May 18, 2022
It’s not what you leave to your children, it’s what you leave in your children.
Ray’s Daily first published on May 18, 2005
I had lunch yesterday with my all time favorite Irish, political science college professor. Of course she is the only Irish PHD that I know, but even if I knew others she would still be a favorite. It is pure pleasure to sit with her as we solve the world’s problems. Yesterday was somewhat special as she gave me a newly published book authored by her husband that has been getting positive reviews in the national press. Now I am in a quandary since if I gave her anything I wrote she would not be able to read it, would learn of my inability to spell and my failure to properly punctuate. I am hoping that since I am more than 20 times older than her son that she will overlook my shortcomings.
While lunching we spent part of the time talking about the youth of today. I questioned whether today’s young people are committed to helping solve the problems of today’s society. Hopefully I am wrong but it seems to me that some of the spark of youth that has driven so many in the past is missing today. It looks to me that much of the young, like so many of us, have decided that it is just too much trouble to get involved. I am concerned that too many today find it easier to drop out, leaving the responsibility for the society we live in to others. If not us, and not them, then who will manage the world in which we live? Society today is as much what we have left to others as it is the result of natural political evolution. I hope I am wrong, I often am. While I continue to be personally optimistic I wish I was as hopeful for the world that we have built. What we reap today is the result of what we sowed yesterday.
Our children are the product of our counsel, our nurturing, and our example. It is as Dorothy Law Holte wrote:
If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn;
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight;
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy;
If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty;
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient;
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence;
If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate;
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice;
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith;
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself;
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.
I know there is still hope as long as there are teachers like my friend who share their knowledge and wisdom with their students. It is up to us to make sure they are not alone as they develop the citizens of tomorrow who will run the communities in which we live.
Melinda sent us: WHAT IS A GRANDPARENT? (taken from papers written by a class of 8-year-olds)
Grandparents are a lady and a man who have no little children of her own. They like other people’s.
A grandfather is a man grandmother.
Grandparents don’t have to do anything except be there when we come to see them. They are so old they shouldn’t play hard or run. It is good if they drive us to the store and have lots of quarters for us.
When they take us for walks, they slow down past things like pretty leaves and caterpillars.
They show us and talk to us about the color of the flowers and also! Why we shouldn’t step on “cracks.”
They don’t say, “Hurry up.”
Usually grandmothers are fat, but not too fat to tie your shoes.
They wear glasses and funny underwear.
Grandparents don’t have to be smart.
They have to answer questions like “why isn’t God married?” and “How come dogs chase cats?”.
When they read to us, they don’t skip. They don’t mind if we ask for the same story over again.
Everybody should try to have a grandmother, especially if you don’t have television, because they are the only grown ups who like to spend time with us.
They know we should have snack-time before bedtime and they say prayers with us every time, and kiss us even when we’ve acted bad.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but how many can get through to you.
Mortimer J. Adler
Moe and Lenny are strolling home from Shul one Saturday morning.
Suddenly a cab speeds past, and their friend, Irving, is running frantically behind it, flailing his arms wildly.
“Well,” said Lenny. “I never imagined our good friend Irving was a Sabbath violator! Look at him running for that taxi.”
“Wait a minute,” Moe replied. “Didn’t you read that book I lent you. ‘The Other Side of the Story,’ about the command to judge other people favorably? I’ll bet we can think of hundreds of excuses for Irving’s behavior.”
“Yeah, like what?”
“Maybe he’s sick and needs to go to the hospital.”
“Come on! He was running 60 miles an hour after that cab, he’s healthier than Arnold Schwartzennegger.”
“Well, maybe his wife’s having a baby.”
“She had one last week.”
“Well, maybe he needs to visit her in the hospital.”
“Well, maybe he’s running to the hospital to get a doctor.”
“He is a doctor.”
“Well, maybe he needs supplies from the hospital.”
“The hospital is a three minute walk in the opposite direction.”
“Well, maybe he forgot that it’s Shabbos!”
“Of course he knows it’s Shabbos. Didn’t you see his tie? It was his paisley beige l00% silk Giovanni tie from Italy. He never wears it during the week.”
“Wow, you’re really observant! I didn’t even notice he was wearing a tie.”
“How could you not notice? Didn’t you see how it was caught on the back fender of the taxi?”
“Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused.”
A professor at the Michigan State University was known for giving boring, cliche-ridden lectures.
At the beginning of one semester, an innovative class breathed new life into the course by assigning baseball plays to each hackneyed phrase.
For example, when the professor said, “On the other hand,” that counted as a base hit. “By the same token” was a strike out; “and so on” counted as a stolen base. Divided into two teams by the center aisle of the lecture hall, the students played inning after inning of silent but vigorous baseball.
On the last day of class, the impossible happened: the score was tied and bases were loaded. Then the batter hit a home run! The winning team stood and cheered wildly.
Though deeply appreciative, the professor later was quoted as wondering why only half of the students had been enthusiastic about his lectures.
Jill complained to Nina, “Rosey told me that you told her the secret I told you not to tell her.”
“Well,” replied Nina in a hurt tone, “I told her not to tell you I told her.”
“Oh dear!” sighed Jill. “Well, don’t tell her know I told you that she told me.”
She was right then and I hope she is now.
The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible — and achieve it, generation after generation.
Pearl S. Buck
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