious ideologues who dominate the homeschooling movement,” and I certainly see bigotry hovering when she speaks with palpable dislike about “the number of homeschoolers who are religious, or for whom religion is a primary reason for homeschooling…”  I might even find it rather vague and unscientific to present a range for those homeschoolers from “over half to 90%”. Considering that America is a largely religious country, I would venture that there are many government schools whose makeup is composed of parents and teachers who also “are religious.” I certainly get the impression that she would love to eradicate religion from America (at least Christianity) in her search for an enlightened, brave new world.

However, I don’t want to focus on the details of her arguments but rather on a question that societies do need to answer. Do we pass overarching legislation limiting individuals in order to solve problems created by the aberrant actions of a tiny minority at the very lowest levels of society or do we encourage individual freedom and allow greatness to grow? We cannot do both.

Good people, among which I include myself and you, recognize that homeschooling could theoretically be used as a shield by evil and/or sick parents. Homeschooling also allows parents to pass on their values, whether or not they conform to the latest popular and politically correct notion. I’m pretty sure that Prof. Bartholet would not approve of the values and religious beliefs of millions of homeschoolers whose children are now grown, contributing and thriving members of society, including my own. Since good people can and do differ on values, let’s focus on an area we can all agree: children should not be physically abused, defining abuse as gross and criminal harm. Protecting the children of those parents is the ostensible goal of Professor Bartholet.

That goal faces two insurmountable problems: The first one is that in Professor Bartholet’s world, government and public employees are all noble, incorruptible, capable, diligent and worthy. If only that were so! Are there parents whose children need to be protected from them? Yes. Are there teachers whose students need to be protected from them? Yes. Are there parents who may have the best desires but who are not capable of successful teaching? Yes. Are there licensed teachers who are graduates of Schools of Education who are not capable of successful teaching? Yes. If the goal is to protect children, then homeschooling cannot be singled out. Too many American students who attend government schools are damaged in the course of their student years and way too many graduate while functionally illiterate and incapable of flourishing in society.

The second problem I’d like to highlight is that if we accept Professor Bartholet’s seemingly reasonable argument that homeschooling allows parents to “hide” their children away so that no upstanding citizen will see abuse, then outlawing homeschooling is not enough. After all, why should parents be able to abuse their children for five years before they reach kindergarten age? Even lowering the age of compulsory schooling to three or four leaves too much time for evil. The logical conclusion of thinking that the government must 100% protect children from evil/sick parents is that parents should not be allowed to take children home from the hospital (obviously, home births need to be outlawed) without a home inspection and other documentation. After all, we do those things before allowing for adoption or foster parenting. If we are meant to ignore the reality of government ideology and failure that allows some foster children to be tragic victims of a broken system, then why should all children not be so protected?

There are even mothers who harm their children in utero through drinking or using drugs. Perhaps pregnant women need to be isolated and under government supervision. (Obviously, in the eyes of most of the elite, if the mothers want to harm their babies by aborting them, the government should help, not hinder that desire.) You see where I am going. Either we assume that the government is not only benign but omniscient and saintly and treat all parents as if they are suspect and potential Satanic reincarnations or we form a society that trusts its citizens while trying its best to isolate dangerous individuals.

Am I taking things to an extreme? Yes. Over the years, we have seen example after example of ideas that were dismissed as far-fetched and absurd turn into legally protected mandates. “That will never happen,” is not a belief on which to dismiss logical conclusions when one follows a train of thought.

It is futile to attempt to achieve a perfect world on this earth. Yet, that is the siren song of socialism. In that worldview, children ‘belong’ to the government, not to their parents. Amherst law professor, James Dwyer expresses this idea when he says, “The reason parent-child relationships exist is because the State confers legal parenthood…” This is the system for which Professor Bartholet is advocating. Personally, I believe that my children are a blessing from God given to my husband and me, not a gift of government.

