There’s A Reason For Everything

I go to the fridge to look for something to eat. 


I find am empty food storage container on the shelf. 


I recognize it from the day before when it was filled with delicious over-baked salmon. 


So I go to one kid who I guess may be the culprit and I ask:

Why did you leave the empty bowl in the fridge and not clean it out when you were done?


She says:

Dad, I didn’t do it. 


So, I feel like a jerk and apologize for thinking maybe it was her.


Then I go to the other kid and say:

Did you leave an empty dirty salmon bowl in the fridge?


And she says to me:

I did.


So I ask rhetorically thinking there was no acceptable reason:

Why did you do that?


She says sweetly to me:

My sister was sleeping and I didn’t want to wake her by washing out the bowl.

And I knew she meant it. 


I wouldn’t have imagined a reason for leaving an empty dirty bowl in the fridge, but it just goes to show not to misjudge people–there is usually a reason for everything. 😉


(Source Photo: Amazon)

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)

My Dad, My Hero

Dad

I can’t just call or visit my dad to wish him a happy Father’s Day.


My dad is in heaven. 


But I am thinking about him, missing him, and wishing all the things I want to tell him but no longer can.


I’m sorry dad for not listening better and arguing so much. 


Your lessons were not wasted on me, I remember them all!


The most important you taught me to serve G-d and do good no matter what the situation–that is with me every day.


And I know with your grandchildren too. 


You are my hero–I believe that G-d watched over you your whole life because of what a good decent human being and servant to him you always were. 


Dad, if you can hear me in Heaven, I love you and miss you and Mom dearly. 


I hope if you can see me and the family, you are proud.


That is what I always wanted. 


When you said it later in life, I almost couldn’t believe it. 


But I know in my heart, you are and and have been my biggest advocate. 


Thank you for everything–everyday–you never flinched no matter how much or inconvenient it was.


May G-d reward you and Mom in heaven and shower you in his eternal light, love, and goodness. 


You son, 


Andy


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

So Sorry, Charlie

So Sorry, Charlie

In the old Starkist Tuna commercials, Charlie the cool tuna thinks he’s all that, but he keeps getting rejected by Starkist, because he’s just not good enough and then the narrator comes on and says, “Sorry Charlie!”

These days, from my perspective, people often do not take responsibility when they mess up and arrogantly they can’t bring themselves to just say, “I’m sorry”–it was my responsibility, I messed up, and I am committed to doing better in the future.

It’s really not so hard to say sorry, if you let your ego go. Most often, from what I’ve seen, unless the boss, spouse, or friend is just a jerk, saying sorry goes a long way to making things right–it shows you care about the relationship, your human and fallible (like the rest of us) and you are able to introspect, self-help, and learn from mistakes.

In contrast, Bloomberg BusinessWeek (18 April 2013) says sillily, “Don’t Apologize”–that refusing to apologize makes a person feel better about themselves, more powerful, and less of a victim.

Certainly, we don’t want to apologize for things we didn’t do, when we really don’t mean it, or to give someone on a pure power binge the satisfaction of making us beg–in those cases, we should be truthful and respectful and set the record straight. We should also, make it clear that we will not be victimized by anyone, at anytime.

But when we are wrong–and it’s not easy for everyone to recognize or admit it–just say so. It won’t kill you and you’ll usually see the other person lighten up on the punishing diatribe and maybe even admit their part in it or the stupid things they may have done at other times.

No one is so perfect–despite some very large egos out there. And the bigger the ego, the bigger the jerk. The humbler the person, the nicer and more workable they are.

Don’t apologize for things you didn’t do or to satisfy someone’s bullying, but do apologize when you could’ve done better and you are committed to improving yourself and building the relationship.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Don’t Stampede On Others’ Feelings

Don't Stampede On Others' Feelings

I took this picture of a cow stampede when hiking in the mountains.

The cows first came up to us all friendly and then after staying for a little bit, decided to bolt off across the open field.

Together–it was like a mini stampede.

It reminded me of a situation recently, where I felt bad that I had stampeded (albeit inadvertently) on someone’s feelings.

We received a delivery–actually a new couch (the other one we were replacing was really uncomfortable and it was high time to go).

At one point, I was taken a little aback when the delivery man asked me, admiring it–“How much was it?”

Not wanting to really say specifically, I just said nonchalantly, “Oh, not so much.”

But the man pressed on and said, “No really, how much was it?”

I was a little uncomfortable, but I figured he’s just making conversation, and honestly it wasn’t extravagant so I say in a round figure what it was.

Then I see his face go dark, and I realized what had accidentally happened.

It was perhaps a bit much for this nice man (although I really don’t know his situation, but just his facial expression).

Anyway, I felt terrible and proceeded to say something light and then we chatted for a little bit.

I think it is important to feel for all people–trying to make the best with what G-d provides and deal with everyday tests and challenges.

We are all people–and at any moment–what befalls one, can befall anyone, so we must be grateful for each and every blessing, for however long G-d grants it. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Academic Assignments In Hate

Academic Assignments In Hate

According to the New York Times (12 April 2013) a high school English teacher in Albany, New York on Monday asked students to write a persuasive essay on why Jews are evil and the source of our problems.

The assignment stated: “You do not have a choice in your position: you must argue that Jews are evil, and…convince me of your loyalty to the Third Reich!”

This assignment echoed a similar assignment given to students in Georgia and New York City earlier this year instructing students to calculate math problems by using number of slave whippings and killings.

Yes, these school assignments–to our children–are shocking and appalling.

Although they call these teachers giving these assignments, these are not real educators, but rather bigots given a classroom pulpit.

Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, the school district superintendent, said: “Obviously, we have a severe lack of judgment and a horrible level of insensitivity.”

But this “apology” does not go far enough–in fact, there is no apology–just excuses and calls for sensitivity training.

Wyngaard should’ve called this behavior for what it is–discrimination, anti-Semitism, bigotry, and hatred, and announced the firing of the teacher–who shouldn’t be teaching anyone, anything!

With the Holocaust Remembrance Day this past Monday, April 8–this teacher added insult to injury in making such an assignment.

While teaching students how to write persuasively and argue different points of view can mean that sometimes you have to argue “the other side”; it crosses the line to assign students to write about why a whole race of people are evil, and on top of it to force them all to take that position.

According to CNews, a third of the students stood up and refused to complete the assignment–thankfully, there are some good and decent people left in this world.

Excuses are not apologies. Sensitivity training is not removal of a hateful bigot. And this school superintendent should’ve had the ethical backbone and courage to join the students who stood against this wrong.

These “teachers” and school superintendent have at least six million reasons to do better, much better.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)