Readers supply Top Ten wisdom
Columns spark conversations and responses to challenges to think
By Tom Rinkoski
More than anything, I believe in people. So it is a joy to enter into a conversation with as many people as I can. I have always hoped this column, like all my materials for Lent, are conversation starters. I can't tell
you the number of people who stopped me to pat me on the back for upholding the spiritual value of chocolate for Lent. I got a rousing cheer for that column from a table of women gathered for a Lenten Luncheon.
One week, our pastor, within earshot, congratulated my son for what I mentioned he did in another
column. And, I did hear, through the grapevine, that a few of you think I made up my virtual kissing tip
of the day.
Here are a few pieces of the wisdom of the people of God that I have received:
-- One dad took seriously the Top Ten List Challenge I tossed out. Here is their family's list on How To
Be A Pretty Darn Good Family. He said the list was in no particular order: 1) Share who you are and the
gifts you're given, including time, talents and treasures. 2) Speak kindly to and about all others. 3) Treat
all people with respect and dignity. 4) Love others and yourself, and show that love through servitude.
5)Be attentive to others needs and wishes. 6) Forgive each other. 7) Be a steward of the environment. 8)
Have fun and rejoice with each other. 9) Prioritize God as expressed as Creator, Jesus, and Holy Spirit.
10) Make all others feel welcome and comfortable in our home.
-- A group of families from St. Matthew Parish in Allouez, who were using the Intergenerational Renew
Group materials, did their Top Ten List on "What Makes Family Renew Special for Us?" They said the
list traveled house-to-house throughout the Renew season. Their Top Ten comments on What Made
Family Renew Special counts down like one of Dave's Top Ten Lists. Here it is: 10) Growing in faith.
9) Praying together. 8) We go with the flow. 7) Deepening friendships and relationships. 6) Eating
together. 5) Respect for one another. 4) We always have fun. 3) Sharing our stories. 2) Listening to each
other. And the No. 1 reason our family renew group was special is "What Jim said!"
-- The Intergenerational Group from St. Isidore/St. Wendel, Osman/Cleveland, in a wonderful
handwritten letter from the group leader, named their Top Ten reasons Why They Are a Great Renew
Group. The leader wrote that their group included children ages 3-19. Their list includes: 1) Focus on
Lesson. 2) Have Faith in everything we learn. 3) Everyone shares. 4) Cherri, Jacob, Randy, Justin,
Libby, Luke, Mary, Abby, Katie, Heidi, Kara. 5) Everyone cooperates. 6) Everyone wants to come. 7)
We pray for and encourage each other. 8) We participate. 9) We can have an open/honest discussion.
10) We are committed to carry out our action activities for the whole week.
-- A Couples' Renew Group at Sacred Heart in Manawa created the following list on Ways To Keep
Romance In Marriage. (This was a homework assignment in the Couples' Renew manual.) Their list is
not numbered, but includes the large and small that makes marriage work. Read carefully and do not
miss the wisdom of the group! Giving Flowers just because. E-mailing each other. Phone calls during
the day. Dance together in the living room. Dance without the kids around. Giving the spouse some
quiet time. Candelight supper. Serve breakfast in bed. Do favors or chores for spouse, especially their
least favorite. Helping each other with chores. Planning a surprise for each other, such as movies. Going
fishing together. Opening doors for spouse. When you come home holler in the door, "I love you!"
Listening to each other, not laughing at each other. Reading together. Give compliments. Remembering
special events, but remembering spouse on non-events, too. Camping together. Fireside walks. Walks in
the moonlight. Reading poetry. Taking walks in silence. Holding hands. Getting each other a cup of
coffee. Sit in the garden, looking at the flowers together. Candlight evenings. Soft music. Lots of hugs
-- A few guesses on my vocabulary words, but so far only Morley, a reader in Sarasota, Fla., guessed
what a willywha was. Morley was visiting my parents' house, when they "forced" him to read their son's
column in the diocesan paper and he amazed my parents by knowing what their son was talking about!
-- The word for this week is "fungible." I found it cleverly concealed in a sentence in the most recent
book I finished, NoBrow. This may be your last chance to win a Seroogy's Meltaway bar. Send in those
definitions! You can call (920)437-7531, ext. 8304 or e-mail me at [email protected].
(Rinkoski is the Green Bay Diocese's Family Life director.)