A society can have freedom and greatness or succumb to the false promise of utopia. Despite all my imperfections as a homeschooling mother, I choose to raise my own children, and I want to live in a country where I trust most of my fellow citizens to do the same.

 

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Taking a Back Seat While Others Man the Front Lines

April 2nd, 2020 Posted by Susan's Musings 27 comments

Some of you may have caught the front-page story in the Wall Street Journal  highlighting how overwhelmed New York City hospitals are. The prime example used to illustrate the dysfunction, disorder and dangerous staff conditions was Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx. That is the hospital at which our daughter first worked.

After graduating from nursing school, Lapinette #5  began her nursing career on the medical/surgical wards. After a few years, she moved to the ICU (intensive care unit). Two years ago, she went back to school to get an advanced doctoral degree as a nurse anesthetist. While her training requires clinical rotations in hospitals around the city along with classroom study, those rotations have been canceled due to COVID-19.

Her nursing license is current, the skills she painstakingly acquired during her years in the ICU are somewhat rusty but, like riding a bicycle, she could probably quickly get up to speed. Mayor de Blasio has written to her as well as to every other non-working nurse and she is getting phone calls from City Hall, pleading with her to go back to work.

Our daughter is hearing firsthand from her former co-workers about exactly what the newspaper article described. There is not enough protective gear to make even a pretense of keeping nurses and doctors safe from exposure to the virus. The physical and emotional toll on the staff is devastating

Our daughter, the mother of two young boys, is torn. She and her family have most likely had the virus. Her son’s preschool teacher tested positive and seven days later our children and grandchildren began running fevers and feeling achy. Seven days after that, her amazing babysitter tested positive and both our daughter and son-in-law lost their sense of taste and smell, indicative of the COVID-19. Thank God, their cases were mild and they recuperated at home. They did not meet eligibility for testing, so, like thousands of other people, their cases have not been officially confirmed.

Now she faces a dilemma. She has been trying to get tested to verify that she has developed antibodies to the disease. (An example of the disarray is that while the city is frantically trying to find more medical workers, antibody tests are not easily available.) If that is the case, she is feeling a strong tug to head back to the ICU. That pull comes from two places. One is connected to the reason she went into nursing in the first place, a strong desire to help people. I think the other pull may even be stronger. Akin to how soldiers in a unit bond together and support each other, she wants to provide relief to her ex-co-workers who are in the trenches.

As her mother, I am proud of her desire to contribute. My husband and I raised her to be a giver rather than a taker and she is living the teachings she absorbed. But, as her mother, I desperately want to protect her and our grandchildren. I am censoring myself not to plead with her to stay home and I admit to being grateful that she wasn’t on active duty when this plague broke out. Even some of her fellow nurses are telling her not to come back—lack of safety precautions for them is even worse than we are reading. America is failing to take care of those who take care of us.

Despite being strongly patriotic, none of our children enlisted in the U.S. military. There were good and valid reasons for their not having taken that path. Nevertheless, while we have always supported and appreciated our troops—even before 9-11—we haven’t laid awake at night worrying about our own child in a war zone. Now, with a son on the medical front line and a daughter considering stepping in, we are left praying for their safety and that of their comrades as we move into the back seat and respect their convictions and their need to make their own momentous decisions. 

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Thinking of You

March 27th, 2020 Posted by Susan's Musings 28 comments

This has been a very strange week, certainly for many of you as well as for me. Somehow, a new normal is evolving. It includes not seeing children, grandchildren and friends in person but meeting them online. It means not going to the supermarket, and exercising via my computer rather than in the class that usually starts my day. It consists of a world that is at one and the same time slower yet more overwhelming. I am physically doing less, but my mind is running in a hundred different paths.

We, probably like you, know of people who are ill, in hospital and sadly, some who have lost their lives. We are living in times that the history books will describe. They will use the word plague, which previously for many of us privileged individuals was associated with the Exodus from Egypt or distant-sounding words like Bubonic or cholera. The financial stress is real and that will have long-reaching physical, psychological, emotional and political implications.

