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Recollections of My Father

Some say that one of the wisest things you can do in life is to choose your parents well

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My father, Emanuel Davidson, whose birthday is today, passed away 46 years ago, long before ubiquitous smartphones and video recorders. Like many children, I often recall my overall memory of him, while not reflecting on the specifics of what made him, him.

As time passes, it is all too comforting to fixate on a general notion of how a loved one was, but recalling the habits, personality tidbits, and other idiosyncrasies that made the person unique, is more endearing and enduring.

My father was a member of the generation that had experienced the Great Depression, won World War II, and, by the late 1940s, fueled an ever-expanding economy. He was from the generation that expected to, and indeed proceeded to, exceed the educational level and material wealth of their parents and, in turn, expected the same for their children.

He bought his first house, in Hartford, on Cambridge Street in 1949, and two years following the birth of his twin son and daughter in 1953, made the decision with my mother to move to Bloomfield, Connecticut to a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house in the up-and-coming suburb of Hartford.

Always Striving

My father had long been a teacher in English and history, and when needed, he also taught math. After many years, he became vice principal at the Dominic Burns Junior High School. Like so many parents, he wanted more for his children, and his teacher’s salary simply wasn’t enough. So, for the duration of his adult life, he worked at least one additional job, often a second, and sometimes a third.

Emanuel Davidson, my father, graduated from Weaver High School in 1934 and then Connecticut Teacher’s College, later known as Central Connecticut State University in 1938. At Central, he was their first baseman in varsity baseball for three years, and their starting offensive varsity guard in football for two years. He went on to get a master’s in education at Columbia University and, after WWII, a 6th year degree at University of Connecticut , with one year to go for a Ph.D. which he did not pursue.

My father was a veteran of World War II. He served in Germany, France, and the Netherlands. As a soldier, he first trained in Paris TX where he also married my mother. He also took math and physics courses as part of his U.S. Army assignments at Virginia Military Institute. He was shipped to and stationed in France, primarily in logistics, rising to the level of sergeant. He was involved in some limited combat and suffered a partial loss of hearing in his left ear from a grenade explosion. Yet, remarkably, he would sometimes hear a whisper when he didn’t otherwise hear anything. He recalled, and somewhat regretted, having to kill a German soldier in close combat.

After the war, he worked some more in carpentry with his father for a brief time while advancing his education and then started teaching at Canton High. For most of his career, he taught English and history at Northeast Junior High in Hartford.

If you’ve read this far, the rest of the story (6 pages!) is here.  Some say that one of the wisest things you can do in life is to choose your parents well. In my case, I hit the jackpot.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Family

More Breathing Space Tips for January

Time flies, but you can stay in control

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A week of the new year and of the new month has passed. What other Breathing Space tips will help give you a sense of control?

[ ] On each trip to the supermarket, shop for at least two food items that are new to you or your family.

[ ] Eat in-season fruits that are high in citrus and bioflavonoids, such as oranges, grapefruit, and tangerines. You need your Vitamin C in the winter! Also, take a multivitamin.

[ ] Tackle all household repair jobs before spring. Handle one project per week.

[ ] If the roads are clear, take one new route from work each week.

[ ] Enroll in a course at your local college, and take advantage of mid-afternoon or evening time slots. Most evening classes are smaller, allowing for more class discussion and individual attention.

[ ] Take advantage of all the post-holiday bargains. Buy in bulk and buy off-season items when the price is right.

[ ] Go ahead and schedule that spa treatment you’ve been wanting to take.

[ ] Give your body a treat, go to sleep early at least one night per week.

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Faith

Three Cheers for Christian America

Thank you for safeguarding the public and private expressions of others

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Considering all the nations in the world and the dominating religions within those nations, Christianity is the most beneficial. When Christians are in the majority, it is good for everyone who resides there.

Christians during the Dark Ages, the Renaissance, and up to the mid-20th century contributed to much of the world’s turmoil. In recent decades, however, they have been the most accommodating, accepting, and peaceful group. I’m glad I live in a Christian nation and, given the options globally, would not have it any other way.

Best of the Best

Particularly in America, Christians today are tolerant, acknowledging the rights of others. They recognize the right of Israel to exist. They fully embrace Israel’s strategic role in the Middle East.

Too many people on the left who regard themselves as the arbiters of what is right and true, in minor and major ways have been persecuting Christians for decades. They do not want public displays of Christianity anywhere in America. Their agenda is to remove all vestiges of religion in America. They contend that America would be a better, more egalitarian nation.

Just the opposite is true. Those who want to stamp out religion in America don’t understand that our origins and 250-year history is based on Judeo-Christian principles. The cancel culture left seek to reject the U.S. Constitution out-of-hand.

We have encountered leftist groups who shatter statues and historic symbols they deem to be oppressive and part of an old regime that was illegitimate from the outset. Many of these perpetrators hide behind ski masks while regarding themselves as heroes. In reality, they are fascists, seeking to control us.

Leftist enforcers have no idea how intolerant they are and that they are no better than those they seek to diminish. In the U.S., people of all faiths are free to celebrate their faith. If one particular faith, Christianity, was predominant from inception, to today, that does not preclude other religious groups from celebrating.

Congress: Hands Off

Leftists make erroneous statements about the “separation of church and state.” The phrase simply is not contained in the Constitution or any founding document. It appeared in a letter that President Thomas Jefferson sent to a Baptist congregation in Danbury, Connecticut. His note to them was designed to reaffirm that the government would not make dictates related to the church.

The First Amendment to the Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” So, when it comes to religion, Congress must keep its hand off.

As a nonreligious person, I have nothing against seeing a religious display on public or private property. Indeed, America shorn of religious symbology would be a dismal place. The Ten Commandments on a public plaque? Fine. Christmas trees in the town square? Flip on the lights! A mosque being built in America? Why not?

As long as everyone is tolerant of other religions, such developments represent no threat to anyone. It is those who operate in secret who represent a threat, as are those who wish to vanquish the rights of others to publicly exhibit symbology.

The Option to Sing Along

When I attended grammar school, I was exposed to the annual Christmas pageant. I had the choice to skip the assembly. In each case, however, I chose to enjoy the merriment of the festivities, but not sing along. My young classmates did not require me to capitulate. Nor did I expect them to modify their festival to accommodate me. Would any aware American who moved to another country expect that country to diminish their celebrations to accommodate the newbie?

I’ve had the opportunity to visit 46 of the 50 states, and 73 countries. I have walked through hallowed halls of shrines, mosques, churches, and ashrams. While Christians are being persecuted in many countries around the world, I don’t know of a single instance today where people feel unsafe in a Christian majority country.

So, I say to you, if you are a Christian, in America, please know that large numbers of us support your right to practice your religion.

For All You Do

Thank you for safeguarding the public and private expressions of others. Thank you for helping to establish a climate where non-Christians and others can feel welcome. Thank you for becoming a peaceful, tolerant religion that rightfully serves as a model for others around the globe.

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