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“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.”

“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 People who value their character above their comfort do not lead an easier life; they lead a better life. They pay a price when they choose …

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Making Your Parents Proud

“I decided in my life that I would do nothing that did not reflect positively on my father’s life.” – Sidney Poitier

COMMENTARY: Authentic Apologies

“I’m sorry.” These are powerful words. Authentic apologies can work like a healing ointment on old wounds, dissolve bitter grudges, and repair damaged relationships. They encourage both parties to let go of toxic emotions like anger and guilt and provide a fresh foundation of mutual respect. But authentic apologies involve much more than words expressing sorrow; they require accountability, remorse, …

COMMENTARY: A Manager’s Dilemma: Dealing With Misbehaving Top Performers

Managers prove themselves to be leaders when they do what is right, even when it costs more than they want to pay, because they understand that the cost of losing credibility and moral authority outweighs the benefits of expedient compromise. Just as the best athletes on a team often expect and get special treatment when it comes to violating rules …

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Enjoy and be grateful for the little things in life because one day you will look back and realize they are the big things.

USING PHOTOS TO RE-EXPERIENCE THE BIG LITTLE THINGS. The greatest value of personal photos is the way they preserve the precious moments of daily living. They capture events and experiences we once though worthy of documenting . Yet, like the memory stored somewhere in our brains, these recorded images usually disappear into a forgotten past. Photos trigger memories and remembering …

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Empathy as a Customer Service Strategy

Is there opportunity in times of emotional turmoil? Starbuck’s CEO Howard Schultz things so. Or maybe he really wants to use his company and its 190,000 employees as a source of a kinder gentler society. What do you think? “Today’s financial market volatility, combined with great political uncertainty both at home and abroad, will undoubtedly have an effect on consumer …

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Heartbreaking Break-Ups. No Matter How Bad it Feels Your Heart Really Isn’t Broken.Don’t worry. You may think you’ll never get over it. But you also thought it would last forever.” Taylor Swift Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Grieve, get over it, move on.

“Don’t worry. You may think you’ll never get over it. But you also thought it would last forever.” Taylor Swift Our hearts are much more durable than we can imagine. Still the pain can be terrible and make us believe that we will never love again or even feel again. Unless you insist on

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Life is short. Smile as often as you can – then keep smiling.

“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” Mother Teresa. CHARACTER COUNTS! (www.charactercounts.org) focuses on creating a positive school climate where children are both physically and emotionally safe, where they feel they are accepted and valued and where they feel they belong. One of the most effective ways …

COMMENTARY: Good Decisions Start With a Stop

More often than we like, most of us face choices that can have serious and lasting impact on our lives. Do we go along with the crowd? Do we tell someone off, quit a job, or end a relationship? Unfortunately, these decisions are not preceded by a drum roll warning us that the stakes are high. Even worse, we often …

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“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the boughs of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrows shake from your heart, far better things will take their place.” ~ Rumi

“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the boughs of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever …

COMMENTARY: The Difference Between a Child’s Purse and a Dollar Bill

When Molly found a child’s plastic purse with three quarters inside, she chanted, “Finders keepers, losers weepers.” But her mom said the right thing to do was to return it to the person who lost it, and they went to the Lost and Found office. A week later, Molly found a dollar bill on a table. “We’ve got to go …

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 …

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: What I Want My Daughter to Get Out of Sports

Several years ago, when my daughter Carissa was about to enter her first gymnastics competition, I wrote her a letter expressing my hopes and goals for her athletic experience. Here’s a revised version: My Dearest Carissa, I know you’ve worked hard to prepare yourself to compete, and I know how much you want to win. That’s a good goal. You …

COMMENTARY: The Beginning of Positive Thinking

I am a strong believer in the power of positive thinking, which is the title of a best-selling book published in 1952 by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, a controversial preacher and pastor who popularized the idea that if you can change your attitude, you can change your life. He urged people to consciously train themselves to be optimistic and enthusiastic, …

COMMENTARY: Emotional Resilience

Despite romanticized myths about the gloriously carefree teenage years, adolescence has always been an emotional battlefield where young people must fight their way through insecurity, depression and anger. For many teens, classrooms, playgrounds and hallways are hostile environments where name-calling, malicious gossip, taunting, and physical bullying regularly threaten their emotional and physical well-being Technology has not made kids meaner but …

COMMENTARY: Not Everyone in Need Has a Brick

A successful man known for his philanthropy was driving his new car through a poor part of town. He’d driven the route hundreds of times before on his way home. A young boy tried to flag him down. The man was in a hurry and didn’t want to get involved, so he pretended he didn’t see him. The traffic signal turned red, though. As he slowed for it, he heard …

COMMENTARY: If You Were Arrested for Kindness

If you were arrested for kindness, would there be enough evidence to convict you? Some people cheer up a room by entering it, others by leaving it. What do you bring to your interactions with workmates, friends, and family? Is it encouragement, optimism, or kind words? Or is it pessimism, criticism, or cynicism? People often forget what we say and …

COMMENTARY: Rebuilding Your Life and Reputation

Larry wrote me the following letter: “I’ve been a small businessman for almost 23 years in a business where people lie, cheat, and steal. I’m sorry to say I became one of them. In the short term it may have helped, but long term it came back to haunt me. There’s no amount of success that’s worth it. I am …

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Michael Invited to the White House for the Highly Anticipated President’s TF21 Briefing on 21st Century Policing

Michael Josephson Invited to the White House for the Highly Anticipated ‘President’s TF21 Briefing on 21st Century Policing’ In December 2014, President Obama launched the Task Force on 21st Century Policing to study approaches to strengthen law enforcement and community relations while at the same time enhancing public safety. That Task Force issued a report which developed a series of concrete and …

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: If It’s Broken, Try to Fix It

Former President Jimmy Carter was 70 years old when he wrote this poem about his father: This is a pain I mostly hide, But ties of blood or seed endure. And even now I feel inside The hunger for his outstretched hand. A man’s embrace to take me in, The need for just a word of praise. Isn’t it extraordinary …

COMMENTARY: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

R – E – S – P – E – C – T. Aretha Franklin reminded us how it’s spelled, but a lot of us need coaching on how to show it. In both personal and political relationships the failure to treat each other with respect is generating incivility, contempt and violence. There’s an important distinction between respecting a person …

Perseverance - flower out of dry soil

NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR QUEST FOR A GOOD LIFE

Just as a beautiful flower can emerge out dry and desolate soil, joy and fulfillment can emerge out of the rubble of disappointment, grief and even tragedy.  Stay positive and persevere believing the best is yet to come! I know this is easier said than done. It takes great strength