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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COMMENTARY 916.5: The Disease of Low Expectations

January 29, 2015 Commentaries

http://media.blubrry.com/whatwillmatter/p/whatwillmatter.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/CC-052411-DiseaseOfLowExpectations.mp3 The serious damage done to our economy, social institutions, and personal relationships by widespread cheating and dishonesty is bad enough. But widespread acceptance of such behavior as inevitable threatens to make our future a lot worse. In effect, our culture is being infected by a disease: the disease of low expectations. The disease is […]

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Poster: Nothing that makes someone feel bad is good.

January 28, 2015 Commentaries
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COMMENTARY 916.4: How Much Are You Willing to Pay for Money?

January 28, 2015 Commentaries

http://media.blubrry.com/whatwillmatter/p/whatwillmatter.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/CC-052611-HowMuchPayForMoney.mp3 Disdain for money is a common theme among moralists and philosophers. But money’s not the problem. It’s what people do to get it and what they do with it when they get it. In Fiddler on the Roof, a poor man sings of his daydreams of the wonderful life he’d have if he were […]

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Freindship teddy bears_46242442

COMMENTARY 916.3: Changing Lives Through Love

January 27, 2015 Caring, Compassion

Imagine being put in charge of a residential camp for delinquent teenage girls confined because they are considered dangerous. Many have serious mental health issues, impulse control problems, and an awful lot of anger. One of the last terms you’d apply to any of these girls is lovable. So when Pauline Starks and her colleague […]

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COMMENTARY 916.2: Finding God in the Park

January 26, 2015 Caring, Compassion

Abe was fiercely independent, even at age 85, but after a mild stroke his son insisted he move in with him. Abe missed going to the park near his old apartment, and one Saturday he set out to find it. When he became disoriented, he asked a young boy named Timmy where the park was. […]

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COMMENTARY 916.1: INFLATEGATE – Cheating in the NFL – to care or not to care, that is the question.

January 23, 2015 Commentaries

So, are you worked up about the boiling controversy over under-inflated footballs? Do you care that there seems to be cheating in the NFL. Big deal or trivial? It’s all is a matter of perspective. For example, several months ago ago, it was confirmed that the U.S., in the pursuit of terrorist information, has and […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 915.5: The Treasure of Old Friends

COMMENTARY 915.5: The Treasure of Old Friends

January 22, 2015 Commentaries

http://media.blubrry.com/whatwillmatter/p/whatwillmatter.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/CC-010313The-Treasure-of-Old-Friends.mp3 In my lifetime, I’ve had the good fortune of having a handful of good friends. Each of my four teenage daughters have many hundreds. At least that’s what they call every Facebook connection they collect like trophies. The list of those kinds of friends includes people they barely know, some they don’t know at […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 915.4: Some of the Things I’ve Learned

COMMENTARY 915.4: Some of the Things I’ve Learned

January 21, 2015 Commentaries

http://media.blubrry.com/whatwillmatter/p/whatwillmatter.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/CC-122612Some-of-the-Things-Ive-Learned.mp3 I hope the new year is off to a good start for you, and that you are confident that 2015 will be full of opportunities and challenges that will bring you pleasure and fulfillment. It’s traditional to start the New Year with resolutions designed to help us live healthier, happier, and more rewarding lives. But […]

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COMMENTARY 915.3: Happiness Is More Than Fun and Pleasure

January 20, 2015 Commentaries

http://media.blubrry.com/whatwillmatter/p/whatwillmatter.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/CC-092309-Happiness-Is-More-Than-Pleasure.mp3 Ask young people why they get high on drugs or alcohol or seek sex without intimacy or commitment and they’re likely to tell you it’s fun and they just want to be happy. It’s tempting to envy the life of fun-loving “party animals,” “playboys,” and “good-time girls” until one thinks about how they feel about […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 915.2: The Wisdom and Philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

COMMENTARY 915.2: The Wisdom and Philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 19, 2015 Commentaries

For a man who never reached the age of 40, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., left a powerful and important body of thought. He was a preacher and orator, so rather than writing in the form of books or treatises, Dr. King spoke to the world in sermons and speeches and a few articles. His […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 915.1: Remembering the Civil Rights Movement

