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 May 10, 2006 / 12 Iyar, 5766

(Trying to) count your blessings

By Pat Sajak

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I went to a memorial service recently, and, as is most often the case, it was a very sad affair. A man had died too soon leaving a young family behind. I found myself thinking what I always think at such occasions: we should count our blessings and appreciate all the good in life, because we never know when fate will throw us a terrible curve. I vowed, as I always do, to stop fretting about the small, unimportant issues and concentrate, instead, on the good health, happiness and prosperity my family and I have been blessed with. I had failed to follow my own such advice in the past, but, this time, I planned to see I through.

G-d, who has often heard me utter such thoughts, apparently decided to test my new-found resolve immediately. On the way home from the service, my car stopped running. There I was, stuck on a busy street in Northern Virginia, a policeman behind me and a tow truck on its way, reminding myself that this was a very small matter in the great scheme of things, and, besides, I had just pledged not to let such minor inconveniences annoy me.

As I sat there, my blessings count was stopped occasionally as I groused a bit about the amount of time it was taking for the tow truck to arrive. My prayerful thanks to the Almighty were interrupted from time to time as I remembered the number of occasions on which the auto dealer had assured me the problem had been resolved. And the complications presented by the incident, in terms of scheduling and transportation, did get just a wee bit in my way as I tried to make a mental list of all the wonderful aspects of my life for which I was grateful.

In short, I blew it. I failed again. Human nature seems to make it impossible (at least for me) not to complain about things, no matter how petty they may be, and no matter how their importance may pale in the face of the problems other people confront in their lives. There is a parable about a guy who complained about having no shoes until he met the man who had no feet. I, on the other hand, have lots of shoes — many more than I need — and I have absolutely no trouble complaining about any of them.

Maybe it's a good thing. After all, no matter how great your troubles, you can always find someone who is worse off than you. Are you supposed to grin and bear it just because someone else is suffering more? What kind of a world would it be if everyone were content with his life just because it was better than some other life. A nation of Pollyannas would, I think, be pretty tough to take. I suspect dissatisfaction drives us more than satisfaction. It could be that Thomas Edison would have been happy to sit in the dark if he believed he was better off than someone who couldn't see at all.

So I've decided to count my blessings when possible, but to put aside the notion that they can ever inoculate me against getting annoyed by life's petty problems. After all, each day is different, and what may seem unimportant to some may be important to others. Life is filled with good news and bad, and that news can turn on a dime. It's like the fellow who was forced to jump from a plane. Fortunately, he was wearing a parachute. Unfortunately, the parachute didn't open. Fortunately, there was a large haystack beneath him. Unfortunately, there was a pitchfork in the haystack. Fortunately, he missed the pitchfork. Unfortunately, he missed the haystack.

Despite the occasional pieces of good news on the way down, the guy had a right to complain.

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

Comment on Pat Sajak's column by clicking here.

JWR contributor Pat Sajak is the recipient of three Emmys, a Peoplesí Choice Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He's currently the host of Wheel of Fortune.


© 2006, Pat Sajak