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Values
05/13/2010

Tags: Quote of the WeekRegarding Dr. LauraSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconThis story is actually four years old, but many people seem to have discovered it only recently, so I did a little investigating, and thought it was worth sharing with you.' Because this has made its way around the Internet, like the game of "Telephone," new things have been added and some things have changed as it's been forwarded.' My staff went back to the original story to verify the facts, and that's the one I'm posting here.'Luke Air Force Base is a little west of Phoenix, and it's surrounded by residential developments.' People have complained about the noise from the base and its planes.' One day in June, 2005, an individual who lives somewhere near the base wrote the local paper complaining about the group of F-16s that disturbed his day.' Here's his Letter to the Editor of The Arizona Republic newspaper: "Question of the day for Luke Air Force Base:' Whom do we thank for the morning air show? Last Wednesday, at precisely 9:11AM, a tight formation of four F-16 jets made a low pass over Arrowhead Mall, continuing west over Bell Road at approximately 500 feet.' Imagine our good fortune! Do the Tom Cruise-wannabes feel we need this wake-up call, or were they trying to impress the cashiers at Mervyns' early-bird special? Any response would be appreciated. Tom MacRae" Mr. MacRae received a response from a commander at Luke Air Force Base which was published in the newspaper the following day, but it's the response from Lt. Col. Scott Pleus, commander of the 63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base that caught the attention of everyone.' This letter was also published in The Arizona Republic , four days after Mr. MacRae's initial complaint: "Regarding "A wake-up call from Luke's jets": On June 15, at precisely 9:12 a.m., a perfectly timed four-ship of F-16s from the 63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base flew over the grave of Capt. Jeremy Fresques. Capt. Fresques was an Air Force officer who was previously stationed at Luke Air Force Base and was killed in Iraq on May 30, Memorial Day. At 9 a.m., on June 15, his family and friends gathered at Sunland Memorial Park in Sun City to mourn the loss of a husband, son and friend. Based on the letter writer's recount of the flyby, and because of the jet noise, I'm sure you didn't hear the 21-gun salute, the playing of taps, or my words to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques as I gave them their son's flag on behalf of the president of the United States and all those veterans and servicemen and women who understand the sacrifices they have endured. A four-ship flyby is a display of respect the Air Force pays to those who gave their lives in defense of freedom.' We are professional aviators and take our jobs seriously, and on June 15 what the letter writer witnessed was four officers lining up to pay their ultimate respects. The letter writer asks, 'Whom do we thank for the morning air show?' The 56th Fighter Wing will call for you, and forward your thanks to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques, and thank them for you, for it was in their honor that my pilots flew the most honorable formation of their lives. Lt. Col. Scott PleusLuke Air Force Base" The postscript to all of this is that Mr. MacRae, to his credit, wrote an apology that was published in The Arizona'Republic on July 9: "Regarding 'Flyby honoring fallen comrade' I read with increasing embarrassment and humility the response to my unfortunate letter to The Republic concerning an Air Force flyby. I had no idea of the significance of the flyby, and would never have insulted such a fine and respectful display had I known. I have received many calls from the fine airmen who are serving or have served at Luke, and I have attempted to explain my side and apologized for any discomfort my letter has caused. This was simply an uninformed citizen complaining about noise. I have been made aware in both written and verbal communications of the four-ship flyby, and my heart goes out to each and every lost serviceman and woman in this war in which we are engaged. I have been called un-American by an unknown caller and I feel that I must address that.' I served in the U.S. Navy and am a Vietnam veteran.' I love my country and respect the jobs that the service organizations are doing. Please accept my heartfelt apologies. Tom MacRae" More >>

