COMMENTARY: Listening: A Vital Dimension of Respect

We demonstrate the virtue of respect for others by being courteous and civil and treating everyone in a manner that acknowledges and honors basic human dignity. An important but often neglected aspect of respect is listening to what others say. Respectful listening is more than hearing. It requires us to consider what’s being said. That’s hard when we’ve heard it …

COMMENTARY: Too Poor to Give

When Teresa, a widow with four young children, saw a notice that members of her church would gather to deliver presents and food to a needy family, she took $10 out of her savings jar and bought the ingredients to make three dozen cookies. She got to the church parking lot just in time to join a convoy going to …

Independence Day and Courage

We celebrate this year’s Fourth of July holiday at a time when millions of people in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, and Yemen are at various stages of their own struggle to replace dictators with some form of democracy. It’s a good reminder that the fight for liberty has always required courage. In our own case, 56 men we now …

COMMENTARY 984.5: Do I Have to Tell Everything?

Should a job applicant properly withhold information about a criminal record or termination from a previous job? Should a woman starting a new relationship say nothing about a previous marriage or abortion? These are problems of candor: When does an ethical person have a duty to reveal negative information about his or her past? First, let’s reinforce a basic premise: …

People of character …

People of character do the right thing even if no one is looking. People of character do the right thing even if it costs more than they want to pay. People of character do the right thing even if no one else does, not because they think it will change the world, but because they refuse to be changed by …

Do The Right Thing

People of character do the right thing 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

Gratitude Unlocks the Fullness of Life

  “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of your past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for …

CHARACTER: You Can Always Get Better

Everyone is ethical in their own eyes. Beware of self delusion when assessing your own character or the ethics of your organization. It’s a dangerous form of hubris to be certain that “I would never do that”  or “It can’t happen here.” It’s easier to make a good organization better than a bad organization good.   – Michael Josephson

COMMENTARY 832.1: Perfect Father’s Day Gift

When I was young, I idolized my father, judging him for his virtues. For most of the rest of my life, I criticized him, judging him for his faults. I always loved him, but I didn’t always appreciate him. I was so aware of his imperfections (surely, no worse than my own) that I greatly undervalued his good qualities and …

QUOTE: Most of us will misplace our trust and experience the pain of disappoinment and betrayal. At these times we must have the courage and confidence to find someone else and trust again because without trust there is no intimacy and without intimacy there is only loneliness. Don’t let bad experiences cause you to stop searching for and having good ones. Someone who says, “Ill never trust again” may as well be saying “I will never love again.” And if you are unwilling to love, you lose one of the main reasons to live. Michael Josephson