June 2011

The Ethics of Nothing

Throughout millennia, philosophers have pondered questions like: What is good? What is truth? What is justice? In the world of Seinfeld, Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer ponder nothing but themselves. However, all display a variety of philosophical types.

George is the fatalist. “My father … Read More

What Do You Stand For?

AMC’s Mad Men is rife with ethical issues. In creator Matthew Weiner’s ‘60s universe of advertising ad men and women, Joan Holloway is one of the most captivating and contradictory characters on the show.

Originally seen as a Marilyn Monroe type, Joan has been quick … Read More

Simple Honesty

Continuing my month-long focus on positive stories, the following account is potent in its simplicity. Few of us will meet the kinds of ethical decisions faced by tobacco insider Jeff Wigand or WorldCom Executive Cynthia Cooper. However, all of us will face choices that will Read More

The Summer of ’68

During the first of what would become my favorite two years, I was listening to the Moody Blues (on cassette), Tchaikovsky’s 1812 (on vinyl) and Simon and Garfunkle’sSounds of Silence. I studied theater and philosophy, worked on a college production of A Funny Read More

Being Trustworthy

Reading some after-talk comment cards, I came across a note which read: “Nice talk, but how about using a personal story or two to make your point?”

Okay. Being trustworthy requires more than being honest. It requires us to make reasonable efforts to keep promises … Read More

A Guy Named Joe

Hands down, my favorite movie of all time is the one where Spencer Tracy plays a hotshot World War II pilot who flies on instinct and hot coffee. He also has a knack for showboating on every bombing mission he’s sent out on until the … Read More

The Upside

Anthony Weiner, Bernie Madoff, low economy, high unemployment, questionable housing, if you’re house hasn’t already been hit by a flood or tornado. How do you remain optimistic in an atmosphere of so much negative news?

In an intriguing TIME magazine cover story (The Science Read More

The Razor’s Edge

Jeffrey Wigand, former executive at tobacco giant Brown & Williamson, becomes a celebrity after appearing on 60 Minutes telling how big tobacco lied for decades to millions about the facts of cigarettes and smoking. Hollywood makes a major motion picture about his ethical stand and … Read More

“He was a thundering black Baptist preacher,” the New York Times writes, “and for much of his life a conservative Republican celebrity who wrote books about the Pilgrims, published volumes of sermons and presided at weddings and funerals of the rich and famous. He gave … Read More

Doing Right

“We know we can find stories of people who do it wrong, but where can we find stories of people who do it right?” Those words began the second chapter of my book, What Do You Stand For? whose stated purpose was to offer … Read More