COMMENTARY 988.1: Saying the Right Thing

When someone you care about is suffering greatly, what’s the right thing to say to make him or her feel better? There are all sorts of traumas that can send us to the darkest dungeons of despair – the death of a loved one, being raped, getting a divorce, losing a limb, seeing a child sent to jail or on …

COMMENTARY 987.5: The One-Minute Graduation Speech

I’ve given lots of commencement addresses and, despite the silly hat, it’s a head-swelling experience to tell a captive crowd how they should live their lives. The problem is, speakers are to graduations what turkeys are to Thanksgiving, except people are much more interested in a turkey on a platter than a turkey behind a podium. What we need is …

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MEMORIAL DAY: Best Ever Quotations for Memorial Day

Best Ever Quotations for Memorial Day The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem. ~ Aaron Kilbourn And I’m proud to be an American,/ where at least I know I’m free. /And I won’t forget the men who died,/ who gave that right to me. ~ Lee Greenwood They are dead; but they live in each Patriot’s breast, And their …

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Commencement Speeches: The Best Of

Sheryl Sandberg at UC Berkeley Steve Jobs at Stanford University: John F. Kennedy at American University: J.K. Rowling at Harvard University: Ellen DeGeneres at Tulane University: Conan O’Brien at Dartmouth College: Oprah at Spellman College: Denzel Washington University of Pennsylvania:

COMMENTARY 985.1: Making Lives

A few years ago I came across a video by a very dynamic speaker, a former middle school teacher named Taylor Mali. He is now what’s called a performance poet — someone who delivers poetry as singers deliver songs. The poem that caught my attention was “What Do I Make?” an articulate and aggressive response to a critic who was putting down teachers. …

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COMMENTARY 975.4: A Parent’s Love for the Family Treasure

There are all kinds of love. The passionate romantic love immortalized and often fantasized by poets and novelists; Platonic love among friends, the love of humanity preached by missionaries and ministers, the love of country, and even the love of our work. I’ve been fortunate to have experienced all of these forms but none has impressed me more than the deep, enduring …

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COMMENTARY 972.3: Acts of Kindness and Two Sets of Proud Parents

I received an email with a story worth sharing. Only the names have been changed to preserve privacy. Doug is the proud and loving father of Emma, a high school junior who takes a leadership class responsible for putting on dances and other student events. All student body officers must take the class, but a number of other kids like …

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COMMENTARY 969.1: Remembering the Civil Rights Movement

I grew up in the 1960’s and remember the tumultuous times in which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., made his historic mark on American society. Dr. King was always one of my heroes. So I was delighted a few years ago when I was asked to deliver an address about his legacy. I wasn’t ready, however, for the range and depth of …

COMMENTARY 965.1: Keeping Christmas

Whether you are a Christian or not, Henry Van Dyke‘s concept of “Keeping Christmas,” written in 1905, is worth reading and following: It is a good thing to observe Christmas day. The mere making of times and seasons when men agree to stop work and make merry together, is a wise and wholesome custom. It helps one to feel the …

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A Personal Note from Michael

As I celebrate my 73rd revolution around the sun (December 10) I am immensely grateful, not only to still be alive, but because the Josephson Institute and its CHARACTER COUNTS!  program have emerged from our most challenging year ever poised to reach new levels of impact on the character of our kids and the ethical quality of the country. There …

COMMENTARY 959.2: Converting Pessimists Into Optimists

Every full life has its bright days and its dark days, its triumphs and defeats, its calm and stormy seas. All these high and low experiences could justify viewing the past through the lens of gratitude or disappointment. And the way we characterize our history will determine whether we look toward our future with hopeful expectations or anxious trepidation. Scientists …

COMMENTARY 948.2: Competition in the Arts

Competition often brings out the best performance but it doesn’t always bring out the best in people. Even in the arts, actors, singers, dancers, and musicians must survive and thrive in a competitive community as rude and rough as any. Ambitious parents often introduce toxic gamesmanship and back-biting attitudes very early as their children are judged and ranked by the …

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9-11 – THE DUTY TO REMEMBER AND TEACH

Nine-Eleven. Two Numbers which took on new meaning on September 11, 2001. Since then, these numbers together have become a phrase that will forever be a prominent turning point event in American history.There is a natural tendency to repress painful lessons and the grief we experienced, yet we must not forget or fail to educate our children about what we …

COMMENTARY 946.2: The Ultimate Solution to Bullying in Schools: A Student-Led Culture of Kindness

Olivia Gardner was a sixth grader in Northern California when her life began to unravel. It started when she suffered an epileptic seizure in front of her classmates. Immediately, the name-calling began. The hallway insults and ridicule — “freak,” “retard,” “weirdo” — escalated into cyber-bullying when a few particularly nasty students set up an “Olivia Haters” website. One student dragged …

[VIDEO] Michael Josephson Interviewed on L.A.’s NBC News

In this interview with NBC4’s Conan Nolan, Michael Josephson looks back at 2014. Among the issues discussed: torture and the CIA, Bill Cosby, Ferguson and the NFL. As always, we welcome your response. Please post a comment below.

CHRISTMAS & CHRISTMAS SPIRIT: Greatest Quotations on Christmas and the Christmas Spirit – compiled by Michael Josephson

We are glad you visited us to find this selection quotes on mothers and motherhood. The Josephson Institute is a nonprofit organization devoted to increasing the ethical quality of individual and personal decision making.  I hope you’ll browse our other entries and subscribe to our What Will Matter blog at www.whatwillmatter.com (it’s free) and/or our What Will Matter Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WhatWillMatter?ref=hl. I …

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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 …

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THERE IS NO SUCCESS WITHOUT ACTION

If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place. – Nora Roberts THERE IS NO SUCCESS WITHOUT ACTION.  

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How to live your life

See commentary at http://whatwillmatter.com/2013/11/commentary-798-1-live-backwards/

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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 …