Not WHO They Seem

People may all sort of look alike. 


But they are not all the same.


It’s NOT a matter of race, religion, color, sexual orientation, etc. that is important.


But rather it’s what is inside people’s hearts. 


Some hearts are pure in intent (even if not in every deed). 


Others are sullied with hate and abuse of others just because they can. 


But why hurt others when you can help them?


People are not all the same. 


Inside they are different.


Luckily G-d looks at the inside; the outside is just the packaging. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Hearts and Stones

I love the saying by Rav Zvi Yehudah Cook:

There are people with hearts of stone, and there are stones with hearts of people. 

The people know who they are, and the stones reside where has G-d set them. 

In the final redemption, the peoples’ hearts will turn back to Hashem and the stones with hearts will rebuild the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. 😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

3 Types of Dumping

This was sort of a funny sign:

“No Dumping”


Dumping can refer to at last 3 different types of things and none of them are any good:


1) Dogs – When people are inconsiderate with the animals and they take a “dump” and people don’t clean up after them (leaving the messy stink for you to step in). 


2) Trash – When people throw their trash in the dump or what they consider to be a convenient dumping ground and they make a huge mess of the surroundings (like the used mattress on the side of the road).


3) Emotions – When people dump their emotions and problems on others; they just sort of let it all out and while they may feel better (i.e. a nice catharsis), now you feel like sh*t!


Overall, I can’t think of any good connotation to dumping, so maybe people should stop doing it–dogs, trash, and problems.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Sometimes You Just Want To Say…

It funny, sometimes you just want to say…


Exactly what this ladies shirt says. 


My father used to say when certain people were nasty to him, he would just be nice to them.


And when they would still be really nasty to him then imperceptibly, quietly under his breath, he would say “F*** You.”


Ah, maybe not always so imperceptibly. LOL


Sure, we can’t always just come out and say it like this lady does boldly on her shirt.


Maybe it doesn’t help to use expletives, but sometimes some people can be such jerks that just saying it quietly is cathartic and truth-telling. 


Perhaps more important, saying it let’s you know that you still have  a moral compass and personal integrity, even if others around you have seriously compromised on theirs. :-)


(Credit Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

There is a Place for Border Walls

There is a place for border walls. 


Walls are not bad. 


And neither are all people.


But some people are bad.


And we have the right to be protected from them. 


Walls help to manage the flow. 


Not everyone can just go whatever, whenever, wherever. 


Surely, some people need to move to and fro. 


But we must decide who and when and where. 


Walls define spaces and ownership.


Not every place and thing is everyone’s.


People have property rights as do sovereign nations.


Not everything is strictly defined.


There is the commons that we share. 


But also there is a mine and a yours. 


That’s how economics functions and how people give and take. 


Walls help separate and secure. 


Bridges help connect and transport. 


They are not mutually exclusive. 


I’ve never seen a house, company, organization, or government without walls. 


And neither have you. 😉


(Credit Photo: Michelle Blumenthal)

Arrogance And A Messy Head

While sometimes children behave like “know-it-alls”…


Often an attempt to showcase what they’ve learned or to build their self-confidence. Sometimes, it’s also to bully others.  


More unusual though is to find an adult that thinks and actually says they know it all. 


But sure enough, I ran into someone who told me (about technology):

“I know everything!”


And they said it with a straight face. 


Literally, they told me how they came up through the ranks and knew EVERYTHING with emphasis!


Moreover, they told me that if I didn’t know something, I should go ahead and ask them because they would most definitely know it.


So I respect all people and certainly admire those who are knowledgable and talented in their fields. 


But something felt very wrong about an adult who feels that they have to go around bragging about the depth of their knowledge–and that their knowledge is apparently infinite (at least that’s what they espoused). 


I wondered to myself–is the person arrogant and a big mouth or the opposite–lacking in self confidence and therefore needing to boast and show off to compensate for their inadequacies?


When they were talking, it seemed like their head was getting so big and full of themself that it would just explode!


Most adults with emotional intelligence realize how little they know, and the older they get the more they realize that they don’t know in life. 