I recognize how fortunate we are to have technology that allows us to go beyond physical isolation. The library building is closed, but I can download books from there as well as other services. I am finding new choices as well as comfort-reading old favorites. Along with re-reading Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazon series (I just finished Pigeon Post), this week, I read Lori Gottlieb’s new book, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. It provided a fascinating look into the world of therapy. I am being incredibly moved by Abby Johnson’s book, Unplanned, and hope I have a chance to discuss it with you.

How are you doing? What is your new normal? What are you reading and how are you coping? We are thinking of and praying for you as we know that you are for us.

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Are We In This Together?

March 20th, 2020 Posted by Susan's Musings 13 comments

“We’re all in this together,” is a rather contradictory phrase to use at a time when we are being exhorted to stay apart from each other. Nonetheless, the more widespread that sentiment, the more successfully we will weather this crisis.

I suspect that many of you, like me, vacillate between thinking that we, at community, state and country level, are dealing with this virus too leniently or alternatively in too draconian a fashion. I do not envy those making decisions. Nonetheless, I am concerned at social and governmental factors that belie the idea of one people pulling together in a tough time.

There have always been greedy, power-hungry and selfish people. Communities that could be loving and warm to those who fit in could also be indifferent or hostile to those who didn’t. However, I don’t think I am guilty of over-romanticizing the past in claiming that when doctors, storekeepers, teachers and mayors met the individuals they served in church, at Rotary and on the street, they actually saw them as individual human beings. When times were tough, those who had much helped those who had little. Those who had little helped those who had even less.

It concerns me that a chasm seems to exist between a large number of people whose paychecks come from money taken from taxpayers by the government and those who work in the private sector. I have sympathy for my local librarian as I do for my local shoe store owner. The private school teacher whose school shut down needs to feed her family just as much as the public school teacher who is also sitting at home. The business owner who is watching his sales plummet needs to pay his mortgage just as his state Senator does.

In other words, I have a sneaking suspicion that we are NOT all in this together. Some government workers are being paid while staying home. Others, like mail carriers and police and firemen are working under more difficult circumstances. Many of us in the private sector are reluctantly home while some industries will get a boost from this event. Doctors and nurses are seeing the exacerbation of problems they have known about for years yet been silenced from mentioning because they are politically incorrect.  If those making policies and decisions that affect all of us felt the nail-chewing, lie-in-bed-worrying anxiety of their constituents, their edicts and suggestions would be more helpful.

I don’t have the answers. I do worry that describing certain industries as too vital to fail or treating government workers differently than those in the private sector or trying to put band-aids on some areas but not others, or looking to cast blame on the wrong places, will slow our recovery. If this virus and its accompanying economic plight can turn us away from the “me” and “special-interest” and identity politics Balkanization virus that has overtaken our society, we can be healthier after it passes (as it assuredly will) than we were before.

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Panic Isn’t Personal

March 12th, 2020 Posted by Susan's Musings 16 comments

Like most of you, I do not know how to assess the actual health threat of the Coronavirus while recognizing that much of the panic, economic and social damage is media and politically driven. Panic hit my town today, with markets overflowing as customers stocked up in preparation either for being quarantined or for shortages. At the same time, friends and families co-ordinated, recognizing that we can share resources. Sharing a laugh—even a nervous one— and scheduling virtual activities for children sent home from closing schools makes it easier to deal with the unexpected.

Yet, today, many individuals around the world have few friends. A singular focus on career leaves little time for establishing families, building community on the local level, or for keeping up with relatives and childhood buddies. A few years back I wrote the following and it is as true or truer today.

What do high tax rates, entitlement programs and a dinner in honor of our nine-year-old grandson have to do with each other? It turns out, quite a lot.

