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Archive for April, 2013

STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 4 OF 8)

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 29, 2013

BRYCE ON MORALITY

– The observation of consequences (reward and punishment) is an important part of learning moral values.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

This is Part 4 in my series on “Morality” as derived from my new eBook “Stand Up for MORALITY.”

In Part 3 we discussed how Morality affects our culture. Here, in Part 4, we will discuss how Morality is taught and learned.

HOW IS MORALITY TAUGHT/LEARNED?

Some psychologists believe that sociopaths are “born without a conscience.” More likely they were never taught the concepts of kindness, fairness, love and compassion; that these are admirable traits. As such, they never developed a conscience.

Morality is taught either through formal or informal training, using words and examples. The printed word is useful, but the spoken word is perhaps more effective, whether it is communicated by parents, teachers, clergy, managers, or peers. Examples are even more persuasive and represent live models of what is acceptable forms of behavior. Observations of the actions of our friends and foes, or our heroes and villains, all play a substantial role in our perspective of right and wrong, particularly if they are rewarded or punished (or not). To illustrate, a student observes another student plagiarizing on a paper. Instead of being penalized, the offending student receives an “A” for his efforts. The first student then comes to the conclusion plagiarism is an acceptable form of behavior. Likewise, a worker witnesses a coworker cheating a customer to earn a little extra pocket money. The indiscretion is not detected and, as such, the first worker concludes cheating customers is acceptable and does likewise. If the transgression continues for a period of time, and the cheaters are finally apprehended, they are perplexed about their punishment as they perceived their actions as an acceptable form of behavior.

The observation of consequences (reward and punishment) is an important part of learning moral values. In the event an offender is caught committing a crime, and the person’s superior does nothing to discipline the person (such as the teacher or manager in the examples above), this too is observed by others and influences values. If a person concludes there is no significant penalty for being immoral, a person may very well risk emulating the offender. Likewise, if a person observes another being rewarded for something they have done, others may very well follow the role model’s example. This is why role models play a significant role in our society. If a manager strongly advocates a code of conduct, yet doesn’t practice it himself, his employees will more likely follow his example as opposed to the code. The phenomenon of, “Do as I say, not as I do,” presents a genuine problem for teaching morality.

The entertainment industry is often accused of transmitting mixed signals of morality in movies, television, radio, and the Internet. The media greatly influences our sense of right and wrong, not just by comedy and drama, but even in the presentation and interpretation of news. By defining the characteristics of heroes and villains, the media is presenting role models for others to pattern their lives after.

When establishing our moral values, we are ultimately establishing our allegiances to certain parties. By doing so, we are expressing supreme confidence in their judgment. As such, we ultimately derive our values from such institutions. It also defines our loyalties.

As a group exercise, ask attendees to privately pick the top three institutions they supremely trust. This can be done two ways: by distributing slips of paper to the audience, collecting them afterwards, and compiling the results, or; simply asking for a show of hands as to how they voted.

PICK TOP 3 INSTITUTIONS YOU SUPREMELY TRUST IN TERMS OF MORAL VALUES (1, 2, 3)

– Church/Religion
– Company
– Country
– Cultural Heritage or Race
– Entertainment Industry
– Family members
– Fraternity
– Friends
– Gang
– Government
– Military
– News Media
– Political Party
– School
– Sports Team
– ___________(other)
– None of the Above

Not surprising, the top three answers are typically, Family, Church, and Country. The answers will vary based on the age of respondents. For example, how teenagers perceive the world is substantially different than older people. Nonetheless, the answers here provide great insight into who influences you, and how your moral values are derived. Undoubtedly this will change with the passing of time as we find faults with the institutions.

NEXT TIME: In Part 5, consider the other institutions affecting morality.

“Stand Up for MORALITY” is an eBook available in PDF, Kindle and Audio formats.
All are available through MBA Press.
The Kindle version is available through AMAZON.

Mr. Bryce is available to speak on this subject

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 5 OF 8) – The observation of consequences (reward and punishment) is an important part of learning moral values.

