Just as parenting in Israel, i.e. in the Old World, differs from parenting in North America, i.e. in the New World, so does grandparenting differ between these two milieus. Details of language and culture fabricate geographic discrepancies in how these childrearing roles are actualized. Even so, in both places, safeguarding children continues to be within the province of grandparenting.

Before exploring how grandparents can shield their grandchildren, let’s back up and weigh that my grandbabies are, BH, as much at ease with Hebrew as they are with English, while I, their grandma, possess a much smaller amount of polyglot competence. More exactly, I feel fulfilled if I am able to correctly pronounce the toppings I order alongside of my falafel, or if I am able to assert myself when buying an apartment.

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Linguistics, as well as regional customs, necessarily impact my reality and impact the reality of my successors. That said, there are far worse hazards than getting unwanted pickles with one’s balls of chickpeas or than paying too much for a dwelling. Confronting the monsters that exist in this world is a more serious matter than are incorrect sandwich fillings or unfair real estate charges. Fortunately, I can challenge malevolence in my first language.


All things considered, given that thunder and lightning responses to significant dangers are impractical for daily life, guardians need sustainable ways to empower the folks for whom they are responsible. Setting and maintaining boundaries is one viable tool. Abetting critical and creative thinking is another.

In term sof limits, Computer Cowboy and I refuse to take actions that could potential hurt our loved ones. For example, we are unwilling to think about buying our next apartment in a certain centrally-located, demographically comfortable, mass transportation and marketplace-accessible neighborhood seeing as that quarter has long harbored child molesters. For the sake of our grandchildren, we will never regard that vicinity as a possible place in which to live. No economy of or access to goods and services can compensate for knowingly exposing our youngest family members to conceivable harm.

As per spreading critical and creative thinking, as a writer, I am qualified. Furthermore, as a safta, I am obliged. I must formulate sets of words that warn about menaces. It’s my lot to generate communications that inspire, that guide, or that otherwise help future age groups battle baddies even when engaging in such behaviors means my having to spend large quantities of time hiding behind my office door, talking solely with my word processer.

However, not all writing, no matter its originator’s familial role or age, succeeds in facing down subversion. On the one hand, professional wordies are, ordinarily, sufficiently intellectually disciplined to deconstruct human activity and to compose works that analyze, interpret, evaluate, and convey insights to which others might not be privy. On the other hand, this professional mandate to illuminate hidden iniquity is neither an empty caveat nor a mirroring of self-assumed grandiosity.

All of us are supposed to serve the positive growth of social change and the maintenance of advantageous social stasis with our discrete abilities. Just as being a policeman means attending to “blood and fire,” and being an air traffic controller means accurately directing aircraft, being a writer means laboring to clarify the nature of beneficence and to explicate an array of possible remedies, preferably real-world ones, for wrongdoings.

Said differently, those of us who know how to broadcast warnings are supposed to broadcast them. Those of us who are tasked with looking after newer generations are supposed to look after them.  Those of us who are grandparent writers are doubly bound; we’re supposed to sound alarms and watch over the youngins.

To be more clear-cut, authors, who produce speeches, essays, or imaginative tales that, in turn, cull especially emotional reactions from their listeners, are able to help civilization thwart attacks against individuals and against persecuted population sectors. Even manuscripts that mask themselves as “speculative fiction,” can motivate audiences to confront intimidators.

Patrons cheer on Katniss Everden in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games and root for Jean Louise Finch, aka “Scout,” in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mocking Bird because while the public tends, overall, to distance itself from most dissonance, and, more precisely, from struggles with inner discord, the public concurrently wants to counter injustice. In our social atmosphere, human beings assert their desire to strive for “good,” yet want others, including writers, to ponder prevailing circumstances.

Sure, writers’ accounts might not cause devotees of evenhandedness to think of coup d'états or of more selectively taking up cudgels, but those accounts might motive readers to more readily unify against rapists or murderers. Stirring civilians to oppose status quo passivity toward assailants is unquestionably virtuous.

On the whole, when authors employ their channels to focus on very bad events, society is often moved to make efforts to preserve itself. When all's said and done, writing that “merely” breaks through communal desensitization, i.e. books that “merely” shake us out of any present day numbness to which we glom, i.e. writing that “merely” makes us more accountable, in any respect, helps civilization win.

Granted, causing people to read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale or spending time exploring Judy Blume’s Blubber won’t instantly or universally stop sex traffickers or elementary school bullies. Then again, books of that ilk do deter us from staying completely settled in laissez faire ethics and do deter us from being okay with viewing society as “us” and “them.” Without literature and other forms of inspired expression, sadly, we’d continue to put comforting barriers between ourselves and our globe’s ugly verities. Without having had words modeled for us, we would have been reticent in the face of the massacre in the Pittsburgh synagogue and in the face of the genocide in Congo.

Ruminate over the idea that Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle might have nudged President Roosevelt to urge the passing of federal legislature aimed to help the poor. Equally, cogitate over the idea that George Orwell’s 1984 might have enlivened the collective conversion on freedoms guaranteed by Constitutional amendments.

In other words, although I concede that I can’t teach my children’s children Hebrew, it remains the case that I can teach them a sense of right and wrong. I should use my words to convey to them, and to anyone else who is listening, my grasp of scruples.  It doesn’t matter whether I use gelatinous wildebeests or essays on Am Yisrael to do so.

My grandchildren need more from me than fluffy animals and pretty gardens. When the assemblages of words I produce make my audiences uneasy, I’m onto something; I’m
leaving behind a substantial heritage.

At the same time as my children catalyzed my voice, my grandchildren catalyzed my willingness to give that voice overt in intrepid ways. I owe it to my descendants to use writing as an agency for social change.

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