Temptation Or Accusation?

Temptress
So on the way home from synagogue today, my wife and I are talking about what happened to the renown Harvard constitutional and criminal lawyer, Alan Dershowitz.



He was accused of having repeatedly had sex with an underage woman (while he was married with children and grandchildren).



I explained to my wife not to believe these accusations, that in my mind, Dershowitz was upstanding and completely innocent, and that this could happen to anyone.



And I went on to tell a funny story from a day earlier…



I was at a retirement party for one of my staff who served the country for 51 years.



At the party, I am going around talking with people and helping to make everyone comfortable–until I didn’t.



One guy who was a retired manager and had come back to work as a contractor calls me over to his table to introduce me to his wife. 



He’s motioning to her and saying how she is his most beloved wife.



And just joking around trying to keep a straight face, I say, “Hmm, she’s a lot different than the other woman I see you with every day.”



[Yeah, I don’t know what came over me (maybe a little too much drink–any drink is too much for this dry mouth).]



His wife, is like, “Ah ha! Some other woman in the office…”



And he’s leaning back, waving his hands and mouthing to me, “Shut up Andy!”



He goes, “Okay Andy, you just wait until I meet your wife!”



Then, we all broke out laughing…just Andy being a wise guy again!



So, I said to my wife, you see how easy it is for someone to make a false accusation (and how quickly people can be to think the worst of others).



It really is important to treat people as “innocent until proven guilty.”



As for Andy’s hijinks…I’m banned from any more parties for the next few weeks. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Where Do You Find G-d?

Where Do You Find G-d?

My dad told me this joke over the weekend.

It’s about the Rabbi who asked the little boy in school…

“WHERE do you find G-d?”

Raising his voice again…

“Where do you find G-D?”

Stretching out his arms to the heavens….

“Where do YOU find G-d?”

The boy rushes outside, nearly in tears, and finds his little brother and says:

“The Rabbi thinks we stole G-d.”

I’m not sure if the joke itself is really funny or just the way my dad tells it.

But I can almost see that child panicking and thinking he was being accused of something terrible.

Anyway, as we all know G-d is everywhere and most importantly inside all of us.

That’s the spark that burns–our soul from above.

(Source Photo: adapted from here with attribution to Kigaliwire)

When To Build Relationships Or Burn Your Bridges

When To Build Relationships Or Burn Your Bridges

Why marriages (and relationships) fail is a topic of discussion in the book Fighting For Your Marriage by Markman, Stanley, and Blumberg.

The book is anchored in research from the University of Denver and their Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP).

So here are the four main reasons:

1. Escalation–People escalate the fight, rather than deescalate it. Harmful words and actions beget more harmful words and actions as each side tries to win the fight, rather than save the relationship.

2. Invalidation–You put down the other person (their feelings, thoughts, and character) with sarcasm, disrespect, and contempt, rather than raise them up with understanding, concern, comfort, and encouragement.

3. Accusation–Assuming the worst, you negatively interpret the actions and motives of another person, rather than looking at and accentuating the positive and giving them the benefit of the doubt.

4. Abandonment–Leaving the person emotionally and/or physically, you withdraw and avoid them and possibly even cheat on them, rather than engaging with and cleaving to each other, and working together to solve problems.

Essentially, these relationship issues all have to do with a breakdown of communication and trust–where instead of trying to work it out, there is a feeling that nothing can be solved by talking anymore and that there is no reason to even trust the other person.

Once trust and communication are broken–it is very difficult to go back and rebuild it.

Then instead of mending fences, people may choose the nuclear option: go to war, fight it out, threaten, hurt, or leave–and the relationship spirals to a timely demise.

What was once a nuclear family, or close relationship (friends, associates, etc.), may end up a broken and shattered one, full of hatred and as enemy combatants, perhaps not much better than the Hatfields and McCoys.

So the first thing is you have to decide whether you want to build the relationship or end it.

If you love the other person and want to be with them (and they with you)–then say and do positive things to maintain communication and trust–give selflessly to each other.

Relationships thrive when people behave as true friends, looking out for one another, sincerely–when they help their partners achieve their goals, grow as human beings, and find meaning and happiness.

A relationship is not a business transaction, but a joining of hearts and an intimacy of soul–it is based on mutual respect and goodwill.

If you really value the other person and the relationship–don’t burn your bridges when things get heated, but cross and meet the other person (at least) halfway and embrace them with love and caring–most of the time, it will come back to you.

But at the same time don’t be a fool–if the other person is wicked and cruel, out only for themselves, and would throw you under a bus in a moment–get with it and quick because the bridge is already burning and at a very high temperature. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)