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Schools have long been grading students on responsibility. But in recent years, teachers report that marks in responsibility have been plummeting. This is an alarming phenomenon - but it is not a coincidence. Responsibility is becoming a rare virtue.
Last week's column evoked tremendous response. Many men contacted me expressing interest in meeting the young lady. I will be more than happy to follow-up. However, it's my policy to make shidduch recommendations only after I meet the candidates. So to all those who wrote, may I suggest you call our office for an appointment?
Gussie Levine is a 99-year-old great-grandmother who worked as a teacher for the New York City Board of Education for many years. She volunteers for many worthy causes, and has participated in a new educational program, Mobilization for Youth - working with children of all ages.
Last week I wrote about how, through keeping a gratitude journal, we can program ourselves to experience more happiness in our lives. However, just as we can program ourselves to be happier, we can be programmed to be miserable and think less of ourselves. This can happen when someone we trust and respect tells us we cannot accomplish what we have set out to do. When our mentors or role models tell us that we do not have the intelligence or creativity to succeed, we begin to see ourselves as inferior. We begin to think less of ourselves, surround ourselves with a sense of failure and accomplish less because we feel incapable. After all, people rise to the height of their own expectations.
You're cooking or cleaning and the radio is on in the background to keep you company. You really are not listening and have no idea what's being said, but suddenly "Israel" is mentioned and you rush over, turn up the volume and listen. How does that happen? What made you hear that word? What made you pay attention, while you had ignored the thousands of other words that might have been said in the minutes before? More importantly, how can we get that to work for us and make us happier?
One of Honore Daumier's greatest works shows a troubled man sitting at a window.
Ravaged by excess - of consumption and commodities rather than of understanding - America now lives anxiously in crowds. This is naturally pleasing to politicians of all persuasions, for whom herding the people together where they cannot think is always "good."
As Americans, we Jews share with our fellow countrymen (more or less) certain portions of the annual "holiday period." Extending from the secular holidays of Thanksgiving to New Years, this span imposes on all the United States the breathless rhythm of a machine. Noisy and relentless, it is a rhythm associated in the popular imagination with enhanced reverence and spirituality, but in reality it produces a decidedly opposite effect.
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