LAST TIME:  STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 3 OF 8) – Our actions are based on our perceptions and sense of morality.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News with Dave and Lance” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim’s postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen’s Association, and throughout the Internet.

Posted in Morality | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 3 OF 8)

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 26, 2013

BRYCE ON MORALITY

– Our actions are based on our perceptions and sense of morality.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

This is Part 3 in my series on “Morality” as derived from my new eBook “Stand Up for MORALITY.”

In Part 2 we defined what Morality is and described its properties. Here, in Part 3, we will discuss how Morality affects our culture.

HOW DOES IT AFFECT US?

As mentioned, morality is aimed at improving the interaction between humans by defining how we should treat each other in a common manner. One must remember our actions are based on our perceptions and sense of morality. This means there are two variables: perceptions and morality.

Our perception of reality influences our actions. For example, we dress according to how we believe the weather will be; if we believe it will be cold, we will wear a warm coat, but if our perception is wrong, that the weather is actually quite hot and humid, wearing a warm coat would be considered a foolish decision. A false perception of reality can be caused by such things as attention deficit disorder (easily distracted), or by our own sense of self worth (ego). Having worked in the computer field for a number of years I can tell you authoritatively, if the input is wrong, everything else that follows will be wrong. Even if a computer’s processing logic is correct, the resulting output will be wrong. The human being is no different. Even if we have competent mental faculties, if we do not perceive a situation correctly, we will act incorrectly.

Assuming our perceptions are correct though, the mind then determines the morality of the situation and devises a decision or course of action, be it moral or immoral. What happens though when you find yourself in unchartered waters, where no laws, rules, and regulations have been written or are applicable to a specific situation? You must rely on your moral compass, your sense of “Natural Law.”

Morality may also be linked to some local customs which date back in time. For example, the interpretation of crime and punishment varies around the world, particularly in the area of capital punishment. Some cultures accept the death penalty, others do not. The forms of execution may vary as well. This means moral values may change from culture to culture. Incompatibility is one of the reasons that cultures cannot exist in the same place at the same time. Each needs its own space. This is not to say they can never interact. In fact they do, particularly in geographical buffers located between cultures who may use elements of both.

Even our sense of humor is based on morality. We find humor in situations where a person reacts immorally in certain situations. To do so, we must first understand what is considered “right/wrong” or “good/bad”. Most humor is based on reacting in an opposite manner of what is expected.

Government is morality in action, as it represents the laws, rules, and regulations of a body of people, thereby representing their interpretation of right and wrong. To learn about government, politics and law, is to learn morality. The founding fathers felt strongly about this. So much so, in 1828 the text book, “Elementary Catechism on the Constitution of the United States” by Arthur J. Stansbury, was introduced to teach students government and morality. Having the students learn their rights and freedom was considered important in the early days of this country.

All political problems are based on morality. Consider the issues of such things as: Welfare, Gun Control, Marriage, Abortion, Environment, Taxation, National Debt, Crime and Punishment, etc. Some people strongly believe government exists to serve the people. Others believe just the opposite, that the citizens are subservient. All of these topics involve an interpretation of morality, what is right and what is wrong.

Moral values may evolve over time. For example, in the early days of America (1600’s-1700’s) many Protestants viewed the fiddle as an instrument of the devil, particularly if it led to dancing, which was considered sinful. Such attitudes have, of course, disappeared over the years. Today, we embrace “political correctness” (P.C.) which consists of language, ideas, and behavior constrained by perceived social concerns for offending various groups of people. Such expressions may change over time. For example, smoking and offering a cigarette was considered commonplace behavior. Now, thanks to P.C., smoking is a taboo and smokers are ostracized.

NEXT TIME: In Part 4, we will discuss how Morality is taught and learned.

“Stand Up for MORALITY” is an eBook available in PDF, Kindle and Audio formats.
All are available through MBA Press.
The Kindle version is available through AMAZON.

Mr. Bryce is available to speak on this subject

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 4 OF 8) – The observation of consequences (reward and punishment) is an important part of learning moral values.

