December 2012

Reflections 2012

Apology and Forgiveness, Rights vs. Responsibilities, Television and Responsibility, Confirmation Bias, Justice vs. Compassion, Freedom vs. Responsibility, Ethics vs. Morality, Us vs. Them — those were just some of the issues discussed on this site over the last year.

Some of the questions raised: The … Read More

My Supper with Santa

On this eve before Christmas, a heartwarming interview with the one man we all look forward to seeing, or at least hearing something positive from. I’m speaking, of course, of Santa Claus. So here, from December 25, 2009 is my supper with Santa.
Of all … Read More

A Christmas Story

One of my favorite Christmas stories first appeared December 24, 2008. Enjoy! Much of the time we tend to think of compassion in terms of the extraordinary moments, events which seem removed from our daily perspective. The Dalai Lama’s story of a Tibetan monk’s compassion … Read More

Why I Like Colman McCarthy

First of all, Colman McCarthy is funny. Every time he gets on the phone with me, he always asks, “Hey Jim, how are those orange trees doing in your backyard?” Colman is a philosopher: “Warmaking doesn’t stop warmaking. If it did, our problems would have … Read More


There will always be senseless acts of violence in a free society, but… …when will we develop the social consciousness that says, we will not allow tragedies like Newtown, Connecticut to happen again and again? When will we act like the adults and parents we … Read More

Returning to Hadleyville

Of all the films whose central character demonstrates a highly developed moral compass, High Noon tops my list. Why does High Noon still matter? Never has one film captured the essence of an ethical dilemma along with the variety of rationalizations against doing the right … Read More

Finding Grace

There was a moment, listening to Dennis Haines’s story, that shook me. It began one life-changing night in December, 1968 in Viet Nam as first told by his buddy John Miller.

“Our mission was to encircle a village. We called it a cordon. Our squad, … Read More

Don’t Tell Tony

You’re sitting in the front row of a sold out conference for self-help guru Tony Robbins, and here it comes, Ba-Bam!: “Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.”

According to publisher Simon and Schuster, minister and author Norman Vincent Peale’s … Read More

Mr. Brooks

Former Texas Representative (D) Jack Brooks died this week. Brooks led Massachusetts Senator John Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign in his home district of Texas. After Kennedy’s assassination, he was present for the swearing-in of Lyndon Johnson aboard Air Force One (just behind Jackie Kennedy on … Read More

This One’s for Jeannie

Every year the Gallup organization asks a cross-section of Americans to rate “the perceived honesty and ethical standards” of various professions. As expected, nurses, pharmacists and medical doctors have topped the list at 85%, 75% and 70% respectively in 2012.

“Six medical professional categories were … Read More