The Case for Endless Gratitude

This is a video you should watch regularly – perhaps once a month — really!  It introduces a perspective on gratitude that can enrich your life. TED presentation by Louie Schwartzberg – Gratitude and Beauty

COMMENTARY: Ask What Can You Do for Your Country

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy, invoked my generation to “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” We are fortunate to live in a free and democratic society where millions of civilians and soldiers serve their fellow citizens.Today is Veteran’s Day and the weekend provided the nation a special …

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 …

NINE-ELEVEN VIDEOS

[embedyt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AW8puRqE4Sc[/embedyt] [embedyt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZwqMS4wnu8[/embedyt]    

COMMENTARY: 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 …

COMMENTARY: 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 …

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 …

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. …

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 …

[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.

Historical Context for What is Going on in Ferguson and New York City: The Kerner Report

The summers of 1964-1967 were marked by civil disorders, rioting and looting in African-American neighborhoods of major cities including Los Angeles (Watts Riot of 1965), Chicago (Division Street Riots of 1966), Newark (1967 Newark riots) and Detroit (1967 Detroit Riots) In all, these disorders resulted in millions of dollars of damage[1] and the loss of 83 lives. In response, President Lyndon Johnson …

VIDEO: Teen knows what he wants to be when he grows up. He wants to be happy.

Everyone knows that young people need role models. But what is amazing and uplifting is how many incredible kid role models there are. This video is a must-see, especially for educators — not only because the topic of this 13-year-old boy’s message is about education, but because of his message about happiness. What a great reminder to never underestimate young …

Memo From Michael: Nelson Mandela’s Inspiring Example

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” — Nelson Mandela, at Walter Sisulu’s 90th birthday celebration, Johannesburg, May 18, 2002 I am impressed and deeply moved by the universal wall-to-wall coverage of …

Sneak Peek at Results of Educators’ Survey

(updated 12/4/13) Almost 4,500 educators (including 2426 teachers, 616 principals, 411 school counselors, 225 superintendents,  and 79 school board members)  have already taken the new Josephson Institute survey on the state of education in America. (If you haven’t already, please take the survey here and please share this link https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JIEducatorSurvey on Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere to encourage others to take it as well — the …

MEMO From Michael: Sneak Peek – Some Surprising Preliminary Results of Our Educators’ Survey

(Updated 11/26/13) Nearly 4500 educators (76 Board members, 225 superintendents, 616 principals, 2414 teachers and 406 school counselors) have already taken the new Josephson Institute survey on the state of education in America. (If you haven’t already, please take the survey here and please share this link https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JIEducatorSurvey on Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere to encourage others to take it as well — …

MEMO From Michael: 9/11, Colombia, New Survey on Education

Thoughts on September 11 Re-experiencing the 9/11 attacks is always a traumatic experience for me. I’ve posted several videos I think you will find worth your time. One cannot think about this shocking proof of our vulnerability without some anxiety and deep sorrow for the loss of life and of our innocent naiveté about our safety. Two images are etched …