WORTH READING: The Truth About Money and Happiness

From Tejvan Pettinger at PickTheBrain.com: It is an oft repeated axiom that money cannot buy happiness. While this is certainly true, poverty will not buy happiness either. Some people become very wealthy, yet struggle to enjoy their lives. On the other hand, others manage to go through life with very few money problems simply because they are able to make …

COMMENTARY: Unkind Words Are Weapons 752.2

With four teenage daughters, I frequently find myself correcting, disciplining, or simply protesting unnecessary and unkind comments certain to anger or wound a sister and evoke counterattacks that fill the air with nastiness. Hoping to get them to think before they speak in the future, I often ask, “What did you expect to accomplish by that remark?” and “Did it …

COMMENTARY: A Parent’s Love for the Family Treasure 751.4

There are all kinds of love. The passionate romantic love immortalized and often fantasized by poets and novelists; Platonic love among friends, the love of humanity preached by missionaries and ministers, the love of country, and even the love of our work. I’ve been fortunate to have experienced all of these forms but none has impressed me more than the deep, enduring …

COMMENTARY: Moral Courage – The Engine of Integrity 751.3

Mignon McLaughlin tells us, “People are made of flesh and blood and a miracle fiber called courage.” Courage comes in two forms: physical courage and moral courage. Physical courage is demonstrated by acts of bravery where personal harm is risked to protect others or preserve cherished principles. It’s the kind of courage that wins medals and monuments.Moral courage may seem less …

OBSERVATION: Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, “I’ll try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

The Roman philosopher Seneca said, “Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” Life rarely demands grand acts of valor where we put our lives on the line for a principle or person we love,  but it often demands  the strength and fortitude to do what we are afraid to do, to do what we don’t want

WORTH READING: THE ASPEN DECLARATION. In July 1992, the Josephson Institute of Ethics hosted a summit in Aspen, Colorado bringing together ethicists, educators and youth-service professionals to identify shared ethical values that could be the foundation of character education programs. The result was the Aspen Declaration, the seminal document for the CHARACTER COUNTS! movement which presently engages about 7 million children and families worldwide. (click to see the Declaration)

Click to see 12′ x 25′ mural by Nadi Spencer at Monson Sultana School in Tulare County, CA

COMMENTARY: Who Am I to Judge? – The Ethics of Moral Judgments 751.1

Almost every week someone indignantly attacks my integrity because I offended them with a real or perceived opinion they didn’t like. The underlying assumption is that stating an opinion on any controversial matter violates the sacred duty of neutrality. First, I’m a teacher and a commentator, not a judge or journalist. Although I strive mightily to be objective, I don’t …

OBSERVATION: The precept ‘Judge not that ye be not judged’…is an abdication of moral responsibility. It is a moral blank check one gives to others in exchange for a moral blank check one expects for oneself. – Ayn Rand

When I graduated law school in 1967 it was popular to rail against people who made moral judgments. We called finger wagging moralists presuming to judge people and life styles as right or wrong “moral imperialists” and adopted, instead, a form of ethical relativism implying that there was no true universal right or wrong, just equally valid or invalid opinions. After all, we …

Thank You: Gratitude on Thanksgiving

Please accept my heartfelt wish that you and all those you love have a very happy and rewarding Thanksgiving holiday and please accept my sincere gratitude to you. Your willingness to read and consider my thoughts and occasionally share them with others is a gift of immeasurable value. I treasure this opportunity to be part of your life in this …