Thought Tools

I Hear You

  I told him a joke the other day.  Before I finished my punch line he started telling me a better one.  Another time he sought my advice but as I was contemplating my response he burst out with his own answer.  In the time we’ve known one another I don’t suppose he has really...

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Have a Heart

  I don’t know about you, but I can look backwards at a depressingly long list of mistakes.  These were bad decisions.  I think of them as forks in the road where I took the wrong turn.   Almost without exception, each one resulted when I rationalized something to which I already felt emotionally attracted. ...

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Have a Heart

    I don’t know about you, but I can look backwards at a depressingly long list of mistakes.  These were bad decisions.  I think of them as forks in the road where I took the wrong turn.   Almost without exception, each one resulted when I rationalized something to which I already felt emotionally...

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What! Me Cheat?

“Rabbi, I’ve been seeing another woman,” the man sitting opposite me flatly declared.  Unfortunately, I have heard more than my fair share of such heartbreaking disclosures.  Sometimes it was the wife betraying the marriage; sometimes the husband.  Sometimes the marriage was rescued; often it wasn’t.   A marriage betrayal and its consequences is surely one...

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We Interrupt This Life

When you were a child, the unwanted food on your plate probably didn’t become more appealing when your mother reminded you that children in Africa were starving. Similarly, knowing that the current downturn does not compare with The Depression doesn’t necessarily make our own lives less stressful. And when we live with constant tension we...

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Lions and Foxes and Me, Oh My

  Has anyone ever asked you whether you are more a cat or a dog person?  Before you answer, think about this: Members of the cat family, including lions, often carry their tails high.   Most times, members of the dog family, including foxes, hunt with their noses close to the ground as they follow...

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Time for Your Second Act

Though neither of us could afford the time off work, my wife and I took a long walk through the forest last week.  It was so utterly rejuvenating that when we returned to our office I decided that we couldn’t have afforded not to have gone. Experiencing a kaleidoscope of new blossoms, birds breaking into...

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Often Charming – Always Dangerous

Back in the 1970s, Jim Davis, a good and deeply religious man, felt he could safely go into business with his flamboyant roommate at Baylor University, Allen Stanford.  In early 2009 Stanford Financial collapsed in scandal.  Today, Davis is a ruined man.   A long time ago, I entered into a business transaction with someone...

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The Magic of Many

  If it takes 1 man 1 hour to dig a ditch, how long will it take 2 men to dig the same ditch? “Half-an-hour” is not the correct answer.    Depending upon whether they help or hinder one another, there are two possible right answers:  More than an hour or less than half an...

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Fly High with Humility

    I knew we were in trouble when I learned that many universities have students evaluate their teachers.  Schools that embrace utter equality of students and staff make authentic education impossible.   Outside of some religious schools, students are rarely taught to respect teachers.  Yet, hierarchy still has a role in a free and democratic...

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