August 17th, 2019
What do we think when we pass a homeless person begging for money? Do you judge and ignore, or does their situation sink in as you are on your way to a meeting or a museum?
How do we feel when a person of another race is a victim of a hate crime, or killed by a police officer for unjustifiable reasons – and does it sink in if you’re white?
What is the meaning of a woman being discriminated against trying to get a job, or raped as she serves in the military, and does it sink in if you’re a man?
Empathy is one of humanity’s highest aspirations. Truly, it is the fount of kinship; it is the better part of our mottled souls; it is the mother of kindness; it is the foundry of care; it is the wellspring of goodness; it is the origin of forgiveness. Read More
August 1st, 2019
Robert Mueller is reputed to be an upstanding American who exemplifies duty, courage, wisdom, justice, and honor. Last week, Mueller testified in front of two House committees, the Judiciary and the Intelligence Committees. I have been mulling over some thoughts and feelings I have had since that deeply disappointing day. I wanted to examine the behavior and the values evidenced by Mueller, asking whether he was demented, cowardly, or extremely unwise. I will attempt to validate the eminence of values such as duty, courage, wisdom, justice, and honor, though Mueller seemed to come up short in every category on that fateful day. Read More
March 14th, 2019
I have incredible respect for “old-school” honor and integrity. I fear that it is either American decadence or simply a low point we are experiencing since 2000 that accounts for why people feel that their word doesn’t mean much, that they needn’t put in the effort required to be a person of high character and live a life that is totally in integrity. This is my lamentation lately! I am really let down today, emotionally. Am I being too hard on everyone I have ever met, or are honor and integrity too much to expect from people? Read More
November 9th, 2018
I miss Ronald Reagan. That is not something that I say often. But as of this writing, the 2018 midterm elections just occurred, the Russia probe of Trump is about to drop, and the majority of Republicans remaining in Congress are extremists. There was a kind of class about that old coot Reagan, and it’s sorely missing now in the Commander in Chief. Character is all-important in everyone, but especially in the American President, a position that has increased in importance beyond the Founders’ intentions, and one that is of great power and influence. Read More
October 4th, 2018
Eleanor and Gilbert Kraus are very likely two of the greatest unsung heroes in American history – at least, in Jewish history. I watched a documentary about their courageous acts (in 1939), which amounted to nothing less than a full-throated display of magnanimity and altruism. Here is their story. I will also include a selection of quotations about magnanimity by noted Holocaust survivors, human rights activists, altruism researchers, and stalwart exemplars of virtue and honor such as Elie Wiesel, Nelson Mandela, Anne Frank, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Viktor Frankl. Read More
August 15th, 2018
Originally published as “Where Do Your Values Lie?” in the book Living a Life of Value (2006), I thought a slight adaptation of the title would be wise. I think about the values of a good law enforcement officer quite a bit, writing in the areas of social justice, social criticism, and ethics. In this essay written by my friend, he reflects on a moral dilemma in the workplace. In so doing, he learns more about his values. I know he aspires to be a person of integrity on the job, and that is laudable since so many lives are affected by the many coworkers he trains and supervises. Read More
July 31st, 2018
This essay is fully titled: “Thinking Like Cathedral Builders: Outrageous Behavior, Freedom, and Hope” and is authored by John Abrams. It is one of the chapters in the book LIVING A LIFE OF VALUE. In this piece, Abrams, president and CEO of South Mountain Company, Inc. , a forty-year-old employee-owned design and building company located on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts and the author of THE COMPANY WE KEEP: Reinventing Small Business for Community, People, and Place (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2005) writes wonderfully. Read More
July 5th, 2018
Values is a neutral term; one could value relaxation, competition, humor, sexual conquest, helping others, or swindling them successfully (subterfuge and personal gain). It means what it sounds like it means – a value is something which a person holds in high regard, pursues, and even loves. Values tend to include hallmark ones such as truth, justice, humility, goodness, and kindness. In this blog, I explore the idea of moral values, asking what the term means, which values probably qualify as moral values, and how one implements them in one’s life. Read More
June 27th, 2018
What is meant by the phrase values of the wise? I admit, it isn’t as intuitive as a phrase such as the values held by wise people or even that which those who are wise find valuable. But that is what it is meant to convey. When I see a person who is careful, open, clever, developed, self-controlled, passionate, lighthearted, loving, and perceptive, I think: wise. Wisdom. This blog features twenty unique and incisive quotations which illustrate values. Not just any values: values of the wise. Read More
December 28th, 2017
In this blog, I would like to share a story that I think illustrates moral decision-making, self-confidence, willingness to risk, justice, sacrifice, and honor. When I was about 20, I faced a moral dilemma that was difficult, and not without costs. It stands today stands as one of the things I’m proud of about myself, though. In fact, anytime one prioritizes the principle of right, the choice to act morally, and the willingness to risk on behalf of the right and the good, one is really living well. It’s the stuff parables from Jesus or difficult dialogue with Socrates are about. It makes us the best we can be if we ask ourselves what are we prepared to do? and answer with courage and determination. Read More