In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 5, 2010 / 21 Shevat 5770

Disposable pens miss the point

By Lori Borgman

Lori Borgman

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Reduce, reuse and recycle has become the Eleventh Commandment. But try finding a refill for a ballpoint pen.

I have two favorite ballpoint pens. My allegiance to these pens is so deep that I have clung to them for at least four, maybe five weeks.

Both of my new favorite pens ran dry, so I wondered if I might be able to purchase refills.

There is an aisle of pens the length of a football field at the big box store. To look at each and every pen, you would need to get to the store when it opened, pack a sack lunch and hope you were finished looking by the time they closed. Wear comfortable shoes. And take a folding chair.

In the ever expanding universe of pens — fat tip, fine point, gel, sparkle, retractable, indelible, washable and erasable — there is not a single refill. The operating principle for the pen is "Use it, and then lose it."

There is a Walton's episode stuck in my head where someone stole John Boy's pen. It was a crisis on the order of the Bay of Pigs. They turned the house upside down looking for the pen and then turned on one another.

You haven't seen vicious until you've seen hill folk fight over a pen. You don't steal a man's pen. It either turned out to be some shirt-tail relation that had stolen the pen, or an older guy Mary Ellen was seeing on the sly. Either way, John Boy got the pen back and Walton's Mountain again slept peacefully at night.

I came of age when pens were forbidden until the fourth grade. It was a rite of passage: the fountain pen. You had to jab a little cartridge onto the poker thing so the ink could flow. If you didn't get a direct hit the first time - and there was a less than 10 percent chance you would — you'd have ink all over your fingers, palms, desk, paper and clothing. Exasperated, you would then brush your hair out of your face streaking blue ink across your forehead and leaving a smear at the corner of your eye.

Children routinely arrive home covered in blue ink. Mothers would say, "Learning to use a pen, are you?"

How did they know? We thought our mothers were brilliant. Clairvoyant even.

The point is, no matter how many times that pen blew up, and even humiliated you, you kept it. You didn't go to the store and buy another one or two or three or 10. You kept that same pen and reused it year after year after year until the Bic was invented.

In one stroke, life changed. You didn't refill a Bic; you threw it out. The faster people threw them out, the faster Bic made them. People began throwing pens into kitchen junk drawers, desk caddies, glove boxes, pants pockets and purses. Soon there were 3,978 ballpoint pens per person. And only two of them worked.

Today — and I hope you're not reading, John Boy — the ballpoint pen has all the value of a cigarette butt.

You can spend $5 on an energy-saving light bulb, hundreds on low-flow toilets and low-water-usage washing machines, thousands on energy efficient windows and heating and air conditioning systems, but good luck finding a 99-cent refill for a pen.

Somewhere along the line we've missed the point.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of , most recently, "Catching Christmas" (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) and I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids To comment, please click here. To visit her website click here.


© 2009, Lori Borgman