COMMENTARY: Everyday Ethics: What You Do in the Grocery Store

You can tell a lot about people’s character by how they act at the grocery store. I remember being in a crowded store when there was a shortage of shopping carts. A prosperous-looking fellow was pushing a cart when another man stopped him. “Excuse me,” the second man said, “but this is my cart.” The first guy looked really annoyed. …

COMMENTARY: School Principal: The Most Difficult CEO Job in the Nation

Schools all over the nation are struggling to modify their strategies to meet the Common Core demands regarding critical thinking and problem solving. They must also find ways to teach 21st Century workplace skills, enhance students’ social and emotional development, and, of course, build their character so they become responsible and productive citizens. Oh, they must also be sure to create an …

Responsibility - he made you

COMMENTARY: God’s Plan to Heal the World: “He Made You”

Revised 8/8/15 It’s almost impossible to find a responsible adult who is happy with the moral state of the world. And it’s even harder if you are attentive to the daily news. In addition to the reports of natural disasters and spreading disease, reports of the shortcomings of prominent people whose behavior attracts  the media is distressing As Lily Tomlin …


This is NOT the Way the Story is Going To End.

Don’t ever forget, as bad as things may feel, as gloomy as the future looks, at any given moment… You have the POWER to say, “This is not the way the story is going to END.”

COMMENTARY: Justin’s Introduction to Candor

When my son Justin was in high school, I went to an open house to meet his teachers. I was taken aback when one teacher casually mentioned that she had disciplined my son for cheating on a homework assignment. I asked my son why he hadn’t told me about this incident. “You didn’t ask,” he said. To say the least, …



“Be ASSERTIVE, but not abrasive Be BOLD, but not reckless Be CANDID, but not cruel Be CAUTIOUS, but not timid Be CONFIDENT, but not conceited Be PROUD, but not vain Be STEADFAST, but not stubborn.” – Michael Josephson

COMMENTARY: Eighteen Random Rules of Life

I love maxims, those concise capsules of worldly wisdom. I collect them and write them and, of course, love to share them. Here are 18 random rules of life worth posting on your mirror or, better yet, using as dinner-time discussion starters. Find the lesson in every failure and you’ll never fail. The likelihood that you’re right is not increased …


Before You Do This, Do That.

“Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you criticize, wait. Before you quit, try. Before you retire, save. Before you die, give.” – William Arthur Ward

COMMENTARY: Parents Are Teachers First

When John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach, referred to the last game he “ever taught,” he was asked about this phrasing. He said simply that a coach is first and foremost a teacher who should not only improve his players’ athletic skills, but also help them become better people. And he was a superb teacher whose lasting influence is reflected …


Be Flexible.

“A wise man adapts himself to circumstances as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it.” – Chinese Proverb


An Open Mind.

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.” – Frank Zappa

COMMENTARY: Trust Is More Important Than Truth

A study titled “Parenting by Lying” reveals that most parents lie to their children, even though they tell their kids lying is wrong. The parents surveyed said they didn’t feel guilty because their lies were intended to accomplish legitimate parental goals such as getting a child to stop crying or protecting a child from feeling bad or sad. Reviewing the …


Deferred Dreams.

“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” – Langston Hughes “Harlem”


To Have Lived Well.

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


Understanding Life

“Sometimes you have to talk with a two-year-old just understand life again.” – Patricia Love


Live Backwards.

“If you want to know how to live your life, think about what you want people to say about you after you die, and then live backwards.” – Michael Josephson

Caring - relentlessly generous

Be Relentlessly Generous

“Be relentlessly generous in your judgments and actions. Give others the benefit of the doubt and stop being so hard on yourself.” – Michael Josephson

COMMENTARY: The Parable of Brother Leo

An old legend tells of a monastery in France well-known throughout Europe because of the extraordinary leadership of a man known only as Brother Leo. Several monks began a pilgrimage to visit Brother Leo to learn from him. Almost immediately the monks began to bicker over who should do various chores. On the third day they met another monk who …

Change - if no change no butterfly FB

Change Happens

If things never changed, there would be no butterflies. Change happens whether you want it or not, so embrace it and make the best of it.

Character - choice

The Content of Your Character is Your Choice

The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think and what you do is who you become. “Your integrity is your destiny; it is the light that guides your way.” – Heraclitus (Greek philosopher 535-465 B.C.)


Years ago I heard a story of a dad named Paul who gave his young son a small chalkboard to practice writing on. One evening his son called out from the bedroom, “Dad, how do you spell best?” Paul answered him. Moments later, the boy hollered, “How do you spell kid?” Finally he asked, “How do you spell ever?” When …



“One man with courage is a majority.” – Andrew Jackson  

Accountability - what you don't know

Responsible Vigilance

“Responsible vigilance is a potent risk management strategy. What you don’t know CAN hurt you. What you don’t do WILL hurt you. What you try to cover-up WILL KILL YOU.” – Michael Josephson

COMMENTARY: The Blue Stone and the White Lie

This story is about a truth-versus-caring ethical dilemma I once had. I think I did the right thing but I keep wondering if there was a better way. I was putting my two-year-old to bed when Abrielle, who was four, came screaming down the hall in a panic. Samara, the five-and-a-half-year-old, was right behind her equally terrified. “I swallowed a …

Change world FB

People of Character

People of character to do the right think even if no one else does, not because they think it will change the world but because they refuse to be changed by the world.” – Michael Josephson  

COMMENTARY: Advice About Teens

Here are three suggestions for the parents of young teens, all learned through my own mistakes: First, remember, with emerging demands for independence, worries about peer acceptance, pressures of school and extra-curricular activities and a continuous search for self-identity, adolescents are on a physical and emotional roller coaster. Like every generation before them (including yours), young teens are often arrogant …

Choices - makes your life


The choices you make in life will make your life.” – Michael Josephson  

Choices Rationalizations - rat race

The Rat Race

The problem with participating in the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.” – Lily Tomlin Rationalizations world like an anesthetic to the conscience. They don’t’ change the moral content of our choices, they simply prevent us from feeling guilty about them.