COMMENTARY: Take Control of Your Life!

Our choices reveal our character, but more importantly they shape our character. Thus, the more aware we become of the choices we make every single day — choices about our attitudes, words, actions and reactions — the more power we have over our own destiny.

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 …

COMMENTARY 975.5: What Is Character?

Here’s a riddle: You can hardly ever find it anymore — especially in politics or business. Lots of schools don’t teach it anymore. We want more of it in our children and in all the adults who interact with them. We want it from our bosses and the people who fix our cars. And most of us believe we have …

COMMENTARY 973.2: Digging and Filling Holes

Charlie, a road crew supervisor for highway landscapers, came upon a pair of workers from one of his crews seemingly hard at work. He watched one fellow dig a hole while his partner waited a few minutes and then filled the hole. After a few repetitions Charlie demanded an explanation. The hole-filler was offended: “We’ve been doing this job for …

Bonus Commentary: THE SUPREME COURT CONTROVERSY: Hiding Our Own Hypocrisy by Pretending That Politics is All About Principle.

Has the political divide become so wide that it is an unbreakable chasm? If we do not re-learn the art of accommodation and compromise all we think we are preserving by our passion will be lost — all in the name of passionately held principles. Whether a President in his last year should nominate a replacement Supreme Court Justice and …

OUTBREAK OF RESPONSIBLE CITIZENSHIP. “All that is necessary to defeat evil is for good people to do something.”

Long ago Edmund Burke observed that “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.” Passive acceptance of evil is a serious social disease but there is an antidote called “doing something” and a glimmer of hope that this anti-toxin is spreading, leading to a new aphorism: “All that is necessary to defeat evil …

When credibility is important (and it always is), there are no little lies

No one should take any joy in seeing the undoing of a man’s  life by the bad judgment of telling what seems to be little lies. Most people, even good people, lie at least occasionally. Sometimes, as in Brian Williams case, it is a seemingly harmless embellishment or exaggeration of a story (“I caught a fish THIS BIG”). Sometimes it’s …

POSTER & QUOTE: Gandhi’s 7 Social Sins (English and Spanish)

The Seven Social Sins (Aqui esta en castellano) Wealth without work – Riqueza sin trabajo Pleasure without conscience – Placer sin conciencia. Knowledge without character – Conocimientos sin carácter Commerce without morality – Negocios sin moral Science without humanity – Ciencia sin amor a la humanidad Worship without sacrifice – Religiosidad sin sacrificio Politics without principle – Política sin principios …

The Efficacy and Morality of Brutal Interrogations and Use of Deadly Force

PAY ATTENTION! TAKE A POSITION! SPEAK UP! I believe we are at a moral crossroad. And we must think carefully before we decide which road to take. Since out founding the values of America were embodies in grand and lofty documents including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, especially the Preamble and the Bill of Rights.All of us who …

The road you take matters.

Where you go in life and whether you enjoy the trip will be determined by your choices, not your circumstances. In your work life and your personal life you will face choices not merely on what to do but on how you will react or respond to things other did. Life’s turning points are not marked and they are not …

You Can’t Lose by Relentlessly Pursuing Excellence

As I embark on a pilgrimage with my 65-year-old little brother to see the Baseball Hall of Fame, I am also frantically trying to complete a book on “The Exemplary Policing Organization.” As my two worlds collided, I got to thinking about what it means to be exemplary, to be one of the best ever at something — to be worthy of …

Eight Sentences That Changed the World: The Aspen Declaration

In July 1992, the nonprofit Josephson Institute of Ethics hosted a 3-day summit of prominent youth leaders, educators and character education scholars in Aspen, Colorado. The result was this declaration, which provided the guiding principles for the CHARACTER COUNTS! movement that currently reaches about 8 million young people. It is clear that the eight sentences making up the Declaration is as …

Observation about Character. It can be frustrating and even frightening to observe the success which sometimes comes to outlaws and rogues who seem to refute notions of universal justice. Every time we see a villain enjoying the fruits of dishonorable acts we find ourselves doubting the value of character and the validity of the virtues we have been taught. Thus, it takes character to believe in character, but that belief is always rewarded, often by material success, but always by the esteem it earns from those who matter. – Michael Josephson

OBSERVATION: If you were given a wish from an all powerful genie as to one attribute for your children what would you choose. There are lots of candidate’s: honor, intelligence, perseverance, common sense, integrity – I want my kids to have all of this. But if I really could bestow on them one attribute I think it would be optimism.

Optimism is the most powerful of the children of positivity (experiencing the world and expressing oneself in positive  terms). Its siblings: gratitude, enthusiasm, cheerfulness, hopefulness are other attitudes that not only improve the way we experience our lives, they set into motion actions and reactions that dramatically improve the likelihood of success as well as happiness. People react positively to …