COMMENTARY 915.1: Remembering the Civil Rights Movement

January 16, 2015 Commentaries

http://media.blubrry.com/whatwillmatter/p/whatwillmatter.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/WWM-011312Remembering-the-Civil-Rights-Movement.mp3 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, […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 914.5: The Seven Cs of Character

COMMENTARY 914.5: The Seven Cs of Character

January 15, 2015 Commentaries

As you consider your goals for the New Year, I hope you’ll think about working on your character. No, you’re not too old and I don’t mean to imply you’re a bad person. As I’ve said often, “you don’t have to be sick to get better.” In fact, it’s a lot easier to make a […]

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COMMENTARY 914.4: So, What Makes Us Happy?

January 14, 2015 Commentaries

http://media.blubrry.com/whatwillmatter/p/whatwillmatter.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/CC-071112So-WhatMakesUsHappy.mp3 There is an ever-growing body of knowledge about the nature and causes of happiness. For one thing, it’s clear that happiness is a feeling, not a circumstance. Happiness is more than just fun or pleasure. It’s a more durable sense of well being. Our happiness depends not on what happens to us, but what […]

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COMMENTARY 914.3: Don’t Miss the Chance

January 13, 2015 Commentaries

http://media.blubrry.com/whatwillmatter/p/whatwillmatter.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/CC-101512DontMisstheChance.mp3 A listener got me thinking about the challenge of dealing with aging parents who become more and more needy and the conflicts one is bound to feel. It motivated me to write this poem: Don’t Miss the Chance They said I was lucky my mom lived near, But she was pretty old and it […]

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COMMENTARY 914.2: Doctoring With a Heart

January 12, 2015 Caring, Compassion

http://media.blubrry.com/whatwillmatter/p/whatwillmatter.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/CC-101212DoctoringWithAHeart.mp3 When you visit a medical specialist, an emergency room, or a patient in the hospital, are you ever struck by a sense that many doctors are so focused on the scientific aspects of diagnosis and treatment of illness or injury that they ignore, maybe even become annoyed by, things like pain, fear, or anxiety? […]

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COMMENTARY 914.1: Leading by Inspiration

January 9, 2015 Commentaries

http://media.blubrry.com/whatwillmatter/p/whatwillmatter.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/CC-062612LeadingInspiration.mp3 Why are negative management practices so prevalent? They include yelling, cursing, insults (sometimes masked in sarcasm or masquerading as jokes), criticizing subordinates in front of others, threatening demotion or termination, and talking to adults as if they were children. Why are so many managers oblivious to the demoralizing effect of focusing on weaknesses and […]

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Memo From Michael: A Quick Note From Paris

January 8, 2015 Memo From Michael

I haven’t posted in a while, as I have been focused on some important personal matters, including a sad and ugly lawsuit my family filed against the Archer School for Girls and its head of school, Elizabeth English. (Those interested in status see JosephsonvsArcher.com. My hope to reform the law and assure that private school administrators […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 913.5: Give Good Memories

COMMENTARY 913.5: Give Good Memories

January 8, 2015 Commentaries

http://media.blubrry.com/whatwillmatter/p/whatwillmatter.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/CC-120712GiveGoodMemories.mp3 In a society preoccupied with the quest for material possessions, it’s easy to overlook the fact that our most valuable possessions are our best memories. Good memories are a form of wealth. They are not simply something we own, they become part of who we are. Through our memories we can literally re-live and […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 913.4: Getting Through to Kids

COMMENTARY 913.4: Getting Through to Kids

January 7, 2015 Commentaries

http://media.blubrry.com/whatwillmatter/p/whatwillmatter.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/CC-121812GettingThruToKids.mp3 A listener wrote to say she was selecting some of her favorite commentaries to put into a notebook for her 12-year-old son. She said she was going to underline portions she thought were particularly pertinent. I love it whenever someone wants to share my thoughts, especially with children, but I’ve come to realize how […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 913.3: Pounding In and Pulling Out Nails

