COMMENTARY 807.2: Christmas — Christianity’s Gift to the World

As a Jew married to a Catholic, my fondness and reverence for Christmas includes, but goes beyond, recognition of its enormous religious significance. I view Christmas as the gift of Christians to the world – a day dedicated to transcendent values like love, compassion, and charity, as both moral obligations and a source of joy. In 1905, Henry Van Dyke …

COMMENTARY 800.4: Eight Laws of Leadership

Take a look around. Business, education, politics. If there’s one thing we don’t have enough of, it’s good leaders – men and women who have the vision and the ability to change things for the better. Former Air Force General William Cohen wrote a fine book called The Stuff of Heroes in which he identified eight laws of leadership. Here …

COMMENTARY 798.2: The Nature of Character

Abraham Lincoln was very concerned with character, but he also was aware of the importance of having a good reputation. He explained the difference this way: “Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” Put another way, your reputation is what people think of …

COMMENTARY 781.1: Enough is Enough

What does it take to make you happy? How much do you have to have to be grateful? To the barefoot man, happiness is a pair of old shoes. To the man with old shoes, it’s a pair of new shoes. To the man with new shoes, it’s more stylish shoes. And, of course, the fellow with no feet would …

COMMENTARY 776.1: Avoiding Temptations

When my daughter Samara was four she pointed to a delicate glass vase and asked, “What’s that?” “It’s very special,” I answered. “It was my mother’s. I would really feel bad if it ever got broken, so please be careful to never, never touch it.” Without a moment’s hesitation she said, “Then you should never, never put it where I …

I Choose to Live 744.2

Michael was always upbeat. Some found his relentless good moods annoying, but attempts to mock or belittle his cheerfulness were just more fuel for his good nature. Once he explained to a friend how he did it. “Every morning I look in the mirror and say good morning to myself. I see a note on the mirror that says ‘Choose,’ …

Are You Wiser Today Than You Were Yesterday? 743.4

Do you think you’re any wiser today than you were five years ago? Do you think you’ll be wiser still in another five years? I hope the answer to both questions is an emphatic “yes.” One of the benefits of growing older is getting better. And we get better by learning. I’m not just talking about new facts like how …

God Will Provide

Bart’s home was in a flood area. The water was a foot high when a rescue truck offered to help him evacuate. Bart refused saying, “God will provide.” When the levee broke he had to climb onto the roof. A man in a row boat came by and urged him to get aboard but again Bart refused, “God will provide.” …