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Character, Courage, Conscience
05/13/2010
IconRecently, I was walking from my kitchen to my office and passed by my TV, which was tuned to Fox News.' The anchors were promoting an upcoming story that I didn't stick around long enough to watch, but one which I want to comment on nonetheless.' They showed three pictures from a bank security video camera where a guy (who wasn't wearing a mask, and who may or may not have been carrying a weapon) was robbing the bank.'' Behind him was an older, larger man who had a very relaxed expression on his face - almost as though he wasn't aware that anything was happening.The next frame showed the robber turning to leave.' The third frame showed the large man "bear-hugging" this robber from behind - while still maintaining a totally relaxed expression on his face!The caption underneath proclaimed the bear-hugging guy to be a hero.Yes, he was.' He caught the bad guy.' But what struck me is that he waited calmly and then just acted - behavior which is very typical of hero-types.' They do what they do without agonizing over it, without mulling over their fears and potential losses.' They simply do the right thing.Jews for all times call the Christians and their families who risked torture and death in order to rescue Jews during World War II "righteous Gentiles," and hold them in supreme respect.' I have watched documentaries where righteous Gentiles explain why they did what they did when it was a potential death sentence.' To the one, they all said the same thing:"IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO."' It's how they were brought up.Heroes are so "matter of fact" about their extraordinary actions that they don't even categorize what they have done as "heroic" and it's not false modesty.' It's just that it was, for them, simply the right thing to do. More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCourageValues
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05/13/2010
IconOn Monday, I wrote about the event in Massachusetts that you've all heard about by now.' Several South Hadley, Massachusetts high school students are being tried on felony charges for the harassment of a high school freshman which led to her suicide.' It was worse than harassment - it was persecution, both physical and mental, and in the full view of other students and teachers.' No one did anything to stop them, not even fellow students.' Disgusting, really.What I want you parents to do is to teach your children to stand between evil and the innocent , even if they risk being ostracized or worse.' It is only when people stop just standing by that evil will be squelched.'My son came home from middle school one day to say he was in trouble because he was in a fight.' I asked what happened.' He told me that some kid was picking on another kid and it got physical.' I asked him what happened then?' He said that he got into it with the bully.' I asked him who won.' He looked down at his shoes and muttered "I did."I gave him high fives, made his favorite dinner, and sent my husband in to the school the next day to make it clear to the principal that we expected the bully (and not our son) to be punished.' I sent my husband, because he is more laid back than I (if you get my drift).We can have a million court cases and school suspensions. But it is only when parents teach their children to intervene that these bullies will be brought to their knees. They count on the cowardice of your children for their freedom to torment.' Tell your children to band together if necessary and do the right thing. More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceChildrenEducationFamily/Relationships - TeensMental HealthParentingSchoolSocial IssuesSuicideTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconThere is a precedent-setting action being taken by the District Attorney in South Hadley, Massachusetts.' A high school freshman, Phoebe Prince, new in town from Ireland, was harassed by a pack of older teens.' This was school bullying taken to the extreme:' she was subject to threats and physical abuse, and unfortunately, this young girl hanged herself when she could no longer tolerate the terror.Criminal charges ranging from statutory rape to stalking and civil rights violations have been filed against the teenagers (two boys and four girls).Unfortunately, the criminal charges stop there.' I would add that teachers, the principal and the administration should be subject to criminal charges as well or a civil lawsuit, because the bullying was common knowledge for months, and the girl's mother twice complained to school staffers.' Some bullying was even witnessed by teachers.' It's time to rise up and counter this vicious free-for-all going on in our schools.Where do the kids get the gall to do this?' From everything around them!'Watch "reality" television.' It's all about being mean and out of control.' Even American Idol has so-called "judges" who insult people on national television.' Watch music videos and listen to mean/hostile lyrics with out-of-control sexually aggressive scenes.' What happened to the heartsick love songs of the 1950s?Watch television or listen to most radio with people shouting angrily at each other, accusing each other of racism and such simply for having a different opinion or point of view.' Dominating people by humiliation is what we do