COMMENTARY 913.3: Pounding In and Pulling Out Nails

January 6, 2015 Attitude

http://media.blubrry.com/whatwillmatter/p/whatwillmatter.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/CC-121412PullingInAndOutNails.mp3 When my daughter was confronted with the fact that she had really hurt another child with a mean comment, she cried and immediately wanted to apologize. That was a good thing, but I wanted her to know an apology can’t always make things better. So I told her the parable of Will, a nine-year-old […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 913.2: What I Believe

COMMENTARY 913.2: What I Believe

January 5, 2015 Attitude

http://media.blubrry.com/whatwillmatter/p/whatwillmatter.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/CC-121212-WhatIBelieve.mp3 Here’s a portion of my personal list of beliefs that you may want to pass on: I believe I’m a work-in-progress, and there will always be a gap between who I am and who I want to be. I believe every day brings opportunities to learn and do something meaningful. I believe the true […]

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COMMENTARY 913.1: One Way to Change Your Life – Change Your Expectations

January 2, 2015 Choices

Einstein said it’s a form of insanity to keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result. So, if you want something different, do something different, or change your expectations, or both. In my own life, I’ve found that adjusting my expectations has made a big difference in my ability to […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 912.5: Making Resolutions of Principle

COMMENTARY 912.5: Making Resolutions of Principle

January 1, 2015 Commentaries

The tradition of making New Year’s Resolutions reflects one the very best qualities of human nature – the ability to reflect on and assess our lives in terms of the goals we set for ourselves and the principles we believe in. It’s still not too late to formulate a self-improvement plan to make our outer […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 912.4: Make 2015 the Best Year Ever

COMMENTARY 912.4: Make 2015 the Best Year Ever

December 31, 2014 Commentaries

http://media.blubrry.com/whatwillmatter/p/whatwillmatter.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/CC-122812_YourBestYearSoFar.mp3 I hope the past year will go down in your book of life as one filled with great pleasures and grand memories. But whether the year was good, bad, or indifferent, I hope you’ll enter the new year wiser and stronger for your experiences, and optimistic that the best is yet to come. A […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 912.3: Launching the New Year with a Commitment to be Self-Consciously Reflective

COMMENTARY 912.3: Launching the New Year with a Commitment to be Self-Consciously Reflective

December 30, 2014 Commentaries

http://media.blubrry.com/whatwillmatter/p/whatwillmatter.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/CC-122712_Self-ConsciousReflectiveness1.mp3 Expanding on the theme that the best way to improve your life and have an exceptionally successful and fulfilling New Year is to increase your wisdom and optimism, I urge you not to just skim this essay but to take some serious reflection time to answer these questions: What did you learn last year […]

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

December 29, 2014 Character

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.

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 912.2: If You Can’t Say Anything Nice

COMMENTARY 912.2: If You Can’t Say Anything Nice

December 29, 2014 Caring, Compassion

http://media.blubrry.com/whatwillmatter/p/whatwillmatter.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/CC-121012-IfYouCantSayAnythingNice.mp3 Tragic stories and new data on the prevalence and harmfulness of bullying have made us all more sensitive to the ways our words can hurt others – merciless criticism, nasty sarcasm, hurtful nicknames, malicious rumors, and careless gossip. In Words That Hurt, Words That Heal, Joseph Telushkin writes about the moral implications of what […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 912.1: The Make-Up Test

COMMENTARY 912.1: The Make-Up Test

December 26, 2014 Choices

http://media.blubrry.com/whatwillmatter/p/whatwillmatter.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/CC-121112-MakeUpTest.mp3 Chad and his three friends were college seniors and doing well in their classes. Even though the final physics exam was on Monday, Chad persuaded his buddies to take a weekend trip several hundred miles away. He told his worried friends they could study in the car, during the trip, and when they got […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 911.5: Keeping Christmas

COMMENTARY 911.5: Keeping Christmas

December 25, 2014 Caring, Compassion

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 […]

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Thumbnail image for COMMENTARY 911.4: The Missing Baby Jesus

COMMENTARY 911.4: The Missing Baby Jesus

December 24, 2014 Caring, Compassion

In a lovely essay*, Jean Gietzen wrote about a family experience in 1943. It was just before Christmas in North Dakota and her family had just bought a nativity set with small figurines. But Jean’s mother was deeply disturbed to discover the set included an extra Baby Jesus. “Go back to the store,” she instructed, “and […]

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