Tags: CharacterCharacter-Courage-ConscienceMilitaryValues
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Tags: ChildrenParentingPersonal ResponsibilityValues
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05/13/2010
IconIt's funny what stays in your mind - one shot of light in the darkness of memory.' One of the more important "shot of light" memories is from my days in the Marriage/Family/Child Therapy program at the University of Southern California.' I was being supervised during my training and displaying lots of frustration over one particular client.' I couldn't figure out how to fix, or help the client fix, the problem for which the client came in to get help.My supervisor, a well-known and talented therapist said five words which reverberated in my head - the head of a "Type A," over-achiever mentality person that I was (or am).' He said, "Not everything can be fixed." I was shocked and horrified.' To even think that there were limits to what any human being could do, to think that there were no remedies for certain circumstances, to think that I couldn't "lay on hands" and make all better every person I tried to help - well, all of this was unthinkable.As I matured, however, I realized he was right.I had several calls in the past week that demonstrated that truth -- that not everything can be fixed -- so it shouldn't be broken in the first place!! It's why I do what I do on radio versus having a private practice.' You all get to hear what decisions, choices, behaviors, and actions put you in a (probably) unfixable place.There was the 21 year old woman who came on the program giggling about how she had listened to me since she was 2 years old.' Now, with two children out-of-wedlock with a guy who won't marry her because she hasn't taken down her Facebook profile after she promised she would, she wanted to know how to fix the relationship and get married.Since he didn't marry her before the children, since he didn't marry her after the first child, since he didn't marry her after the second child, he probably isn't going to marry her after the Facebook argument gave his dumping her some legitimacy.' I guess 19 years of listening to the program didn't do it for her.The second female caller was about the same age, again with two out-of-wedlock children, living at her boyfriend's parents' home.' She was shacking up with him, and wanted to know how to get him to move out so they could be on their own, after he said he didn't ever want to move out of his mother's home!The moral of these stories is that when you insist on making impulsive decisions and act only out of the moment, then you will, at some point, dig a hole that you won't be able to get out of.'By the way, I told the first woman to move in with her parents, so the children can have a father (in the form of Grandpa), and she was not to date until they were grown.' I told the second woman to give up her dreams and faulty plan, keep her mouth shut, and just live there, giving the impression of being happy, so the kids don't have to grow up with a negative mother until the kids are grown.Of course, women are not the only ones who need to hear this message.' A lot of men marry "damsels in distress," only to be stuck with... distressed damsels!! They hope to save them and fix them, but....some things can't be fixed.' I tell them to stay with a smile until the kids are grown.I don't accept any of the "...but what about my happiness?" rationalizations.' The answer is that children matter more than you, and you need to sacrifice and behave properly so that they have a better chance of making better choices in their lives.Some things can't be fixed, so don't do them in the first place.' Consider my radio program a huge emotional and behavioral prophylactic, and take the lessons learned from the pain of others and make the right - even if uncomfortable - choices. More >>

Tags: abusePersonal ResponsibilityValues
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05/13/2010
IconFor me, an "issue" is a subject that comes up with some frequency on my radio program.' And lately, many callers (dealing with a range of concerns from being overweight to being affectionate to finishing school to exercise and more) have phoned wondering where to find "perpetual" motivation.' I know there are audio tape courses, blogs, and books galore on attaining and maintaining motivation, but I believe that is a hopeless quest.' Why?' Because human beings have moods and circumstances that interfere. It is impossible to feel motivated all the time about anything - even things you actually love to do.There are days you wake up tired; there are days you are distracted by work, plumbing, relatives; there are days during which minor or significant disasters occur (like the backing up of a toilet); there are those days during which you become reasonably upset by someone or something.' You get the picture.' Life happens and it impacts your moods and feelings.' Unfortunately, our culture has become enamored of "feelings" over responsibility, discipline, obligations, and common good sense.' We have come to revere feelings as the grand dictator of reality:' if you "feel" it, it makes it so.' If you "feel" your mother-in-law harbors negative thoughts, then you can retaliate, for example.This is why I stop people dead in their tracks so often with "I didn't ask you about your "feelings."' I asked you about what actually occurred."' We can talk about how you interpret what happened; we can talk about your ancient feelings and how they impact how you respond to today's reality, but first, what actually happened?? Feelings are not rational - they have no IQ, and they are self-oriented, as they serve only the self without taking even the "feelings" of other people into account.' Feelings are primitive, and using them as the pivotal point for your reactions to the world is quite childlike.' It takes the maturity of evolving adulthood to temper feelings with the necessity of examining the world and others in it while being less emotional -- sometimes, even bordering on dispassionate as you use your rational mind to assess the situation more concretely.So, back to motivation .' One doesn't have to feel like "it" to "do it."' Having some hang-ups about being affectionate with your spouse because of unpleasant childhood experiences is totally self-centered and ultimately irrational since, unless you married that parent (literally or figuratively), your current spouse is being punished for the misdeeds of the prior generation.' And you are continuing the pain of your childhood all the way into your grave.' What is the answer?' It actually is quite simple:' do what is right, do what is healthy, do what is loving, do what is smart, and do what is compassionate.' That means show affection, even though you aren't motivated.' Exercise every day, even though you don't feel like it.' Clean your house, even though you don't feel like it.' Do someone a difficult favor, even though you don't feel like it.To operate by feelings instead of compassion, discipline and responsibility is to abdicate being an adult.' It also makes you a slave to irrational, often self-defeating emotions, instead of the master of your destiny.' You are more human when you operate from nobility.' You are more adult when you operate from discipline.So, dump the idea of "motivation," and replace it with discipline and nobility, and then see how you feel! More >>