for entertainment in our society.' "Lord of the Flies"-type behavior from our children should not be a surprise.' What is a surprise is that adults and parents stand by, afraid of their own children and handcuffed by political correctness, where vile behavior now becomes protected speech.'That whole town of South Hadley, Massachusetts should be ashamed.' Phoebe's parents should have taken her out of that school the same way I tell parents in step-families to leave with their children when the spouse or the spouse's children become abusive.' The school should have thrown those brats out on their ears, worrying later about whether or not their parents would sue.If you're thinking "Well, no one could know that she would kill herself," you should know that according to one source, "one of the girls posted on Phoebe's Facebook page right after her suicide:' 'Accomplished.'"They tormented her to death on purpose.This is our next generation? More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceEducationFamily/Relationships - TeensMental HealthSchoolSocial IssuesSuicideTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconHave you ever had the experience of trying not to think of something?' Like when you're trying to go to sleep and something upsetting keeps coming to mind?' You may attempt to squeeze it out of your mind, but it seems to come back with a vengeance.'What you learn about your mind is that when you try to shove something into a dark closet, your mind feels compelled to peek into that closet again and again to see if it's still there.'Everybody has memories from the past they'd rather not remember.Everybody has annoying, upsetting, or threatening events going on in their everyday lives.Everybody is bothered by thoughts they'd rather not have.Instead of pushing them away, invite them in and deal with them.Some callers have told me that after a year or two of marriage, they think about an old high school flame, and they wonder if this is an "omen" that they've married the wrong person.' No, of course not."Courting" is fun; marriage has obligations, responsibilities and challenges.' Even the things we love can feel overwhelming.' Fantasies and thoughts and dreams about someone else are brain "vacations," taking you to a time when you had no worries.' Invite those thoughts in and examine them:' "Let's see...if I married John instead of my husband Steve, hmmm...gee, I'd miss Steve's smile and hugs, his manly chest, his tenderness with the kids, and eventually John would have probably ticked me off too in some silly ways."Once you've done that, it is no longer an obsession.' The vacation is over, and a greater appreciation of what you do have takes its place.Don't fight the thoughts.' Invite them in and talk to them.' Take control, and they will leave on their own. More >>

Tags: BehaviorCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceEat Less-Move MoreexerciseGratitudeMarriagePersonal ResponsibilityValues
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Tags: AttitudeBehaviorCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceMorals, Ethics, ValuesMotivationValues
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Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceFamily/Relationships - TeensTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconA recent "non-study" purported to conclude that Botoxing the muscles between your eyeballs keeps you from frowning which feeds back to keep you from feeling bad, down, or negative.In other words, if you can't frown, you can't be unhappy!This is so stupid that it makes me wonder if the Botox industry paid this guy to come out with this as a means of changing the view of Botox from "cosmetic" to "injectable" psychotherapy.You wanna be happy for the rest of your life?' Well, you can do that even if all your "emotion" muscles work, and even if you are not particularly attractive.' Anyone walking around in a deliriously joyful stupor just because they got a little plastic surgery is unbelievably superficial to start out with.'A few times a year, I get my frown lines Botoxed, simply because I furrow that line deeper and deeper when I think or concentrate.' It gives the impression to others that I'm frowning, when I'm perfectly content with the universe.' Besides, a furrow that deep takes a lot of makeup to fill in that crevice, so I think of it as a cost-cutting measure too (kidding)!Right now, I'm writing this as I see the sun popping up from behind a mountain.' I am swept away by the majesty of this scene, and grateful that I am alive another day to experience this sunrise. That makes me happy.'' Being happy is mostly about what you choose to take in and what you're willing to give out.'Forget stupid studies about frown lines....they're meaningless against the beauty of a sunrise. More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceDepressionMental HealthValues
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05/13/2010