LAST TIME:  STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 2 OF 8) – Morality is a COLLECTIVE concept which defines us as a culture.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News with Dave and Lance” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim’s postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen’s Association, and throughout the Internet.

Posted in Morality | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 2 OF 8)

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 24, 2013

BRYCE ON MORALITY

– Morality is a COLLECTIVE concept which defines us as a culture.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

This is Part 2 in my series on “Morality” as derived from my new eBook “Stand Up for MORALITY.”

In Part 1, we examined the state of Morality in our culture and where it is heading. Here, in Part 2, we will define what Morality is and describe its properties.

WHAT IS MORALITY?

Is it something we intuitively know or is it something that must be taught and learned? Unfortunately, morality is not a subject commonly discussed anymore, particularly at the dinner table, office, or just about anywhere.

* Does morality mean following the letter of the law? What if the law is amoral?

* Is morality “political correctness”? Somewhat.

* Is morality synonymous with religion? Religion helps to define morality, but it is certainly not a requirement. For example, I have personally met people who avidly attend church and can quote chapter and verse, but I personally consider immoral, particularly in their business affairs.

* Is it possible for atheists or agnostics to be moral? If they have been taught to respect the rights of others and observe the rules of the land, Why not?

* How does morality differ from ethics?

DEFINITIONS

MORALITY
mo-ral-i-ty
noun (plural moralities)
Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.
– A particular system of values and principles of conduct, especially one held by a specified person or society.
(Oxford Dictionary)

ETHICS
eth-ics
noun
1 (usually treated as plural) moral principles that govern a person’s or group’s behavior: Judeo-Christian ethics
2 (usually treated as singular) the branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles.
(Oxford Dictionary)

VIRTUE
vir-tue
noun
1 Behavior showing high moral standards
2 A quality considered morally good or desirable in a person
(Oxford Dictionary)

Whereas morality represents the values of right and wrong or good and bad, ethics represents a body of moral values. This is why you see a “Code of Conduct” representing the guiding principles for employees in a business. More than anything, a moral value is an accepted form of behavior. This may be written, but quite often it is not. To illustrate, there is a multitude of laws, rules and regulations for operating an automobile, be it pertaining to traffic lights and signs, observing speed limits, parking, etc. However, there are other rules that are not documented, such as allowing another motorist to pass you on the highway, to enter traffic in clogged intersections, to dispense with the use of a cell phone in heavy traffic, etc. Such rules are commonly referred to as the “courtesy of the road” and just as important for the steady flow of traffic.

Morality is a COLLECTIVE concept which defines us as a culture. It refers to a code of conduct that applies to all who can understand it and can govern their behavior by it. It means acting in an expected/predictable manner, representing the status quo based on the norms of the day. To be a moral person, one must subscribe to this code of conduct of right/wrong and good/bad. The intention of morality, thereby, is to develop a person’s conscience as it includes the elements of honesty, courtesy, respect, kindness, value, honor, loyalty, courage, integrity, dedication and commitment, and a sense of professionalism. Morality means giving of one’s self, putting aside our self interests for the common good of all, so we may live and work together.

WHY IS SOMETHING CONSIDERED MORAL?

One must consider how a moral value originated. Perhaps it was based on philosophical or religious teachings, such as the Ten Commandments. For example, just about every religion and philosophy embraces the “Golden Rule” (“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”). Most moral values though are based on “Natural Law” which is the use of reason to analyze human nature and deduce binding rules of moral behavior. Such law is normally not written. However, if it becomes necessary to formalize the law in order to properly communicate and enforce it, it can become Statutory Law as enacted by legislators.

NEXT TIME: In Part 3, we will discuss how Morality affects our culture.

“Stand Up for MORALITY” is an eBook available in PDF, Kindle and Audio formats.
All are available through MBA Press.
The Kindle version is available through AMAZON.

Mr. Bryce is available to speak on this subject

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 3 OF 8) – Our actions are based on our perceptions and sense of morality.

