Samuel Goldwyn, an immigrant glove-salesman turned Hollywood producer perhaps best known for the award-winning movie, The Best Years of Our Lives, once observed:
“Ninety percent of the art of living consists of getting along with people you cannot stand.”
Whether it’s nine or ninety, we begin with a lesson addressing that challenge:
- How to Get Along this Thanksgiving with Family You May Not Even Like
Focus on the Family president Jim Daly writes for Fox News:
In a country weary from endless controversies over vaccine and mask mandates and a multitude of other political debates and disagreements, here comes Thanksgiving – a great American holiday revolving around family, food, football and gratitude.
Like a balm on a burn, it’s the perfect recipe for soothing nerves, providing perspective and calming the storms of life, right?
Maybe – but what if the convergence of family this coming week is more like a match to gasoline?
Recent polls confirm that Americans are deeply divided on a whole host of social, economic and political issues. We may agree there are serious problems facing the country – but we have very different ideas on how we can solve them. Perhaps the only thing most people can agree on these days is that we disagree more than ever before on more and more things.
There must be a better way. There has to be a better way!
I speak to millions of people each week on the radio and we hear from tens of thousands seeking all kinds of advice for family-related issues. It might be for a marriage on the rocks, a child running off the rails or another crisis of some kind – the common theme running through almost every problem is an inability to get along with other people.
Whether at Thanksgiving or a July 4th barbecue, the happiest and most successful people are those who know how to disagree without being disagreeable. That skill is an art – it’s not a science. Sociologists today call it “emotional intelligence” – the ability to understand, use and manage our emotions in everyday interactions.
It’s an old adage that we can choose our friends but not our relatives. As a result, it’s possible you’ll find yourself on Thanksgiving sitting next to someone you’re related to but who sees the world very differently than you do. So, as you prepare to manage the turkey and the tension, here are some suggestions on ways to survive the feast without fighting.
Listen before you talk. Often, even the most agitated and hostile person just wants to be heard. Let them talk, actively listen and nod to let them know you’re hearing what they’re saying. A magical three-word phrase is, “Tell me more.” It affirms them without antagonizing or agreeing with their position.
Ask questions. Conversation is like playing catch with a ball. Be willing to throw multiple queries their way, even if they don’t throw it back. Ask about childhood memories, the person they felt closest to growing up. Ask if they have any big dream or goal for the next year. It was Dale Carnegie who famously said, ““You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
Show concern for the people with whom you disagree. I recently saw a t-shirt that read, “Be Kind. Everyone is fighting a battle.” It’s pithy – but it’s true. The person you’re sitting next to on Thursday who irritates you may just have been given a bad health diagnosis. Or maybe his job is about to be eliminated. She might be suffering from clinical depression. Show grace and show interest.
Don’t expect perfection. If you were like me growing up, you watched a lot of television. Isn’t it interesting how every problem is always solved in thirty minutes in sitcom world? That’s not realistic, of course, but we still tend to strive for it within our own families. Lower your expectations.
Give thanks. Almost two-thousand years ago, the apostle Paul wrote, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Take a big deep breath. You may not be thrilled to be where you are in life, but consider the many blessings you still enjoy – from your family who loves you, the good health you’re experiencing and the wealth you possess permitting you to remain clothed, housed and well fed.
By adopting these suggestions you’ll not only survive Thanksgiving with your family – but maybe even find yourself looking forward to spending more time with them at Christmas and throughout the year.
- House Passes ‘Build Back Better Act’ to Force American Taxpayers to Fund Abortions
From The Daily Citizen:
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a nearly $2 trillion social spending package that will force Americans to directly fund abortions.
The Build Back Better Act (HR 5376) passed the House by a 220-213 vote on Friday morning.
Recently, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi addressed whether the Hyde amendment was included in the Build Back Better Act.
“It’s not in the bill. It’s not in the bill. Thank you for your question. It’s not in the bill,” she said.
The Hyde amendment is a decades-old pro-life measure that prohibits taxpayer dollars from being used to directly fund abortions. According to analysis from the Charlotte Lozier Institute, over its 40-year history, the Hyde amendment has saved an estimated 2,409,311 lives.