IconI've said it many times before:' I admire GRIT.' Smarts and abilities are not enough.' They need to be riveted to grit.'''''''''Grit got Seth Wescott a gold medal in the finals of the men's snowboard cross at the Vancouver Olympics, where many others would have slid into oblivion.''''''''He started out badly.' In his qualifier, he slipped and spun 360 degrees and ultimately ended up ranked 17th out of 32 athletes to start the heats - which meant that he wouldn't get a good lane choice.'''''''''Instead of moaning and complaining, or losing his motivation, he told himself:' "OK, I'm going to have to work damned hard for this."''''''''At the starting gate in the finals, he said something to himself like "You've got to go get this one."''''''''He was last from the start, BUT he managed to come home to Maine, as an Olympic gold medalist for the second time.''''''''He didn't think of anything but the moment and the moves - no looking back with dismay, no beating himself up, and no giving up.' THAT is my definition of an Olympic athlete!And, obviously, I'm writing this story because this is the way you should approach everything in life! More >>

Tags: bullyingCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceParentingPersonal Responsibility
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05/13/2010
IconI got a wonderful email from Sylvia, which I want to share with you all: Dr. Laura:'This is a lesson my mother taught me, but I thought you would approve of her very good advice.'I am a southern "belle."' Though I have lived all over the world and do not possess the characteristic lilting southern drawl, I am, in fact, a belle through and through.' When raised as a girl in the south, you learn (amongst other things) a true appreciation of the beauty and power of words.' We southern girls are thoroughly schooled in the art and craft of words.' We learn, very young, how to paint a picture with words.' We learn to exploit the rhythm and cadence of language.' We speak softly in order to draw in our listener (thus focusing all attention on ourselves).' Really - who doesn't like a whisper?' We speak slowly, because anticipation makes everything more enjoyable.' Really - who doesn't like to be made to wait...just a little?'I will often send my husband an email designed to make the air around him stand still.' I can still make his mouth water with just words.' I can make his mind linger and dwell on me all day, with just a softly spoken sentence as he leaves for work in the morning.' Sometimes, in the afternoon, I'll call him up just to say "I was daydreaming about you just now.' I was remembering how sweet you are and how you still make my heart beat faster."' This is not just some idle exercise.' This is the ultimate investment in my family.' This is what makes my husband anxious to get home to me, even after fifteen years.'Through flirting, I reap a harvest of sweetness, kindness, gentleness and playfulness.' Flirting is a gift we give to each other. It keeps alive the sweetness and excitement of our early dating days.' Flirting is like a gentle touch.' It is stroking the ego of the one you love.' It is titillation pure and simple.' It is foreplay with words and humor.' Flirting is the secret that all other women know.' Flirting is the difference between "ho-hum" and "hot!"' It is something you miss when it's lacking and you often don't even realize it.' Flirting captures the mind, and where the mind goes, the body soon follows.'So ladies, flirt with your husband.' Here, let me help you out:' send an email to the one you love today and simply say "I thought of you today.' I thought that if you were a book, then I would like to read you and re-read you, over and over again."'You see, when you give sweetness, you get so much more back. More >>

Tags: appreciationAttitudeCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceDatingFinancesMarriageSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconA few months ago, I saw the movie "The Bucket List." It's about these two older guys who, presumably, are terminally ill, and one of them mentions a "kick the bucket list," meaning that you make a list of all the things you want to do before you die (and then, hopefully, go do them).' The movie is interesting and well done, and well worth seeing.' It stars Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson.Since then, I've had some thoughts on and off about the concept, and decided that I don't want to have a bucket list when my time comes close.' I want to do and see and say and experience the things that matter to me waaaaay before they become an almost-Last Supper moment.' So I've been going over in my mind what it is that I would put on that list.' And I'm happy to say......nothing.I wanted an adventure on the high seas, so with a crew of experienced sailors, I'm going to be doing just that in mid-March, when we race from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico.' It will take about four days or so, and we have to work, sleep, and eat in shifts 24 hours per day of sailing.' It will be grueling, cold, and sometimes scary at night if the winds are up.' The food will be "ucky," and there won't be hot showers or heated blankets.' And yet, I can't wait, because it's an ADVENTURE!' It pushes my limits and challenges me in new ways.' It's good to have adventures, as long as you don't ignore your responsibilities, and enjoy the challenges that are there.Day-to-day experiences and routines can get monotonous - that's just life.' So don't wait.' Come up with your own adventure (camping with the family, training for some physical event or whatever you want) and just do it!! More >>

Tags: AttitudeCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceHealthInternet-MediaInternet/MediaPersonal ResponsibilityPurposeValues
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