Thoughts on better parenting, teaching, management, and leadership

What Will Matter - poem by Michael Josephson
This blog gets its name from Michael's inspirational poem.
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Must Read Poster & Quote 2: 06-17-15

June 17, 2015 Commentaries

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. -Buddha

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Must Read Poster & Quote 1: 06-17-15

June 17, 2015 Commentaries

A man does what he must-in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures-and that is the basis of all human morality. -Winston Churchill

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 936.4: The Commencement Curse

COMMENTARY 936.4: The Commencement Curse

June 17, 2015 Commentaries

Millions of teenagers across the land are about to leave the womb of high school for a world full of new freedoms and responsibilities. Although many have been waiting for this event for a long time, eager to get on with their lives as liberated adults, the thought of leaving behind friends and familiar places […]

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Must Read Quote & Poster 2: 6-16-15

June 16, 2015 Commentaries

We need the iron qualities that go with true manhood. We need the positive virtues of resolution, of courage, of indomitable will, of power to do without shrinking the rough work that must always be done.

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 936.3: We Expect More of Adults

COMMENTARY 936.3: We Expect More of Adults

June 16, 2015 Commentaries

Although 11-year-old Mark wasn’t much of an athlete, his dad urged him to play youth baseball. Mark liked to play, but he was hurt by the remarks of teammates and spectators whenever he struck out or dropped a ball. Just before the fourth game of the season, Mark told his dad he didn’t want to […]

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Must Read Quote & Poster 1: 06-16-15

June 16, 2015 Commentaries

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. Ralph Waldo Emerson 

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Must Read Quote & Poster 2: 06-15-15

June 15, 2015 Commentaries

Your life does not get better by chancel it gets better by change. Jim Rohn  

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Must Read Quote & Poster 1: 6-15-15

June 15, 2015 Commentaries

You will never know how strong you are or how strong you can be until you lose something you really care about. Adversity will bring out the best or worst in you. Be ready – Be strong – Be better

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 936.2: Refuse to Be Afraid

COMMENTARY 936.2: Refuse to Be Afraid

June 15, 2015 Caring, Compassion

Tim Wrightman, a former All-American UCLA football player, tells a story about how, as a rookie lineman in the National Football League, he was up against the legendary pass rusher Lawrence Taylor. Taylor was not only physically powerful and uncommonly quick but a master at verbal intimidation. Looking young Tim in the eye, he said, […]

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Poster Quote: Sometimes you have to talk with a 2 year old- just to understand life again. –Patricia Love

June 12, 2015 Commentaries
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COMMENTARY936.1: A Short-Haired Role Model

June 12, 2015 Commentaries

A popular way to encourage charitable donations is to invoke people to “give till it hurts.” Mrs. Rosario Rivera, an elementary school teacher in Puerto Rico, takes a very different approach, urging her students to “give until it feels good.” Mrs. Rivera teaches English at the José Ramón Rodriguez Elementary School in the town of […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 935.5: The One-Minute Graduation Speech

COMMENTARY 935.5: The One-Minute Graduation Speech

June 11, 2015 Commentaries

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 […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 935.4: Keep Your Fork

COMMENTARY 935.4: Keep Your Fork

June 10, 2015 Choices

When a pessimist is told there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, he’s likely to assume it’s an onrushing train. According to journalist Sydney Harris, “A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past; he’s prematurely disappointed in the future.” Pessimism and cynicism are fashionable these days, but it’s […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 935.3: Appreciating a Parent’s Love

COMMENTARY 935.3: Appreciating a Parent’s Love

June 9, 2015 Gratitude

While window-shopping in New York City, I saw an old gold watch that reminded me of one my father gave me when I graduated from college. It had been engraved with the simple inscription “Love, Dad.” But it was stolen during a burglary years ago, and I hadn’t thought much of it or the inscription […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 935.2: Saying the Right Thing

COMMENTARY 935.2: Saying the Right Thing

June 8, 2015 Caring, Compassion

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 […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 935.1: There’s No Such Thing as Business Ethics