RELATED: California Archbishop Enlightens Ignorant High School Students
Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone writes in First Things:
Dear Students of Archbishop Riordan High School,
Do not be victims of the culture. There are powerful forces in our country that use slogans to co-opt you into being agents of their own self-serving agendas. You must see through the lies. Abortion “providers” are not for choice: Every birth for them is a lost sale. If they were for choice, why are they not providing opportunities for women in crisis pregnancies the means to make a choice for life? They also say that they are for women, but where are they when women who are dealing with the pain of the abortion experience need healing? Why are women in this situation not even allowed to talk about it, but must hold the pain inside, sinking deeper and deeper into their grief and depression? Who does she turn to when she finally has the courage to seek healing?
Think of the abolitionists of the mid-19th century, or the advocates of civil rights of the mid-20th century: They did not fit into the societies of their times, advocating for politically unpopular and unfashionable causes. They risked, and some lost, their lives in the effort to correct the greatest injustice of their time. We now regard them as the moral heroes of their generation. The most renowned of them all, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once said that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” This, though, only happens when a new generation of moral heroes rises up to correct the injustice. This requires a strong backbone, great spiritual stamina. Will you be the moral heroes of your generation? Do you have what it takes?
3. Rittenhouse Joins Pantheon of Young Men the Left Tried to Destroy
From PJ Media:
Kyle Rittenhouse is the latest victim of systemic leftist persecution, but he’s certainly not the first. American progressives hate men, especially young, white, patriotic men, and they have developed a sick process by which they target for destruction any lad who refuses to cower before them.
Since its publication in 1960, Harper Lee’s novel To Kill A Mockingbird has been taught to schoolchildren. The book told the story of Tom Robinson, a fictitious black man who was simply being helpful, discreetly rejected the advances of a white woman and was subsequently accused of rape, railroaded in a biased court proceeding, and eventually shot and killed. Sound familiar?
So, welcome to the club, Kyle. I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through, and for what you’ll go through for the rest of your life. I hope you are able to tune out the hate directed at you and instead realize that millions of people have immense respect for you. We see that you’re a decent person who only wanted to serve your community. We will always admire you for standing up to the mob and winning, and at such a young age. Godspeed, and know that we’ve got your six.
4. Passing the baton in the battle for religious freedom
Kristen Waggoner writes for World Magazine:
After nearly nine long years of litigation, my friend and client Barronelle Stutzman has settled her case. It is the end of a heroic fight—one of the most important stands for religious freedom our nation has seen in many years—that has inspired millions of others in their own public and personal battles to live their faith without government interference.
Most importantly, Barronelle can take heart in this decision knowing she stayed true to her faith and conscience, without compromise. And the rest of us can take a page from her playbook.
Barronelle has never stopped giving a faithful witness for Christ. From her quiet flower shop to the studios of national television networks, she has presented millions of her fellow Americans with an unwavering example of faith, courage, charity, and commitment. They may not share her beliefs, but they cannot doubt that she lives her faith in a thoughtful and compassionate way.
Each of our own stories of faithful witness to Christ will build on the courageous sacrifice of Barronelle and others like her. She laid the groundwork that makes it possible for the Supreme Court to take a case like 303 Creative and definitively protect the rights of creative professionals like Lorie Smith, Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop—who has been sued for the third time—and many like them who have been victimized by officials demanding compliance with government orthodoxy. The Supreme Court needs to affirm the principles that Barronelle has so beautifully represented, especially the right of all Americans to speak and live according to their conscience.
- International Olympic Committee: Men Can Compete as Women, As Long as It’s Fair?
From The Daily Citizen:
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had promised new guidelines on transgender athletes would be forthcoming after the Beijing Olympics, but has recently published them with the title, “IOC Framework on Fairness, Inclusion and Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity and Sex Variations.”
It’s hard to tell if the IOC is desperately trying to appease the transgender lobby, respond to female athletes who criticized the most recent Olympics where a biological male named Laurel Hubbard competed in the women’s powerlifting competition, or is simply passing the buck to avoid responsibility for the issue.
It looks to be a combination of all three.
On the one hand, according to Sky News, the new framework states that no athlete should be excluded from competition on the grounds of a perceived “unfair and disproportionate advantage” due to their gender.
- After Controversial Whistleblower’s Documents, State Attorneys General Look Into Instagram’s Effect On Kids
From the Daily Wire:
Based on the account of Meta “whistleblower” and left-wing activist Frances Haugen, attorneys general from multiple red and blue states are investigating Instagram for its emotional effects on young people.
Among the states involved are California, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, and the District of Columbia.