LAST TIME:  STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 1 OF 8) – “Morality is something we all claim to know, but never openly discuss.”

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News with Dave and Lance” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim’s postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen’s Association, and throughout the Internet.

Posted in Morality | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 1 OF 8)

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 22, 2013

BRYCE ON MORALITY

– “Morality is something we all claim to know, but never openly discuss.”

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Today I begin a series on “Morality” as derived from my new eBook “Stand Up for MORALITY,” which discusses morality in American culture, the properties of morality, and how to teach it in a uniform manner. “Morality is something we all claim to know, but never openly discuss.” Herein we will tackle the subject head-on.

Let me preface my remarks by stating unequivocally, this is not about religion. I am not a member of the clergy, nor am I here to preach dogma. I am certainly not interested in your particular faith, if you have one. Religion is your business, not mine. I will make comments pertaining to organized religion as an institution but my intention is to comment on the need for promoting fundamental morality in our society. By understanding the properties of morality, it will enable us to support and perpetuate it.

Laced throughout this text are exercises designed to promote discussion. We cannot solve a problem unless we truly understand it. As such, the discussion points contained herein are intended to stimulate thought.

This book is a companion to a training seminar of the same name as conducted by the author.

I would like to thank the many people who took the time to review a preliminary copy of the manuscript and offer suggestions. Although they generally believed morality is a lost cause in this country, they encouraged me to persevere and light a torch to help show the way. The path to a moralistic society is a long and arduous one, requiring tenacity and conviction. In my office, is a framed quotation from President Calvin Coolidge which has inspired me for years:

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

Let us now “Press On.”

THE STATE OF MORALITY

In May of each year, a Gallup poll is conducted regarding the country’s “Values and Beliefs,” the most recent being conducted in 2012.

Two questions are asked:

How would you rate the overall state of moral values in this country today?
20% – Excellent/Good
36% – Only Fair
43% – Poor

Right now, is the state of moral values in this country getting better or worse?
19% – Getting Better
05% – Remain the Same
73% – Getting Worse

The poll paints a rather bleak picture of the values of our country and does not offer much hope for the future. One can only ask, why this is occurring? Answers vary:

People have become self absorbed (“Looking Out for #1”, “Dog-Eat-Dog World”)
Apathy
Greed.
Permissive society (too tolerant).
Affluence – people believe they are above morality.
Cavalier attitudes about sex, drugs, alcohol, and violence.
Parents have abdicated their responsibilities.
Organized religion is in retreat.
Schools are not doing their jobs.
Business and Government are perceived as corrupt.
We’ve become too tolerant of abuses and too ready to forgive & forget.
Hollywood is corrupt and disseminating immoral messages under the guise of entertainment.

Morality is everywhere. I know of no other word that has so much to do with the way we live and act. It represents a pattern of living, setting standards or drawing a line in the sand for which you will not cross. Morality is wherever the human animal dwells, be it in schools, offices, or other institutions, for example:

The Israel Defense Forces teach morality for armed combat situations. They believe a new type of warfare has arisen whereby soldiers need to be able to identify combatants and deal with them accordingly, not to mention the treatment of prisoners as well.

The Government of New Zealand teaches morality to police officers. The aim is to equip police with “a commitment to goodness,” to “recognize evil” and “confront it more effectively”.

The real purpose of such programs is to devise a standard approach resulting in uniform morality, which is also the intention of this paper.

What one family teaches their offspring, may be different than the next. What one boss teaches his subordinates, may be different than the next. What one church or organization teaches their congregation, may be different than the next. Organized religion generally teaches uniform lessons of morality within their faith, but not everyone goes to church anymore. In fact, church attendance has declined noticeably.

To America’s founding fathers, religion and morality were recognized as a requirement for good government and citizenship. Hence the first Congress in 1787 passed the Northwest Ordinance (CLICK for more) which defined how America would expand and admit states from that area (land surrounding the Great Lakes). An important part of the legislation was Article 3 which states: “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

Through Article 3, our founding fathers foresaw the necessity of teaching knowledge, religion, and morality in a uniform manner, and for many years the schools did so. Even well into the 20th century, public schools were used to provide religious instruction albeit it was not compulsory and conducted after normal school hours. Aside from this, schools used to teach general religious concepts, such as one divine entity, and moralistic concepts of right and wrong. This was all abandoned in public schools over the last fifty years.

