Shout Out

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?


 Buried Treasure: Secrets for Living from the Lord’s Language Aleph-Bet: A Fun, Rhyming, Bible-based Introduction to the Hebrew Alphabet

6 thoughts on “Shout Out”

  1. It seems to me that the secular civil servants in your daughter’s area are disciples of the belief that WORK is a dirty four letter word. Might I suggest that all those teachers, not wanting same could be laid off until covid blows over and be reappointed later.

  2. It’s astonishing how effective Terro is. Almost every year my kitchen is invaded by ants, shortly before the winter rains begin. They seem to know, with unerring skill, that the rains are coming, certainly before I do. If it were just a few here and there I could live with them, but before I know it my kitchen is crawling with them wherever I look. So then I know it’s time for another trip to the hardware store for a new supply of Terro.

  3. “Do the right thing” is such a used, misused, and abused phrase these days. Seems like everybody has his or her own definition of “the right thing.” Thank you for sharing these instances of people who truly are doing the right thing(s)!

  4. Great reminder Susan, thank you. I’ve been journaling for years and for a while I would end every entry with three things I was thankful for That day to bring balance to the complaining I had just done in the journal. It really can help bring perspective. Blessings.

  5. Hello Susan,

    I often fall into that mindset of only reacting to bad news. I’m typically motivated to leave comments only in response to what irks me. I’m trying to change my outlook towards being a better happy warrior. You are right to Shout Out the good all around us…even during this time of chasing a virus while diving head first into the political campaign “silly season.” Thank you for these real world right things (I needed the ant trap advice this week too). Justice is served when we offer the right conduct towards others. Thank you for this musing and for your work with Rabbi Daniel Lapin. I read and listen each week…intently!

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