Thoughts on better parenting, teaching, management, and leadership

What Will Matter - poem by Michael Josephson
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Character - Potter Stewart quote

OBSERVATION & QUOTE ON CHARACTER: “There is a big difference between what you have a right to do  and what is right to do. “- Justice Potter Stewart.

July 30, 2015 Character

How often do we hear someone defend against an action of wrongdoing by the claim that what they did was within the law? This defense may work n court but not at the gates of heaven. One has a right to do what is legal, that does not mean it is right to do it. […]

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01 self discipline

SELF-DISCIPLINE. Self Discipline is the Power to say No to yourself…

July 30, 2015 Commentaries

SELF-DISCIPLINE. Self Discipline is the Power to say No to yourself, to give up Something now so you will get Something you want even more later. Self discipline can also be called will power referring to the emotional muscles to delay gratification – like this dog and his biscuit – and resist temptations for a […]

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01 no success

If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it.

July 30, 2015 Commentaries

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 This is a variation of the Wayne Gretzky comment: “I miss 100% of the shots I don’t take.” Whether it […]

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01 teachers

Teachers affect all eternity. You never know where their influence stops.

July 30, 2015 Commentaries

Teachers affect all eternity. You never know where their influence stops.” – Henry Adams. The day to day tribulations of teaching, especially in often overcrowded and under-resourced public schools, can be so consuming that both the teachers and students forget the monumentally important impact they have on children. Often the impact goes unnoticed but it […]

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COMMENTARY 942.5: Eighteen Random Rules of Life

July 30, 2015 The Good Life

I love maxims, those concise capsules of worldly wisdom. I collect them and write them and, of course, love to share them. Here are 18 random rules of life worth posting on your mirror or, better yet, using as dinner-time discussion starters. Find the lesson in every failure and you’ll never fail. The likelihood that […]

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COMMENTARY 942.4 Four Exceptional Insights I Wish I Understood Long Ago

July 29, 2015 Commentaries

1) The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you a small favor wish that he might have done you a greater one. Russell Lynes. 2) People won’t remember everything you say or do but they always remember how you made them feel.- Maya Angelou 3) Feeling grateful and […]

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01 Blue Bloods

“Just because its permissible doesn’t make it proper. Nor does the fact that it’s legal make it ethical.” – Tom Selleck quoted MJ

July 29, 2015 Commentaries

Small Pleasures. Watching an old episode of Blue Bloods and Tom Selleck as Commissioner Reagan pronounced very solemnly:He was quoting me! Tom is a friend and was a JI Board member for 15 years and we had many joint appearances. I just wish he added: “There’s a big difference between what you have a right […]

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01 natural order

In the natural order of the world, suffering is random.

July 29, 2015 Commentaries

Bad things happen to good people just about as often as they happen to bad people. We have not been given a shield protecting us from misfortune, but there is within all of us, waiting to be discovered, the strength to deal with adversity, to overcome it, and learn from it so we can still […]

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01 judge ourselves

Ideas without action are like cars without engines.

July 29, 2015 Commentaries

Ideas without action are like cars without engines. ” We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. A different version I use a lot is: “We judge ourselves by our best attributes and most noble acts but we are judged […]

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COMMENTARY 942.3: Parents Are Teachers First

July 28, 2015 Parenting, Family

When John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach, referred to the last game he “ever taught,” he was asked about this phrasing. He said simply that a coach is first and foremost a teacher who should not only improve his players’ athletic skills, but also help them become better people. And he was a superb teacher […]

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01 hang on


July 27, 2015 Commentaries

WHEN THINGS GET TOUGH.YOU HAVE TO HAVE H.O.P.E.. Hang On, Pain Ends. Remember, pain is unavoidable but it’s not permanent. The sun will come out tomorrow; it comes out every single day even when we can’t see it. You have the strength you need to get through this. The light at the end of the […]

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Iran anti america.jpeg

OBSERVATION: Our U.S. negotiators probably got the best deal they could but given the stakes in the currently proposed Iran agreement, no deal is better than a bad deal.

