Thursday, October 22, 2009

Change for a Change

Dedicated by a friend in California to Dora bat Yosef. May her memory be for a blessing.

OK, so there’s this guy, let’s call him Steve (not his real name). This is a true story.

Here’s the conversation Steve recently had with his wife, Debby.

Debby: “Hi Steve, how’s it going?”
Steve: “Hi, fine, how about you?”
Debby: “Not so great. I have this major deadline at work and I’m behind. Is there any chance you could take our daughter to her appointment?”

How do you think Steve should reply?

Before you answer, some background:

Steve has been very critical of his wife Debby. He feels that she could do a better job at being a wife and a mother.

Debby has been very critical of Steve. She feels that he could do a better job at being a husband and a father.

Steve is also very busy. In fact, he feels that he really can’t do it. But he’s also feeling a little ticked-off. Debby always is telling him how she wants to put family first, but she’s constantly pushing off the family for her work. Not only that, but she has told Steve that she wouldn’t respect him if he weren’t working full-time. Being a stay-at-home dad is not an option.

Question for you and your table – when Debby calls Steve to ask him to take the child to the appointment, how should he respond?

+ + + +

Here’s how Steve actually responded: “No, I can’t do it. I thought you said your family was your top priority.”

Here’s what he should have said: “Wow, you sound overwhelmed. I so wish I could help you! Unfortunately, there’s no way I can make it on time to that appointment. Do you want me to call and cancel it?”

Habits are really hard to break. Some smart Swedish people came up with a brilliant model for helping people do the hard work of changing a habit:

Shabbat Shalom

PS – Speaking of putting kids first, in case you missed last week’s announcement, the first set of j-wristbands have arrived! See

(They are intended to be used with the lesson on speaking nicely – lashon tov.)

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often listen.” - Churchill

No comments: