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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

Check Your Bumper Sticker At The Door

By Gina Barreca




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) There are inspirational posters in my doctor's waiting room. One announces to those with aching bunions, open lesions or incipient Ménière's disease, "Seeing what others don't is another kind of vision."

I'm not convinced. I sit there thinking, "If you're seeing what others don't, what you are having are not visions. What you are having are hallucinations. While you're here, why not ask your physician for a thorough check-up?"

Call me impervious (I've been called worse by words containing fewer syllables) but few deliberately inspirational pronouncements have left me enchanted. Few bumper stickers have changed my life, for example, not even ones telling me their vehicles have climbed Mount Washington, contain fifth-grade honors students or advise against knocking if the vehicle is rocking.

Don't you find these last ones disturb rather than inspire? They should be used to prevent teen pregnancy; they'd be more effective than handing out condoms. Just smack a "Don't Start Knockin'" bumper sticker on the back ends of cool cars in school parking lots. They are the anti-love drug. You can't imagine the Cialis campaign is going to start with "When this bathtub is a-rockin' …" can you? Exactly.

Never has the reading of a T-shirt altered my philosophical perspective, political affiliation or deeply held religious convictions, either. I'd be skeeved even to sit next to somebody on a bus whose consciousness was changed by glancing at an article of clothing worn by a random passerby. I don't even want to share an elbow rest with somebody like that.

Can you imagine taking seriously the kind of individual who starts a conversation with "Yeah, until this skinny tattooed dude wearing a muscle shirt with the words 'Ron Paul Is My Homeboy' walked passed me, I wasn't sure how to gauge my own partisan proclivities?" I will admit, however, that I might listen more closely to that person's arguments if he or she were wearing a higher-thread count garment.



Sure, as a teenager and college student I wore message T-shirts. But after a certain point, I realized I wanted guys to stop reading my bust line in order to understand where I stood on major issues confronting our culture. Let's just say that I don't think it was women who decided it was a good idea to start putting small print on tight V-necks.

As we aged, many of my friends have switched from clothing to bumper stickers as our preferred inspirational media. Bumper stickers aren't always easy, either. One of my closest friends has an ex-military brother who is deeply conservative while she, in contrast, is liberal and active in progressive causes. Despite ideological differences, they love one another dearly and make a point of making the long drive to visit one another several times a year. Conversations about any potentially volatile subjects are dutifully and contentiously avoided.

Sounds good, right? Except for the fact that these siblings both plaster their cars with stickers from respective causes. Her Prius proclaims "Republicans: Helping The Rich Profit From The Suffering Of Others," "Tea Parties Are For Little Girls With Imaginary Friends" and " Dear Lord, Please Save Me From Your Followers." His car counters "If Guns Kill People, Then Spoons Make Michael Moore Fat," "In Case of Rapture, This Car Will Be Unmanned" and "I'll Keep My Freedom, My Guns and My Money. You Keep The Change."

All she can make him do when he visits her in her small New England village is to back his Mustang into her driveway so that the overwhelming majority of his political and religious rhetoric faces away from the street.

But when she drives south to visit him, what he does is camouflage her car. He doesn't call it that, of course. But he makes her park so far into his hedge you can barely see the car's outline. The government couldn't find it even if they were looking — which they're not, as far as we know — because this is what her brother did as a day job when he was in the armed forces.

They both feel a need to air their viewpoints, but at the same time they also display respect and affection for those they love. Forget posters and T-shirts: That's inspiring.

Comment by clicking here.

Gina Barreca is a columnist for The Hartford Courant.


Previously:


How a customer became a sucker and then got mad
Using reality TV to reveal your personality
Unlearning the kindergarten lessons of life
Things everyone must stop doing right now
Six truths about summer --- it's no picnic
Anthony Weiner --- we've seen enough of you
When women shop, expectations usually out of stock

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