Power of Speech

I loved this magnet on this wonderful old Jewish ladies refrigerator who lives in our community.

“If you have nothing good to say…
Say nothing.”

I remember we used to talk about this saying in my house growing up too. 


It is a famous teaching from the holy Chofetz Chaim.


I remember as a bar-mitzvah boy, someone in our community in Riverdale, NY gave me a set of the Chofetz Chaim’s books.


And I enjoyed reading from them daily about always being careful with how you use your words:


– Not to hurt anyone.


– Not to speak bad about anyone (i.e. Lashon Hara)


– But rather to use words pointedly and always for the good. 


Kind words.


Gentle words.


Complimentary words.


Words of love and caring. 


Holy words. 


The Chofetz Chaim seemed to have an endless number of wonderful stories to demonstrate the power of speech and the importance of using it for the good. 


The old saying of “The pen is mightier than the sword,” can be used replacing the pen with the tongue and power of speech in general. 


Words can cut someone like a knife and even kill or words can create a tremendous healing when it’s full of love and caring for others. 


Actions speak louder than words, but words can speak and perform volumes in the eternal fight of good over evil. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Live 4 Something

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I was on the treadmill the other evening. 


On the TV was Sylvester Stallone in the movie, Rambo. 


Ah, some nice welcome action to take my mind off the exercise.


Some doctors and missionaries are trying to make their way to to Burma to help the helpless victims being slaughtered by the military warlord and his henchmen. 


Stallone knows the danger in going there, and at first, he ties to discourage them from going.


The beautiful and sincere women in the group convinces him to take them there…to try to make a difference in these people’s lives who are suffering. 


Stallone takes to the lesson and incorporates it into his inner persona. 


And later he says:

“Live for something 

Or

Die for nothing!


I thought this was a really good philosophy. 


THINK ABOUT IT: 


– We can choose to make our lives meaningful and impactful or to hide in the closet or under the bed and really accomplish nothing.


Our lives are a gift, given to us to do something good with–it’s a sin to waste that gift and not do everything we can to be a good influence, help others, and make this a better world. 


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

Big Mouths Alert

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So I took this photo in the Museum of Natural History. 


As you can see, this hippopotamus has quite a big mouth. 


He is also not alive and is behind a glass-enclosed case for viewing. 


To me this screams that those with big mouths often don’t end up well. 


I remember a relative of mine used to bluntly call it, “being full of sh*t.”


Whether these people are in politics, your neighborhood, bullies at work and school, or even those in the fake news media…they have become all to somewhat frequent.


Sure there are other animals with small mouths in the same situation, but the hippo truly is a decreasing and vulnerable species.


And like it’s neighbor in the museum, the dinosaur–another one who has a big mouth–that ended up extinct, the prospects for talking big, but accomplishing little is sort of part of the character. 


The hippopotamus is mostly a herbivore–it has a big mouth and some big sharp teeth, but it mainly eats humble plants and doesn’t pursue the hunt of the big game and eat lots of red meat. 


Listen, big mouths can still be highly dangerous–words are powerful and can do a lot of damage. 


But overall “talk is cheap,” especially when people focus on words and not good deeds and who don’t have the right intentions. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Nature of Good and Evil

Like in the Bible…


When our forefather Itzchak was about to bless his son Jacob and he said the words (are good) like Jacob, but the hands (deeds) feel like Esau.


Words are cheap, and actions speak volumes louder!


Good deeds mean something, but words are easily manipulated.


We can all spot good deeds, and that is what must guide our judgement of people and situations–that is where the truth rests.


Like my father and grandfather always taught me–some people are good and some are not so good.  😉


(Source Video: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Time For The Cruise Missiles

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It is high time to stop being bystanders while our military is forced to stand mostly idle in the face of the heinous crimes against humanity occurring in Syria over the last 6 years and half a million dead! 


Today, at least 70 people, including 10 children were killed in a chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians.


In 2013, Syria killed at least 1,500 in what was the unbelievable fiasco of Obama’s disappearing red line on the use of such weapons of mass destruction. 


Unfortunately, we can ill afford to tolerate the irresponsible use of these dangerous weapons–chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear.


President Trump needs to show strength where Obama showed only weakness. 


It is high time to light up the cruise missiles into the heart of Damascus–goodbye Presidential Palace and then some. 


Aside from redrawing the solid red line against WMD and punish the Assad regime’s criminal activity, we will also put Iran and North Korea on notice not to underestimate or mess with us. 


We must act, before the nuclear ICBMs and suitcases rain into American cities. 


Now is the time to correct the mistakes of the past and reset our national security for the future by restoring the peace through strength. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Best Diplomacy Shirt

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I took this photo in the Metro, so I apologize for the poor lighting. 


But never-the-less, to me, this wins for best diplomacy shirt. 

“Respect All

Fear None”

In dealing with others at home and abroad, we must respect everyone. 


And this is not just paying lip service to others while really giving a tacit nod to derision and divisiveness.


Rather we need to have genuine respect for all people, cultures, religions, freedom and human rights. 


At the same time, we must fear no one. 


We need to carry a big stick, as my grandfather used to say.


That along with plenty of carrots (but used strategically and not wastefully) to positively influence the good in others. 


The point is that disengagement, appeasement, and weakness benefits no one. 


Rather, it encourages violence, destruction, and refugees, and global disorder. 


It’s time to stop fearing and running, and to make a firm stand for good and meaningful things that we really believe in.


We are not the police of the world, but we are smart, and good, and powerful, and will project and use that power wisely to ensure that good prevails over evil, always. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Broken Mirror Reflections D.C.

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So I took this photo of a smashed mirror hanging out of a corner trash can in downtown D.C.

Half is reflecting the garbage in the can and half is reflecting the buildings and trees outside. 

Such a metaphor for the society we live in these days. 

Where we are broken, and society is broken, and certainly lots of government is broken. 

And the shards of glass reflect on the both the garbage of what has piled up inside us and the system, but also the possibilities on the outside for development, growth, and change. 

The broken mirror with the sharp glass shards is dangerous, but perhaps by seeing the mess we are in, we can finally step up and do something to fix it. 

No more circling the wagons, infighting or deflecting from the issues; no more blaming the past or demonizing the opposition; no more excuses for stagnation, incompetence, or impotence; no more whitewashing and red tape; no more firefighting, shoddy quick fixes or waiting for another break/fix; no more whirlwind spin around the dazed and confused; no more sugar-coating, backpedaling, or dressing up or down the facts; no more playing politics or deceiving ourselves and others–is that even possible any longer?

Instead, we change to a model of acknowledging that which is broken and teaming together to fix it–doing something positive, and constructive for ourselves and the world–oh, fix it Dear Henry, please fix it.  😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)