COMMENTARY 935.1: There’s No Such Thing as Business Ethics

June 5, 2015 Commentaries

Some years ago, a senior executive at a Fortune 100 company objected when I asserted that corporations have an ethical, as well as a legal obligation to keep promises and honor their contracts. He said that the decision to live up to or ignore contractual commitments is a business decision, not an ethical one. The […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 934.5: Teach or Punish, That Is the Question

COMMENTARY 934.5: Teach or Punish, That Is the Question

June 4, 2015 Commentaries

As Greg paces the floor, waiting for his 17-year-old daughter Sandy to return from a school event, he feels two conflicting emotions: fear and anger. Fear that something terrible has happened to her. Anger because he thinks his fear is probably unfounded and Sandy is not hurt, simply irresponsible. Finally, Sandy calls. She’s all right. […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 934.4: Self-Control

COMMENTARY 934.4: Self-Control

June 3, 2015 Commentaries

A frazzled mother with a fussy child caught the eye of a grocery store manager. He overheard her say, “Lily, you can do this. We just have to get a few things.” Moments later, when the child became more upset, the mother said calmly, “It’s okay, Lily. We’re almost done.” When the child became hysterical […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 934.3: Noah’s Term Paper

COMMENTARY 934.3: Noah’s Term Paper

June 2, 2015 Choices

Noah really needed an ‘A’ on a term paper.  His friend Jason tells him that lots of kids “recycle” papers they don’t write and offers to give him a paper his older brother got an ‘A’ on three years ago. When Noah asked his for advice, his father hoped his son wouldn’t cheat but he […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 934.2: “I Didn’t Want the Janitor to Lose His Job”

COMMENTARY 934.2: “I Didn’t Want the Janitor to Lose His Job”

June 1, 2015 Commentaries

The primary responsibility for instilling good values and building character is with parents. This doesn’t mean, however, that teachers and coaches don’t have a critically important role. The unfortunate fact is that far too many kids are raised in morally impoverished settings that foster lying, cheating, and violence. If we don’t give these children moral […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 934.1: A Call for More Civility

COMMENTARY 934.1: A Call for More Civility

May 29, 2015 Commentaries

When George Washington was 16, he discovered a booklet of 110 maxims describing how a well-mannered person should behave. He was so convinced that these maxims would help him become a better person that he set out to incorporate them into his daily living. Among Washington’s many virtues, his commitment to civility marked him as a […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 933.5: Memorial Day, a Day of Remembrance

COMMENTARY 933.5: Memorial Day, a Day of Remembrance

May 28, 2015 Commentaries

It’s not just an excuse for a three-day weekend or a day for barbecue and beer. Memorial Day is a time for Americans to connect with our national history and core values by honoring those who gave their lives fighting for this country. It’s said that this special day to salute fallen Americans was born […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 933.4: Slow Dance

COMMENTARY 933.4: Slow Dance

May 27, 2015 Caring, Compassion

I once heard the chairman and CEO of a huge public company tell a roomful of ambitious, hardworking, dedicated executives that if he had to do it all over again, he would have spent more time with his family. That’s not news, but to Type-A personalities, it’s easier said than done. David L. Weatherford’s poem […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 933.3: Bridge Builder

COMMENTARY 933.3: Bridge Builder

May 26, 2015 Caring, Compassion

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” In a world increasingly dominated by unapologetic selfishness, this idea may seem quaint and outdated. Yet, for those who have a grand vision of their purpose and value, striving to be of service is not only a […]

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POSTER & QUOTE: For the many men and women who gave so much, be thankful.

May 25, 2015 Gratitude

Please take Memorial Day seriously. Find a moment to genuinely pause and reflect on the sacrifice of others to keep our country free.  

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QUOTE & POSTER: Memorial Day Thank You

May 25, 2015 Gratitude

Thank you for your dedication, your duty, your unwavering loyalty and most importantly your unbelievable sacrifice. Americans have the freedom to be Americans because of you. There are many ways to serve. None is more significant or worthy of appreciation than sacrificing personal comforts and gain to serve in the military. Remember, we have this […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 933.1: Making Lives

COMMENTARY 933.1: Making Lives

May 22, 2015 Commentaries

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 […]

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COMMENTARY 932.5: Do I Have to Tell Everything?

May 21, 2015 Commentaries

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, […]

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