Human nature leads us to notice when things are wrong more than when they are right. If our throats are sore, our fingers achy or our stomachs disturbed, our bodies get our attention. Yet, when all our parts are working smoothly we must force awareness of that fact. A large part of the system of Jewish prayer does exactly that—reminds us to be grateful that we can stand, see and swallow.
On a larger scale, we take for granted countless blessings. We expect light to come on when we flick a switch and we assume water will pour out when we turn on the faucet. We quickly get irritated if any glitch affects thousands of normally smooth-running parts of our day.
Of course, I am prey to this human tendency as well. Many of my Musings highlight societal, educational and political failure. This week, I want to note three successes. They are not contenders for “success of the year award,” nor are they epic, grandiose or related to each other. However, this group of three represent people and companies doing the right thing, an accomplishment that is all too easy to overlook.
A. We had an ant invasion in our kitchen this week. Like King Solomon, I am a fan of ants in theory (Proverbs 6:6 & 30:24) , but not when they are crawling around my kitchen. A few years ago, when a similar incursion occurred, I searched online and discovered Terro Liquid Ant Baits©. This week, someone beloved to me graciously responded to my cries for help and brought home a well-known name brand ant trap. The ants just loved this product enjoying a feeding frenzy and then performing an ant victory dance on the kitchen counters. On my suggestion, my beloved went back to the store and purchased Terro. Goodbye ants. Problem solved and I gladly pass this tip on to you.
B. Answering the phone, I found a distressed daughter on the other end of the line. Montgomery County, MD, where her son is heading into his senior year at a Jewish religious school, had announced that like public schools, private schools could not open in September. While her son’s school did a stellar job creating online classes this spring, her son had absolutely no desire to continue in that format. As an experienced homeschooling mom, our daughter knew that she could create a satisfactory year for her son, but the hours of effort to do that in addition to everything else on her plate was the proverbial straw breaking the camel’s back—at least until she could regroup.
The school, like many other private schools, has already invested thousands of dollars and hours of manpower arranging for extra space, cleaning and procedures so that both staff and students would be safe. Yet, bureaucrats were treating administrators, staff and parents like recalcitrant children who needed to be controlled.
Within an hour Governor Larry Hogan overruled the county’s officials. Here is a shout-out to his leadership and sanity.
C. This week, millions of Americans worked hard, took care of their families and honored their common humanity. Actually, in spite of my earlier words, this success is epic and grandiose.
Let’s hear it for doing the right thing!
Fascinated by the wisdom flowing from the Hebrew language?
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