Fight for Inspiration

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London

COMMENTARY: Good Ethics Make Better Relationships

While I believe that good things tend to happen to people who consistently choose the high road, the correlation between ethics and success is a loose one at best. Thus, it’s pretty hard to sincerely promote ethics by appeals to self-interest. What’s more, when self-interest is the controlling justification for moral behavior, moral reasoning is replaced by a pragmatic cost-benefit …


The Purpose of Life

“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

COMMENTARY: Will, Fern, and the Power of Encouragement

Two frogs named Will and Fern fell into a deep pit together. At first, they thought it would be easy to jump out. But after lots of failed attempts they cried for help and a crowd of animals gathered around the pit. Everyone agreed it was hopeless so they urged Will and Fern to accept their fate. The harder the …


What Are You Doing?

“Doing what you must is duty Doing what you should is virtue Doing what you can is service Doing what you are afraid of is courage Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness.” – Author Unknown

COMMENTARY: Everyday Ethics: What You Do in the Grocery Store

You can tell a lot about people’s character by how they act at the grocery store. I remember being in a crowded store when there was a shortage of shopping carts. A prosperous-looking fellow was pushing a cart when another man stopped him. “Excuse me,” the second man said, “but this is my cart.” The first guy looked really annoyed. …


What Will Matter

“What will matter in the end is not what you bought but what you built; not what you got but what you gave; not what you learned but what you taught. What will matter is not your competence but your character.” – Michael Josephson Get a free printable pdf of the poem at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_n_XyBBF7beNlZnd2NraVowSWs/view


Keep Moving Forward

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Perseverance - yellow flower sunlight

COMMENTARY: Can Prolonging Life Be a Mistake? Who Are You to Judge?

Revised 8/8/15 I once heard a story about an emergency medical technician I’ll call Jake who was summoned to help an unconscious woman. When he arrived, she had no pulse. From her color and dilated eyes, he could tell she’d suffered serious brain damage. Still, he did his job exceptionally well, trying over and over to restart her heart. She …


Think About Solutions

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James Don’t dwell on negative thoughts that cause stress. Think about solutions.

COMMENTARY: School Principal: The Most Difficult CEO Job in the Nation

Schools all over the nation are struggling to modify their strategies to meet the Common Core demands regarding critical thinking and problem solving. They must also find ways to teach 21st Century workplace skills, enhance students’ social and emotional development, and, of course, build their character so they become responsible and productive citizens. Oh, they must also be sure to create an …


Big Difference

There’s a big difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.


Be the Best You Can Be

“Be ASSERTIVE, but not abrasive. Be BOLD, but not reckless. Be CANDID, but not cruel. Be CAUTIOUS, but not timid. Be CONFIDENT, but not conceited. Be PROUD, but not vain. Be STEADFAST, but not stubborn.” – Michael Josephson


Being Alone Without Being Lonely

“If you want to be happy, learn to be alone without being lonely. Learn that being alone does not mean being unhappy. The world is full of plenty of interesting and enjoyable things to learn, things to do, and people who can enrich your life.” – Michael Josephson


In the Business for Fun or Profit

“If you don’t do it excellently, don’t do it at all. Because if it’s no excellent, it won’t be profitable or fun. And if you’re not in business for fun or profit, what the hell are you doing there?” – Robert Townsend


Against the Wind

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” – Henry Ford


We Are Responsible For What We Are

“We each decide whether to make ourselves learned or ignorant, compassionate or cruel, generous or miserly. No one forces us. No one decides for us. We are responsible for what we are.” – Moses Maimonides

Responsibility - he made you

COMMENTARY: God’s Plan to Heal the World: “He Made You”

Revised 8/8/15 It’s almost impossible to find a responsible adult who is happy with the moral state of the world. And it’s even harder if you are attentive to the daily news. In addition to the reports of natural disasters and spreading disease, reports of the shortcomings of prominent people whose behavior attracts  the media is distressing As Lily Tomlin …


The Need for Balance

To live and enjoy a good life, find a healthy balance between wanting more and appreciating enough. Realize that what you have is worthy of gratitude and appreciation, even as you strive for more. It’s both a strength and weakness of human nature that we’re never satisfied for long. Whatever we have, wherever we are, most of us want more …


This is NOT the Way the Story is Going To End.

Don’t ever forget, as bad as things may feel, as gloomy as the future looks, at any given moment… You have the POWER to say, “This is not the way the story is going to END.”

COMMENTARY: Justin’s Introduction to Candor

When my son Justin was in high school, I went to an open house to meet his teachers. I was taken aback when one teacher casually mentioned that she had disciplined my son for cheating on a homework assignment. I asked my son why he hadn’t told me about this incident. “You didn’t ask,” he said. To say the least, …



“Be ASSERTIVE, but not abrasive Be BOLD, but not reckless Be CANDID, but not cruel Be CAUTIOUS, but not timid Be CONFIDENT, but not conceited Be PROUD, but not vain Be STEADFAST, but not stubborn.” – Michael Josephson

COMMENTARY: Eighteen Random Rules of 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 you’re right is not increased …


Before You Do This, Do That.

“Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you criticize, wait. Before you quit, try. Before you retire, save. Before you die, give.” – William Arthur Ward

COMMENTARY: Parents Are Teachers First

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 whose lasting influence is reflected …


Be Flexible.

“A wise man adapts himself to circumstances as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it.” – Chinese Proverb


An Open Mind.

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.” – Frank Zappa