COMMENTARY: Needing Approval More Than Advice

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No matter what Gary did, it was never enough to please his father. When he got seven A’s and three B’s, his dad asked about the B’s. When he described the wonderful girl he’d fallen in love with, he got a lecture cautioning that she may be different than he thought. He thought he had a great relationship with his … Read More

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COMMENTARY: Needing Approval More Than Advice

COMMENTARY: We Are What We Think

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In the early 1900’s, a little-known philosopher named James Allen wrote a powerful essay called “As a Man Thinketh” in which he argued that we are what we think, that a person’s character is the sum of his thoughts. He declared that the power to control our thoughts (whether we use that power or not) is the ability to mold … Read More

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COMMENTARY: We Are What We Think

COMMENTARY: Favorite Quips

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As a break from heavy thoughts about heavy matters,  I’d like to share with you a list of some of my favorite quips collected over the years. I don’t know the original sources of these one-liners, but they definitely weren’t from me. 1)       If women can have PMS, then men can have ESPN. 2)       If quitters never win and winners … Read More

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COMMENTARY: Favorite Quips

COMMENTARY: The Values Our Kids Learn From Others

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Blessed with the opportunities and obligations of raising four young daughters, my wife Anne and I are profoundly aware of the importance of instilling good values that will help them become capable, honorable and happy adults. I think we’re doing a pretty good job, but we know that isn’t enough. Frankly, we’re worried about the values and character of your … Read More

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COMMENTARY: The Values Our Kids Learn From Others

COMMENTARY: Moral Courage — The Engine of Integrity

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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 … Read More

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COMMENTARY: Moral Courage — The Engine of Integrity

COMMENTARY: The Power of Kindness

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I’ve mentioned before that, despite my great admiration for people who are instinctively and consistently kind, kindness does not come naturally to me. Yet the older I get, the more I agree with Abraham Heschel, who said, “When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.” Henry James was more emphatic when … Read More

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COMMENTARY: The Power of Kindness

COMMENTARY: The Peculiar Concept of “Ethics Laws”

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Cynicism about the ethics of elected officials may be at an all-time high, continually fueled by new stories of outright corruption or bad judgment. At every level of government there are politicians who can’t seem to recognize or resist conflicts of interest, inappropriate gifts, improper use of the power or property entrusted to them, or the discrediting impact of shameful … Read More

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COMMENTARY: The Peculiar Concept of “Ethics Laws”

COMMENTARY: The Truth About Trust and Lies

Honesty may not always pay, but lying always costs. Reputation, trust and credibility are assets no organization can afford to lose and the surest way to lose them is to lie. Building trust is like building a tower, stone by stone. But no matter how high or strong the tower seems, if you remove a stone from the bottom the … Read More

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COMMENTARY: The Truth About Trust and Lies

COMMENTARY: A Dad Sending His Daughter Off to College

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I want to share a slightly edited portion of a letter my friend Scott Raecker wrote to his daughter Emily on sending her off to college: My Dear Emily, My life changed the day we found out that you were on your way. From that moment forward, you have been on my mind and heart – every day. I vividly … Read More

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COMMENTARY: A Dad Sending His Daughter Off to College

COMMENTARY: Give and Receive as if It’s the Thought That Counts

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According to legend, a desert wanderer discovered a spring of cool, crystal-clear water. It tasted so good, he filled a leather container with the precious liquid so he could bring it to the king. After a long journey, he presented his gift to the king, who drank it with great pleasure and lavishly thanked the wanderer, who went away with … Read More

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COMMENTARY: Give and Receive as if It’s the Thought That Counts