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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 July 25, 2013/ 18 Menachem-Av, 5773

Family culture created by default or design

By Lori Borgman

Lori Borgman


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A friend and I discovered that we shared a connection with a particular young family. "They're lovely," I said.

It nagged at me later that I had tagged such a remarkable family with such a bland description. Lovely could be a straw hat with artificial flowers worn to the Kentucky Derby. Lovely wasn't an apt description, but it was the only thing I could think of at the time. I thought about it later because my best thoughts are always my after-the-moment-has-passed thoughts. The best word to describe them would have been "intentional."

They are married, have three small children and a vision for life. They have a sense of purpose about work, home, family and each ordinary day. They live within modest means, yet practice generosity. She routinely turns out epicurean wonders like shaved asparagus pizza for others who can use a little help. She, along with little eyes watching and little hands helping, craft beautiful meals.



They are intentional about how they spend time as a family, discriminating about what their children take in, opting for books, crafts and outings over television and media. Their faith isn't relegated to Sunday mornings, but shapes their day-to-day living. They value face-to-face conversations more than electronic messages with emoticons and no vowels.

An article in Forbes discussed what separates great leaders from average leaders. "Great leaders create culture by design, while average leaders allow culture to evolve by default," wrote Mike Myatt.

It is actually strong leadership at work in this little family. What sets them apart is that they are not evolving by default, passively letting life happen to them, but actively pursuing life and attempting to shape it as they go.

It is far easier to be a family by default. Families that evolve by default require a lot less work and thought. The adults do their thing, the kids do their thing, and they meet over take-out or fast food a couple of nights a week and wonder why nobody seems to connect.

When you create a family by design, you make the choices instead of letting others make the choices for you. You decide. You decide to introduce children to great works of art, to allow them to paint, make music, make a mess, play uninterrupted, putter alongside you in the kitchen, the garden, the workshop and the garage, discovering how tools work and pieces fit.

That sort of family is sometimes out of step with culture. It is a family that moves slower, ambles off the beaten path and goes against the grain. That sort of family life takes thinking ahead, creating opportunities, checking benchmarks and being deliberate about choices.

There's not much middle ground when it comes to growing a family. It really is family by default, or family by design.


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