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  • Writer's pictureJodi Samuels

What is that Smell?

When we are on long car rides invariably one of the kids will pass gas. This starts a commotion of denial and each kid says mine does not smell this bad.

Living in Israel the last 4 months with the ceaseless violence it has been interesting to watch people’s reaction. I will have friends from Raanana say they are scared to come to Jerusalem even though brazen attacks have happened on the main streets there in broad daylight. Similarly there have been attacks at the Tel Aviv bus station or in the center of town yet somehow people from Tel Aviv are more afraid of Jerusalem. The best example was a friend visited us from the Gush area where there have been so many attacks and he told us that he is way more scared in Jerusalem. In each example the persons could use rational justification to try convince themselves why there situation is different. Apparently it’s human nature to think your stuff does not stink.

As a South African I have had endless conversations with my family that illustrates the point. They live in the murder capital of the world with huge financial and political instability. Yet I have received calls after 9/11 to go back home. My Israeli friend visited South Africa and driving home from the airport she was astound by the security – the electrified fences, 6 foot walls and armored guards. My father responded but you live with Hamas, Hezbollah on your doorstep and Iran threatening you.

Imagine if we lived in a world where we owned our challenges. Imagine if we did not pass the blame? Maybe this new year we as moms can help our children by explaining the full picture, giving examples and showing them their situations in a relative context. The world does not become better we just become more responsible and better able to manage our reality. Most important we have to own what stinks.

Originally published: December 25, 2015


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