My husband and I were privileged to attend a siyum at our daughter and son-in-law’s house. A siyum marks the conclusion of studying a specific portion of God’s word. (For a deeper understanding of a siyum see chapter 50 in Thought Tools Volume 1.) In this case, our grandson, Yosef, completed his very first section of the Mishnah—a compilation of ancient Jewish wisdom. Learning Mishnah marks a growth in maturity of thought and is a portal to deeper understanding. To mark the event, Yosef’s parents invited his teacher to a celebratory dinner.

What made this event particularly special is that we have known Yosef’s teacher since he was born. We met his parents when, as singles, they began attending my husband’s Torah classes. We rejoiced at their wedding; our families have shared many joyous and some sad times together as the teacher/student relationship evolved into one of close friendship. When our children were looking for a Torah teacher for Yosef, our friends’ oldest child was a natural choice.

When society functions successfully, this is how life works. People get to know, care for and trust each other. They interact in small family units, extended units of family and friends, and larger units like synagogue, church or business networks. When times are good they share Fourth of July barbecues, pick up groceries for each other and exchange recipes and books.  In a time of need, such as illness, losing a job or a natural disaster like a hurricane, they support each other, providing not only physical assistance but also loving comfort.

Inevitably, as government grows bigger, family and friendship ties shrink. The more government expands, the more the private sector must shrink.  The more an impersonal government provides, the less people rely on each other. The less people rely on each other, the more they generally need government support.  As taxes increase to provide more necessities and entitlements it forces more people to work longer hours, leaving them less time for strengthening ties to family and friends. When government is the first resource rather than the last one, forming relationships becomes optional and temporary. “What can you do for me” associations replace the traditional connections that are a vital, necessary part of successful living.

In the final analysis, the government cannot supply love, affection, compassion or charity. It can transfer or redistribute money and services, but not heart. It can label you as needy but not recognize and encourage the sparks of your soul that turn you into a giver rather than a taker.  It can fool you into thinking that you are self-sufficient while stopping you from forming networks of community and recognizing that there is no such thing as self-sufficiency. Current society is increasingly devolving so that people relate more to the government than to each other.  The sad results are poorer and more bitter lives. 

Yosef’s teacher and his wife brought their newborn daughter to the siyum. Since my husband’s late parents were also part of the web of connection with our students and friends, four generations were spiritually present at the celebration. That kind of safety net cannot be equaled no matter how many billions of dollars a government spends.

What’s Your College Admission Scandal?

March 5th, 2020 Posted by Practical Parenting, Susan's Musings 19 comments

We have been having stimulating and entertaining conversations in our America’s Real War Master Class. One topic we discussed had to do with the terrible job our generation, in general, has done in passing on the values of gratitude, hard work, faith and patriotism to the next generation. Not only has this left younger people vulnerable to warped ideologies but it has also resulted in many of them feeling depressed, anxious and lonely.

There are many reasons, but I’ve been thinking about one potential culprit in particular. Whether articulated or not, many parents have turned their children’s education into a false god. Many of us may have expressed disdain at the recently exposed college admissions scandal. In the desire to see their children attend “top” universities and/or the school of their choice, parents became embroiled in lying, bribing and other underhanded activities. Yet, since few of us have the monetary resources that would make us susceptible to that scheme, honesty demands that we ask if we have done even slightly similar things on a smaller level.

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Keep the Good, Leave Out God

February 27th, 2020 Posted by Susan's Musings 27 comments

While driving to my exercise class the other day, I was listening to a religiously agnostic podcast host grapple with the challenge of filling the void left behind when taking God and faith out of life’s equation. Recognizing the benefits of community and support that often stem from religious affiliation and acknowledging the increase in isolation, pessimism and depression among today’s youth, he wondered how to achieve all the advantages that faith brings while leaving God and His direction out of the picture. His words reminded me of historian Will Durant’s quandary at realizing that the “advances” he enthusiastically promoted as an atheist might be leading people and society in the wrong direction.

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