Posts tagged " Optimism "

Happy Thinksgiving

November 23rd, 2017 Posted by Susan's Musings 21 comments

No, that isn’t a typo; its a deliberate misspelling. We are heading out soon to share a Thanksgiving feast with friends. Since we had a family celebration last weekend, most of our out-of-towners are unable to come back this week and, unfortunately, our in-towners are under the weather.  Friends graciously invited us to join them.

A quick thought before I get ready to go. As a mother, one of the earliest words I taught my children was thank-you. Even before they could possible repeat the words, I voiced the syllables when I handed them toys or food. I don’t think I am unique; millions of mothers do the same.


Why should I work when the world is crumbling?

February 10th, 2016 Posted by Ask the Rabbi No Comment yet


Listening to you is one of the best things I did last year. You have introduced me to the issues of physical life along with spiritual life and how they go hand in hand. I battle with discouragement due to the bleak future of the economy and nation.

Can you offer some encouragement?  I want to set new goals and pursue them but I can’t help but think what’s the point.

∼ Eduardo


Dear Eduardo,

A tale is told of a prisoner who is forced each day to transport painfully heavy rocks. He consoles himself by imagining the great building he is helping to build.  One day, a guard tells him that each night, his back-breaking work is undone as another prisoner has the job of moving the rocks back. Every day he merely undoes the back-breaking work of another prisoner. There is no purpose to the labor other than punishing and exhausting the two prisoners.


Optimism for All Seasons – first posted May 19, 2009

October 3rd, 2010 Posted by Susan's Musings No Comment yet

When our daughter, Rena, was in her late teens our family watched the video, A Man for All Seasons, based on the life of Sir Thomas More. To put it mildly, Rena was highly agitated by the movie. “I can’t believe they ended it that way,” she kept on saying, referring to his beheading at the hands of King Henry VIII. Though she knew that the account was historically based, in her view a happy ending was required. Why in the world would you voluntarily communicate a story that ends in a depressing manner?

Rena doesn’t share the cutthroat competitive tendencies of the rest of our family. While her parents and siblings have been known to treat what should be a casual board game as if the free world’s future depended on the outcome, she wants to play games where everyone can win. I’m not saying the rest of us aren’t warm and friendly, but she seems to own an additional niceness chromosome. All of which contribute to making her the lovely daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend that she is.

As she has matured, Rena has discovered that niceness mustn’t become naïveté, and that closing your eyes doesn’t cause tragedies to disappear. But still, she tends to one extreme of the spectrum anchored by cynicism at the one end and trust at the other.

In the course of four weeks, two of my husband and my daughters will be graduating high school and college. Two of our grandchildren turn one and three years old respectively. I wish them and all of our (and your) children and grandchildren a world where rose colored glasses depict reality rather than hope.


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