• Today I went to Crown Heights to buy a mezuzzah for my new home. As the clerk was ringing me up, an old lady pushed her way next to me and shoved a book across the counter.

    “You have to take this back and give me the money,” she said authoritatively.

    “It was a gift?” the clerk asked dubiously. “You have the receipt?”

    “It was a gift from my granddaughter. She came from Portland and wanted to get a gift for her bubbeh. She didn’t ask! I don’t need the book, I need the money to cook for Shabbas!”

    An argument ensued.

    “It’s a book about the Holocaust. As if I want to read about that. Noone wants to read about the Holocaust anymore. These young people don’t understand what we want. They should ask before buying something.”

    The argument over the refund went beyond a disconnect about a grandmother’s reading preferences. The granddaughter must have been trying to reach out and find common ground for communication, and to honor her grandmother’s experience.

    But the bubbeh wanted to leave the past behind. And she saw it as disrespectful to spend good money on something that wasn’t actually needed – forget about the content.

    How can we find common ground with our grandparents while respecting each others values? Please share your thoughts

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    This entry was posted on Friday, June 8th, 2012 at 3:38 pm and is filed under Communication & Planning. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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