NEXT TIME: We will define what Morality is and describe its properties.

“Stand Up for MORALITY” is an eBook available in PDF, Kindle and Audio formats.
All are available through MBA Press.
>The Kindle version is available through AMAZON.

Mr. Bryce is available to speak on this subject

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 2 OF 8) – Morality is a COLLECTIVE concept which defines us as a culture.

LAST TIME:  NOISE, NOISE, NOISE – How the Bzzz-bzzz-bzzz of radio annoys me.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News with Dave and Lance” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim’s postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen’s Association, and throughout the Internet.

Posted in Morality | Tagged: , , , , | 18 Comments »

NOISE, NOISE, NOISE

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 19, 2013

BRYCE ON RADIO ADS

– How the Bzzz-bzzz-bzzz of radio annoys me.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I noticed something recently when driving around town with the radio on. Whenever a commercial comes on, I automatically do one of three things: search for another station, “tune out” completely, or turn the radio off. I believe it’s a Pavlovian response. Most of the time, I just tune it out. Do not ask me what the commercial was about as I haven’t got a clue. No wonder advertisers tend to increase the volume, people simply find them annoying and drift off to Neverland.

I don’t know which is worse, ads for attorneys or automobiles. Attorney ads seem particularly pompous. We have one law firm here in Florida, headquartered in Orlando, who we cannot escape from on the airwaves. The firm’s founder seems to pop-up everywhere and his self-righteous monotone monologue drives me crazy. The moment I hear him, I have to change stations as I feel my esophagus start to backup with bile. Automobile ads are notoriously obnoxious as well, particularly the last five seconds where the announcer reads 1,000 words of fine print at warp speed. I wonder if radio stations understand how annoying these ads are and how listeners bailout the moment they hear them.

The pollution on the airwaves tends to give me a headache, particularly when I’m driving. It’s like having a gnat or mosquito constantly buzzing around you. Since you cannot swat it, like you can an insect, you become easily frustrated. No wonder people are abandoning AM/FM for XM with far fewer commercial interruptions, or turn to their CD player.

I wish there was a single channel for commercials, thereby alleviating the headaches from the other stations. I wouldn’t even mind a separate channel for attorney ads and information, and one for automobiles. If I needed the information, I know where to tune into, but alas we all know this will never happen.

Bzzz-bzzz-bzzz. Ugh! There is goes again. Hand me another Advil.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 1 OF 8) – “Morality is something we all claim to know, but never openly discuss.”

LAST TIME:  ARE WE BECOMING MORE TOLERANT, OR LESS? – Ask yourself the question, who was more tolerant, your parents or yourself?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News with Dave and Lance” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim’s postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen’s Association, and throughout the Internet.

Posted in Life, Radio | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

ARE WE BECOMING MORE TOLERANT, OR LESS?

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 17, 2013

BRYCE ON MORALITY

– Ask yourself the question, who was more tolerant, your parents or yourself?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I have been working on a project aimed at teaching morality in a uniform manner. This has caused me to examine the properties of morality and consider the causes for its decline in this country. One key variable is our changing sense of tolerance; what was not considered permissible in one generation, may be considered acceptable in the next. For example, back in the 17th century a fiddle was viewed as “an instrument of the devil” as it led to dancing, which was considered sinful at the time. This is certainly not true anymore, but we now have become more “Politically Correct” (P.C.) in order to not offend a class of people, be it based on race or gender. Frankly, I find most of the P.C. language and customs to be hypocritical, but that is me. Others follow P.C. religiously.