The New York Times reports:
The move comes after a trove of documents from a former employee detailed research inside of the social media company that suggested teenagers suffered body image issues when using Instagram. The documents, called The Facebook Papers, were shared with journalists in October. The Wall Street Journal first reported on the documents and the issues at Instagram with the help of Frances Haugen, the whistle-blower…
Ms. Haugen and public interest groups have filed at least nine complaints to the Securities and Exchange Commission claiming Meta mislead investors about its efforts to protect users from disinformation and hate.
- The Coddling of American Children Is a Boon to Beijing
A Chinese doctoral student in the U.S. writes for the Wall Street Journal:
Chinese education pushes the young in directions that serve the party and the state. Youth are trained to be skilled laborers ready to endure hard work and brutal competition. Such political indoctrination is taught side by side with math and science. American education is supposed to be about opening minds but appears not to fill them with much. Worse, young Americans are not prepared for the demands of being an adult.
This phenomenon started in higher education. For years attending American universities, I have been disturbed to watch colleges fabricate “anxiety” and “depression” in students who are not mentally ill. Administrators have used grossly exaggerated terms such as “trauma,” and melodramatic expressions such as “I cannot begin to imagine what you have suffered,” to turn into a catastrophe what is best described as disappointment. This creates a culture of victimization.
The absurdity peaked after the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Students from elite universities claimed existential despair, finding comfort in cocoa, coloring books and therapy dogs. Classes were canceled and exams postponed, all in the name of soothing 20-somethings who need to be learning how to adapt to reality as adults.
Chinese citizens enjoy mocking the Western “snowflakes.” Less amusing is what this trend means for the U.S. as China no longer hides its enmity for America.
- Growing share of childless adults in U.S. don’t expect to ever have children
From Pew Research:
Birth rates in the United States dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic amid the twin public health and economic crises, lending evidence to predictions from early on in the outbreak that economic uncertainty might trigger a baby bust. This continued the downward trend in U.S. fertility rates, which were already at a record low before the pandemic began.
A new Pew Research Center survey finds that a rising share of U.S. adults who are not already parents say they are unlikely to ever have children, and their reasons range from just not wanting to have kids to concerns about climate change and the environment.
Some 44% of non-parents ages 18 to 49 say it is not too or not at all likely that they will have children someday, an increase of 7 percentage points from the 37% who said the same in a 2018 survey. Meanwhile, 74% of adults younger than 50 who are already parents say they are unlikely to have more kids, virtually unchanged since 2018.
Among parents and non-parents alike, men and women are equally likely to say they will probably not have kids (or more kids) in the future. Perhaps not surprisingly, adults in their 40s are far more likely than younger ones to say they are unlikely to have children or to have more children in the future. Some 85% of non-parents 40 to 49 say this, compared with 37% of those younger than 40. And while 91% of older parents say they probably won’t have more kids, 60% of younger parents say the same.
- Haitian gang releases 2 Christian missionaries held hostage, 15 still being held
From Fox News:
A Christian missionary group announced that two of its 17 missionaries have been released after being held hostage by a Haitian gang.
Christian Aid Missionaries, which is based in Ohio, made the announcement on Sunday but did not provide further information about the individuals released.
“We have learned that two of the hostages in Haiti were released. We praise God for this! Only limited information can be provided, but we are able to report that the two hostages who were released are safe, in good spirits and being cared for,” the group said in a statement.
“We encourage you to continue to pray for the full resolution of this situation. While we rejoice at this release, our hearts are with the fifteen people who are still being held. Continue to lift up the remaining hostages before the Lord,” the group said.
10. Wichita State basketball player praised for staying after a game to help clean up the arena
From CBS News:
After the Wichita State University men’s basketball team won against Tarleton State on Tuesday, one player took an unusual victory lap around the stadium. Dexter Dennis stayed after the game to help staff at Koch Arena clean, Wichita CBS affiliate KWCH-TV reports.
The video was shared on Twitter by Taylor Eldridge, who covers Wichita State athletics for The Wichita Eagle newspaper. “Dexter is a different kind of dude,” Eldridge tweeted. The video quickly went viral.
Dennis declined KWCH’s offer for an interview and has not responded to CBS News, but did address the viral moment on Twitter. “Didn’t do it for attention,” Dennis tweeted. “Just gives me perspective on life. It could always be worse.”