Posts

Tuesday; October 15

As we read through the news these days there are a lot of opinions, but one fact is for certain – honesty has taken a hit.  Whether it is in the national debate or in the simple world of interpersonal relationships we are struggling with telling the truth.  There are times the truth is sacrificed for political or financial gain, then there are other times it is avoided to spare the feelings of our friends, family and neighbors.  Either way, we are tempted to either overtly lie or cover up the truth with a “fib”; but the fact is that honesty is not always the premier policy. While the ability to tell the truth should be simple, it doesn’t always work that way.  So, how can we be more truthful?  Here are a few suggestions: 1.  Know the truth before speaking.  There are some people who blatantly lie about things, but often truth is sacrificed at the expense of speculation or innuendo.  Before we make a comment, let’s know the facts. 2.  Filter our responses before speaking.  There are times…

Monday; October 14

Christopher Columbus is one of the more controversial people of our time.  For some, he is an international hero who opened up trade routes between Europe and the rest of the world.  To others, especially our Native American friends and neighbors, he has come to symbolize violence and greed.  Either way – love him or hate him – he was instrumental in changing the world. I am not here to debate the good or the bad of Columbus, rather to make a comment about vision and a willingness to pursue it.  Columbus’ request for funding was not simple nor were his voyages easy, but he had a vision for what he wanted to accomplish and the drive to make it happen.  Some might question his motives, but his commitment is evident. What do we want to do in life?  Have we even thought about the impact we want to have?  And, if so, have we developed the fortitude to make it happen?  Some people never dream ... others dream but never try ... yet the ones who leave a legacy are those who combine thought with…

Friday; October 11

Last week, the Washington Post published an article entitled, “If the president is doing it ...’:How Trump took swearing mainstream”.The article sets out to make a couple of points.The first one is to explain the rationale media outlets are using to justify publishing words that just a few years ago would have been considered unpublishable.Modern media seems to have made the decision to publish “naughty words” if they are attributable to the president and national or international leaders.To back up their claims they point out that our nation’s leaders have brought swearing out of the dark and are allowing it to be heard and seen in the light of day.Another issue broached was which came first:leaders bringing these words out in to the public or the changing mores that allowed these phrases to become publicly acceptable?Today’s modern politicians are not the first ones to have potty-mouths, but they seem to be less restrained and more quoted. Over the last few months there has been a pu…

Thursday; October 10

While there are certain professions that tend to breed negativity, just about any environment can become toxic.  Whether it is an office, family, church or classroom; unless we are committed to keeping a positive attitude things can become negative in a hurry.  Few of us want to be involved in something like this, but what can we do (especially if we are leaders) to help keep things positive?  Here are a few principles: 1.  Empathy – When we practice and promote the ability to see things from another person’s perspective we will be able create a culture of mutual respect.  When people feel understood, they are more apt to be satisfied with their environment and the people around them. 2.  Encouragement – People will respond well to those who make it a point to keep them uplifted.  When we (sincerely) praise people’s efforts and celebrate their successes there will be less jealousy and selfishness.  No, it isn’t about false praise or manipulation, it’s about helping everyone feel good ab…

Wednesday; October 9

Our youngest child turned thirty last week so I really don’t remember much about the thought-process of our having children.I know that Jeane and I discussed it and, since we have two children, we must have thought it was a good idea, but beyond that I don’t recall the essence of the discussion.Now, the reason for this reflection is a passage of Scripture that I came across the other day, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.” (James 3:1).You might be wondering what this verse (about teachers) has to do with parenting – and I would have agreed with you until a few days ago – but as I thought about this passage I got to thinking about the most basic form of teaching:parenting.Parenting isn’t just about bringing a child into the world, it is about preparing them to be successful in the world.Creating another human being is rooted in an understanding of science, but raising a child comes from the art of teaching them th…

Tuesday; October 8

Charles Lindbergh was a rock start even before there was Rock and Roll!  When he traversed the Atlantic Ocean between New York and Paris in 1927 he became a national hero and an international star.  To be able to accomplish this feat Lindbergh had to be forward-thinking and living on the edge, so I was a bit surprised when I read this quote, “More and more, as civilization develops, we find the primitive to be essential to us. We root into the primitive as a tree roots into the earth. If we cut off the roots, we lose the sap without which we can't progress or even survive. I don't believe our civilization can continue very long out of contact with the primitive.”.  I am not exactly sure of the context of the statement but it seems to be out of character for a man who pushed the envelope to advocate ties to the origins – or does it? Too often, in the interest of promoting progress, we neglect to look back at the basics of our existence.  It almost seems like we are so focused on…

Monday; October 7

Typically, we do a good job of teaching religious people of the need to help out those in need.  We teach Bible stories like the Parable of the Good Samaritan and quote scriptures such as, “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (James 1:27).   No, we aren’t all where we should be, but when it comes to taking care of people in need, we do a pretty good job.  Now, having said that, I would like to take a look at the other side of this issue.  You see, we have done a good job about teaching people about helping others, but have we failed to talk to people who need help?  The other day I was asked to return a call to someone looking for assistance.  I told them that I could not immediately give them what they wanted and was in the process of suggesting a meeting with them to visit about their situation when they immediately hung up on me.  Add this to the number of…