Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Theme: Suffering and Persecution

Volume 5 No. 306 September 25, 2015

General Weekly Features

Family Special: A New Attitude
The lips of the righteous nourish many. Proverbs 10:21

It's difficult to maintain an encouraging spirit when you're overwhelmed by problems with your child. We know of a family that faced this predicament. Jenny was a three-year-old who was still acting like a child in the "terrible twos"; nearly every interaction between parent and child was marked by conflict. Yet the father decided that this was as good a time as any for a first "date" with his daughter: breakfast at a local restaurant. As the hot pancakes melted his butter, he felt his own disappointment with his daughter melting away. He began to tell Jenny how much she was loved and appreciated, that he and her mother had prayed for Jenny for years, that they were so proud of her.

The father stopped to eat, but never got the fork to his mouth. In a soft, pleading voice, Jenny said, "Longer, Daddy. Longer." For a second time he told Jenny why she was special…and a third time…and a fourth. Whenever he stopped, he heard the words, "Longer, Daddy. Longer."

To follow Christ is "to be made new in the attitude of your minds" (Ephesians 4:23) so that every action and word is "helpful for building others up" (v. 29). It is true with children of all ages, too. Sometimes a problem with misbehavior or rebellion can be lessened by simply taking the time to have fun together and to speak of love in very warm terms. Kids need to hear that they are respected and appreciated. And guess what - so do moms and dads.

Before you say good night…

  • Are you displaying a loving, appreciative attitude toward your kids?
  • What can you do this week to express this attitude to your children?

Lord, You always see the hunger for affirmation and attention and love in the hearts of our kids. Awaken us, we pray, so that we see it, too. Help us to pour out encouragement to our children as You continue to pour it into us. Amen.

From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Illustration adapted from Leaving the Light On by Gary Smalley and John Trent (Sisters, Ore.: Multnomah Publishers, Inc., 1994).

Tips for Avoiding Road Rage

Can We Calm America's Road Rage?

Wellness Expert Explains Why We All Need To Take A Deep Breath

Often it's frightening. Sometimes it's deadly.

Road rage – where flaring tempers mix with two-ton machines – continues to be a problem on America's highways, leading to accidents, assaults and occasionally even murder.

It's a perplexing problem in part because it can happen at anytime and anywhere that roads and vehicles are involved, yet specific statistics on its frequency are hard to come by.

All that aside, though, there are solutions that can at least reduce the number of road-rage incidents. People who are easily angered by slower drivers, detours and other traffic disruptions can be taught to be more aware of their responses and modify them to reduce accident risks, according to research published this year by the Society for Risk Analysis.

That let's-calm-down approach is applauded by Scott Morofsky, author of the books "The Daily Breath: Transform Your Life One Breath at a Time" and "Wellativity: In-Powering Wellness Through Communication" (

"Sometimes there's this tendency to throw on the brakes when someone is tailgating us, or use an obscene gesture at an aggressive driver," says Morofsky, who developed the concept of Wellativity, which helps people address any behavior that inhibits wellness.

"But when you encounter an aggressive driver, you don't want to engage them or do anything to further agitate them."

What are some of our behaviors that can aggravate other drivers?

The No. 1 culprit is drivers who are texting, according to a 2015 Road Rage Report by, the travel site. Those texting drivers upset 26 percent of us.

Other offenders, in descending order, are tailgaters, left-lane hogs, slow drivers and drivers multi-tasking.

Of course, those examples represent situations that can raise your ire after you are behind the wheel. Often, the foundation for fury on the highway was laid before you got into the car. Maybe you had an argument with someone earlier. Maybe you are stressed because you are running late for an appointment.

"Probably all of us at some time have been angry and someone wisely told us to take a deep breath," Morofsky says. "That's actually good advice because breathing and taking in oxygen plays an important role in every area of our health and well-being."

Morofsky offers these tips for heading off your own road rage or avoiding the rage of others:

Don't turn that ignition. If you are feeling stressed and anxious before you even start your trip, then the time to calm down is now, not after you are on the highway. Get a grip before you start the car, Morofsky says. Take that deep breath you always heard would work. You might even try counting from one to 10, inhaling on one, exhaling on two, up to 10 and back to one again. "You want to be relaxed before you head out," he says.

Stop right there. If you are already driving, and you feel your anger is starting to impact your judgment, pull over for a few moments. "Breathe and ask yourself, is my problem important enough to risk lives?" he says. "Taking a few conscious breaths could prevent a catastrophe."

Don't react or retaliate. You can't control those other drivers, but you can control how you react to them. If someone is tailgating you, flipped you off or is just infuriating you with bad driving habits, ignore them, Morofsky says. Engaging in some sort of road-rage argument will just further raise your blood pressure, and could prove dangerous in some circumstances. This is just one more opportunity to take that deep breath, he says.

About Scott Morofsky

Scott Morofsky is the author of the books "The Daily Breath: Transform Your Life One Breath at a Time" and "Wellativity: In-Powering Wellness Through Communication" ( Morofsky created the concept of Wellativity, which uses 12 principles to target crossover afflictions such as obesity, smoking, lethargy, procrastination and any behavior that inhibits wellness. He has national certification as a personal trainer by the American Council on Exercise and various other certifications in the health and fitness field.

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