Character - 7 Cs

COMMENTARY 968.4: The Seven Cs of Character

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 good person better than a …

Happiness - always under construction

COMMENTARY 968.3: So, What Makes Us Happy?

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 happens in us. In other words, …

giving love. victor hugo

COMMENTARY 968.2: Doctoring With a Heart

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? In her book Medicine as Ministry, …

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People of character …

People of character do the right thing even if no one is looking. People of character do the right thing even if it costs more than they want to pay. 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 …

COMMENTARY 967.5: Give Good Memories

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 re-experience past pleasures. So, if you …

COMMENTARY 967.4: Getting Through to Kids

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 difficult it can be to successfully …

COMMENTARY 967.3: Pounding In and Pulling Out Nails

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 whose father abandoned his mom two …

COMMENTARY 967.2: What I Believe

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 test of my character is whether …

COMMENTARY 967.1: One Way to Change Your Life – Change Your Expectations

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 enjoy my life. Unmet expectations …

COMMENTARY 966.5: Making Resolutions of Principle

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 lives and inner selves better …

COMMENTARY 966.4: The Cowboy Code

I grew up in much simpler times. Television was in its infancy, and the idea of a hero was exemplified by a white-hatted cowboy. There was a clarity and simplicity to this hero’s moral code that left no doubt there is a right and wrong. As I became more sophisticated, it was easy to ridicule these simplistic approaches to ethics …

COMMENTARY 966.3: If You Can’t Say Anything Nice

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 we say. He points out that …

COMMENTARY 966.2: The Make-Up Test

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 back Sunday night. Instead, the boys …