July 27, 2015 Commentaries

I don’t usually state political opinions on this blog but I have and will when i think an issue is particularly important and there seems to be an interest in my opinion. Thus, I am “coming out” on my view of the current Iran agreement proposal knowing it will anger or disappoint some of you. […]

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COMMENTARY 942.2: Trust Is More Important Than Truth

July 27, 2015 Parenting, Family

A study titled “Parenting by Lying” reveals that most parents lie to their children, even though they tell their kids lying is wrong. The parents surveyed said they didn’t feel guilty because their lies were intended to accomplish legitimate parental goals such as getting a child to stop crying or protecting a child from feeling […]

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01 judging

We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

July 26, 2015 Commentaries
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01 personality

Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open. – Elmer G. Letterman

July 24, 2015 Commentaries
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COMMENTARY 942.1: The Parable of Brother Leo

July 24, 2015 Leadership

An old legend tells of a monastery in France well-known throughout Europe because of the extraordinary leadership of a man known only as Brother Leo. Several monks began a pilgrimage to visit Brother Leo to learn from him. Almost immediately the monks began to bicker over who should do various chores. On the third day […]

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Learning - mistakes stepping stones

QUOTE: Highly successful people often make more mistakes than those they surpass. They succeed because they learn from every mistake and turn them into stepping stones. — Michael Josephson

July 23, 2015 Quotes, Observations
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COMMENTARY 941.5 The Best Is Yet to Come … But Only if You Believe It

July 23, 2015 Quick Thoughts

If you are having a bad day . . . or week . . . or month . . . have a serious talk with yourself and decide what it will take to move on. Preoccupation with your problems, no matter how serious, compounds them and imprisons you in a dark dungeon. There is no […]

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Perseverance - greatest quotations

PERSEVERANCE & PERSISTENCE: Greatest Quotations on Perseverance and Persistence compiled by Michael Josephson

July 23, 2015 Quotes, Observations

 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 (it’s free) and/or our […]

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COMMENTARY 941.4: The Best Dad

July 22, 2015 Parenting, Family

Years ago I heard a story of a dad named Paul who gave his young son a small chalkboard to practice writing on. One evening his son called out from the bedroom, “Dad, how do you spell best?” Paul answered him. Moments later, the boy hollered, “How do you spell kid?” Finally he asked, “How […]

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01 lily tomlin

If you are tempted to justify unseemly and unethical behavior because “life is a rat race”, remember – even if you win, you’re still a rat.

July 21, 2015 Commentaries

(Michael Josephson based on observation of Lily Tomlin)

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COMMENTARY 941.3: The Blue Stone and the White Lie

July 21, 2015 Honesty

This story is about a truth-versus-caring ethical dilemma I once had. I think I did the right thing but I keep wondering if there was a better way. I was putting my two-year-old to bed when Abrielle, who was four, came screaming down the hall in a panic. Samara, the five-and-a-half-year-old, was right behind her […]

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COMMENTARY 941.2: Advice About Teens

July 20, 2015 Parenting, Family

Here are three suggestions for the parents of young teens, all learned through my own mistakes: First, remember, with emerging demands for independence, worries about peer acceptance, pressures of school and extra-curricular activities and a continuous search for self-identity, adolescents are on a physical and emotional roller coaster. Like every generation before them (including yours), […]

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01 kindness in kids

QUOTE: No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure. Emma Goldman

July 19, 2015 Commentaries
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01 compared to what

QUOTE: When I hear somebody sigh that ”Life is hard,” I am always tempted to ask, ”Compared to what?” ~ Sidney J. Harris

July 18, 2015 Commentaries
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COMMENTARY 941.1: Box Full of Love

July 17, 2015 Caring, Compassion

Todd was a sadly quiet eleven-year-old struggling to adjust to the death of his mother. His father left long ago and he was living with an aunt who made it known that she resented the responsibility. On several occasions, Sheryl, the boy’s teacher, heard the aunt tell Todd, “If it weren’t for my generosity you […]

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