Especially, people of faith recognize that G-d is all-knowing and all-powerful, and we are but mere “flesh and blood” and truly just a speck of dust in the universe.


So truly smart people are humble and they look to learn from others, rather than preach and teach in a monologue of hubris.


Like many people that get too big for the britches, G-d usually brings them back down to Earth and their head to size.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Wig and Taped Mouth

Thought this was a pretty scary mannequin. 


Aside from the disheveled hair covering her head and half her face. 


You can see that her mouth and nose is taped over with clear masking tape!


Clearly she looks like she has been abused or worse, and the image is that she can’t even scream for help. 


Why anyone would advertise women’s fashion in this misogynist way should be beyond all of us. 


There are a lot of crazy nuts out there.


This photo is a small reminder of what we face in terms of ugliness in this world. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Wrong Direction–Who Stands For The Truth?

So I thought this was pretty funny in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend. 

A wife is listening to the radio and she hears that a car is dangerously going in the wrong direction on the highway. 

Immediately, she calls her husband to tell him about the car going in the wrong direction, and to be careful. 

He husband replies: One car going in the wrong direction…there are hundreds of cars going in the wrong direction!

How true this little story is about life and what direction we choose for ourselves–in the face of the groupthink and the tidal wave of public opinion that will sweep you away if you aren’t strong of mind and especially of character. 


Whenever we choose the road less traveled, others see us as dangerous and going the wrong way. 


Yet to us, others may just be following blindly, and we may truly see something that everyone else is missing…could it possibly be that they are really the ones going the wrong way!


But there is always some doubt in our minds…we are fallible, we can wrong, we can be crazy.  


Whose truth is it anyway–Mine?  Yours?  Or could it really be “The (objective) Truth”?


Alternatively, maybe we just lack confidence or courage?


It is very hard to be the nail that stands up (and doesn’t get hammered down) and say that something is wrong and everyone should pay attention and change direction or their ways. 


Perhaps, they are all heading off a moral cliff or just heading towards disaster.


In some cases…


We know the agendas of the people who want to steer you wrong. 


We hear the propaganda and lies they are feeding you. 


We can see down the road or just around the bend where the danger lies in wait. 


– Can we stand up to the crowd?  


– Can we demonstrate the moral truth?  


– Can we get others to see what we see?  


It is certainly not easy to be the contrarian in the crowd. 


Not only may you not be recognized for what you are doing, but you may even be persecuted for it. 


It doesn’t matter…


Because you need to do it anyway just because you know deep inside that it’s the right thing to do. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Emo Art

So I’ve been wanting to post this example of this special art form from my daughter, Rebecca. 


She makes this novel art called, “EMO”, which stands for emotional.


In this art she mixes children and monsters–and it depicts how innocent kids have to deal with the monsters they find in an often unscrupulous and morally-tarnished society. 


I love the feelings and message of this art in that it encapsulates how children enter this world in purity, but how so many bad people and things around them (and us) can corrupt that. 


I always learned that the goal for each person was to leave the world a better place then the way we found it; however, I think a more personal goal should also be for us to leave here as better human beings than the day we arrived.  


Challenging ourselves–learning and maturing–yet at the same time keeping that essence of decency and integrity of mind, heart, and deed–that is a life where we can grow up, but not turn into the morally-bankrupt monsters that we see all around us. 


(Source Art: Rebecca Ochayon)

A Half Truth

So everyone is always playing with the truth. 

They don’t want people to really know the truth, but they don’t want to call it a real lie.

Hence the saying:

“It’s just a white lie!”

A white lie is usually taken as in “pure” or “righteous”–in other words, there is a good reason (like to prevent someone from getting hurt) for lying, .

Yes, sure there is (LOL).

Sometimes people lie to themselves:

“What you don’t know can’t harm you!”

Most often, people tell what they call half truths.

This is commonly referred to as:

“Beating around the bush!”

However, don’t tell anyone:

A half truth is a lie!

And just like beating around the bush arouses the birds to fly and get caught in a net–that’s what telling half truths do too. 

Why is it so hard to tell the whole truth, because that would make most people look pretty bad. 

If people only knew.

But someday, of course, they will. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)