Tags: Personal ResponsibilityThe Proper Care & Feeding of MarriageThe Proper Care and Feeding of MarriageValues
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05/13/2010
IconAn all-too-typical issue that comes up on my radio program is cowardice, because someone didn't stand up for others, for values and/or for ideals.' The standard excuses range from not wanting to escalate a situation, being afraid of other people getting mad, fear of being marginalized or left out, being afraid of being "judged," not "liking" confrontation, not wanting to lose the image as a nice person, and so on.I disrespect the actions of not standing up for friends, fairness (even when a friend is not involved), and values.' Some of my callers are parents whose adult children are behaving recklessly, thoughtlessly, and in total opposition to how they were brought up.' Too many of these parents are more concerned with "peace at all costs" instead of continuing their parental leadership by clarifying their position and drawing the line.I remember a long time ago, there was a talk show host coming on right after my program.' We were polar opposites in our political views, and she would use her three hours on the air to critique my program.' This, of course, annoyed the heck out of me, but I never spoke about it on the air - not even once - because I don't use my air time to do anything but help people do and be better in their lives.Fast forward several years later, and a feminist group went after her with venomous attacks, attempting to destroy her career.' Mind you, she was a feminist activist leader herself, but she dared to have her own opinion about something that went against the grain of the activist group's position.' It turns out that I was the first person who called her the next morning - with a call of support.' It galled me that there was a concerted effort to unfairly destroy her career.' I just don't like life's unfair qualities, and I have generally stood up to them no matter what.Fast forward again years later, and I was being unfairly attacked by a different activist group that she had once been part of.' She went into numerous public venues to defend and support me.'We both took hits for doing these things, but we both turned out to like each other very much, and we both still maintained the bulk of our differing opinions.' We did, however, agree on one point of ethics, morals, and values:' you defend who or what is being attacked unfairly, and consequently, we both defended responsible free speech.We both lost to the power of the activist groups, however, but we won each other's respect and support, all while keeping the high ground.' We each went on growing in success and the respect of our peers as well.'That's one very personal experience for me.' I hope the next time you see rudeness or cruelty, you will stand up.Racial comments coming from Don Imus are as ugly and unnecessary (except for ratings) as the joke about Sarah Palin's daughter getting "knocked up" by a baseball player.' It isn't the term "knocked up" that's the issue - I use it all the time for out-of-wedlock pregnancies, because they usually end up with the child being aborted or growing up with the chaos of a life with one parent gone.' David Letterman wanted to shoot insults at Palin simply because she's Republican, and he aimed his gun at her child.' That's disgusting.' How many of you would stand for that happening to your child?'Imus lost his job...temporarily...and Letterman's ratings are higher.' And I'm left wondering if you'll stand up for others (or values, morals, ethics and principles) when most others around you will turn their gaze away. More >>

Tags: EthicsMoralsMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityValues
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Tags: CharitySocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconAs I was walking through my kitchen to my office, my husband was having his morning cereal, watching Fox News.' They were in the midst of a perky promo for 'what's coming up next,' concerning a school district that was using financial rewards to motivate students to get good grades.' I kept walking... and only heard one bit more about the subject:' 'It's working.'That promo stuck in my mind because of those last words:' 'It's working.''If tantalizing children with money, money, money actually makes them get good grades, because they pay more attention in class, put more effort into their homework, are more invested in studying for exams and working on reports and projects, well, that means that a lot of kids aren't living up to their potential.Why would MONEY make the difference, and not the appreciation of their parents, the respect of their peers, the approval from their teachers, or the mere burst of pride in doing well?' The answer is simple:' kids these days are not raised to care about appreciation, respect, approval and pride...period!' They are brought up to care about celebrity, extravagance, notoriety, freakish attention (think reality shows), infamy as a positive experience, and extreme non-conformity to traditional values.What happens to these kids when the money isn't there, but there is still the expectation of profound effort and commitment?' Certainly teachers, police, firefighters, those in the military, and small shop owners (to name just a few) aren't putting out their best efforts for the financial reward.' A police officer who 'collars' a serious bad guy gets a lot of thumps on the back, a night of some beers with fellow colleagues, and a notch toward an eventual promotion in rank.' Mostly, he has pride in doing his job well.'These children are not being moved in that direction at all by this 'money reward for grades' idea (except, maybe, for the beer).Schools have been eliminating accolades such as high honors at graduation (e.g., valedictorian) so as not to hurt the self-esteem of those who won't or can't rise to that occasion.' Yet, they want to give money, money, money to those who do.' What is THAT message?' No one's feelings are going to be hurt because they didn't get the money, money, money.' Ugh.I think we should go back to showing respect for the children who do perform well: for example, point systems that offer monthly 'perks' like not having to take a few quizzes because their grades are above a B+, or earning a class trip to the zoo, aquarium, or museum or something else that acknowledges their efforts without minimizing the meaning by throwing coins at them. More >>

Tags: EducationFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingValues
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Tags: CharityFamily/Relationships - TeensMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconWhy the heck do we need role models?' Can't everyone just think for him or herself and make decisions about right and wrong and choices of action without somebody on a philosophical runway modeling what they could or should be?Possibly...but role models alert us to POSSIBILITIES, in addition to serving as INSPIRATION.Angry rappers role model distrust, rage, anti-social notions and actions: killing, raping, hating.Stupid "stars" role model self-indulgence and excess, self-importance: self self'' selfSuccessful people who "pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps" role model perseverance, giving up a "victim mentality," optimism and plain hard work.Heroic types (military, police, firemen, and caring bystanders) who put themselves on the line of life and death role model taking care of others.'and so it goes.These days, however, good role models are few and far between.' Pastor Bill Shuler, of Capital Life Church in Arlington Virginia, pointed the way in his recent essay: 10 Reasons Why we Are Losing Good Role Models.What follows is my paraphrasing of his list:1. Honorable people are attacked for taking a stand for morality and values The favorite attack here usually takes the form of being called either a "hater" or a "hypocrite." If a person disagrees with you, you can say that they simply hate you or your stand, or that they once (usually decades ago) behaved contrary to their own words so therefore, they have no moral ground on which to defend their position.' I don't have to explain how ugly, stupid, and dangerous those approaches are to the well being of a civilized society.'2. High profile scandals in sports politics and religion have caused us to become jaded. Yup - it's hard to believe that a moral high ground even exists if the people you looked up to don't respect what they have and the responsibility it gives them.3. Fewer dads are present in the home. Soon, most children won't come from intact homes where they see a dad providing and protecting and teaching them how to be decent men and women.'4. Success has been defined as fame, fortune, and power. We used to have the word "infamous" to describe people well known for skuzzy behaviors...now it's all just "famous."' "Octo-mom" Nadya Suleman now has a television show because she's famous for showing incredible insensitivity and irresponsibility in having 16 children with no dad or intact married family.''' If someone is rich (no matter how they got there), they have admirers.'5. Image often supersedes character. Bad boys and bad girls reign supreme in our media-drenched culture.' The more stupid and horrid their behavior, the more important they are to the media.'6. Indulgence replaces sacrifice. Just think daycare.7. The practice of self-discipline is losing ground. If you "feel it" you have license to "do it" is today's mantra.' Consideration of consequences to others, as well as one's own future, became secondary.'8. Seeking of "self," on the other hand, is an over-practiced art." If I hear one more person excuse stupid, cruel, or self-indulgent behavior on the basis of "low self-esteem" or "I guess I have to learn to love MYSELF," I think I'll scream.'9. Family values have become a political issue rather than an ideal to be embraced. The responsibility and obligation to spouse and children outweighs feelings and urges, which are temporary and often foolhardy.10. Good people with deep convictions remain silent when they should speak up. I have said it quite differently:' way too often, good people are "wusses;" they are afraid to stand up (not without good reason...see #1), because they want to be liked. I have gotten myself into all sorts of trouble by "standing up," so I know what it takes. "Being beautiful, uninhibited or rich has become a cheap substitute for courage, decency and selflessness," writes the Pastor.' And he is so very correct. That's why I often ask people to project themselves 20 years into the future, and then look back on themselves at this very moment.' I ask them to tell me what they would need to do in order to be proud of themselves.' It's funny how they always know what's right when looked at from that perspective. More >>

Tags: Morals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityValues
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