Our sense of right and wrong used to be as sharp as black and white. No longer. Now it appears we have many shades of gray. What was condemned in prior generations is now accepted in today’s world. The idea of accepting such things as legalized marijuana or gay marriage would be beyond the comprehension of “The Greatest Generation,” those who survived the Great Depression and World War II. The Baby Boomers though survived the drug culture and sexual revolution of the 1960’s and, as such, are more tolerant of such concepts. For example, a man living with a woman out of wedlock would be considered disgraceful to “The Greatest Generation.” However, most Baby Boomers today accept it, as do their successors.

I am fortunate to have witnessed five generations in my family. Each had their own unique perspective of morality and sense of tolerance. Some of the differences were subtle, such as drinking, smoking, and language; others were more pronounced, such as their perspectives on citizenship, defense, patriotism, love, assisting others, etc. The impact of economics, and war and peace played a dramatic role on their values, as did their participation in organized religion. I contend each generation becomes more permissive than the last due to changing perceptions of moral values. What is considered acceptable today, may not have been considered so yesterday, or possibly tomorrow.

Consider how we administered corporal punishment in the home. In yesteryear, the father doled out discipline on the children using a leather belt or shaving strap. Mothers used a fly swatter or hickory switch to get their point across. Today, such devices are considered archaic. Instead, we have “time out” or suspend the child’s use of his/her smart phone, computer, or television. Somehow I think the leather belt was more persuasive than “time out” which simply inconvenienced the child.

Each generation tries to make life better for the next. Whereas one generation may have suffered through hardships and lived modestly, a trail is blazed by the elders to simplify the lives of their youth, provide them a better world to live in and encourage them to prosper. Sometimes the sacrifices of the past are appreciated, other times it is taken for granted and forgotten.

Ask yourself the question, who was more tolerant, your parents or yourself? Without a doubt, it is progressively different. My great-grandparents were less permissive than my grandparents, who were less tolerant than my parents, who were less tolerant than my generation. Many years ago, the family suffered through a divorce which was considered damaging to the family’s reputation. Not surprising, there were much fewer divorces back then because of the shame associated with it. Today, there is much more of a laissez faire attitude toward divorce, which is perhaps why it is more commonplace. There is no longer any commitment to make a marriage work. If it doesn’t, a couple can get a divorce and a “do over” in life. So much for personal commitment.

My point is, over time we become more tolerant of violating moral values. The more frequently we turn away from such values, the more our culture changes. Again, ask yourself the question, who was more tolerant, your parents or yourself? Now ask who is more tolerant, you or your offspring? I hope you see where I am going with this.

FOOTNOTE: I am currently working on a training program to teach uniform Morality, suitable for use in companies, schools, and other institutions. If you would like to know more, see my flyer by clicking HERE.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  NOISE, NOISE, NOISE – How the Bzzz-bzzz-bzzz of radio annoys me.

LAST TIME:  UNDERSTANDING THE NATURAL SYSTEM – Systems always find a way to produce information to support the needs of the enterprise.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News with Dave and Lance” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim’s postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen’s Association, and throughout the Internet.

Posted in Morality | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

UNDERSTANDING THE NATURAL SYSTEM

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 15, 2013

BRYCE ON SYSTEMS

– Systems always find a way to produce information to support the needs of the enterprise.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Every now and then I encounter a programmer who adamantly contends you cannot have an information system without some form of computer support. Actually, we’ve had such systems well before the advent of the computer. As we jokingly contend, the first on-line, real-time, interactive, data base system was double-entry bookkeeping which was developed by the merchants of Venice in 1200 A.D. It may have been a manual system, but it worked rather effectively, and still does. Suggesting you can’t have a system without a computer reveals the person’s naivety. Admittedly, computers can now be found throughout the corporate world, be it large corporations or small businesses, but systems transcend the use of the computer.

Information systems are born the moment a company or organization goes into business. They may lack automation and are not the most sophisticated, but they exist nevertheless. The system may not be well organized as a Systems Analyst may design it, but it is what is called a “Natural System” which is born out of necessity by people charged with performing the work. Since information is consumed by people, they inevitably invent systems to produce information to support business needs. Not surprising, a Natural System lacks documentation and, in all likelihood data redundancy is introduced, as well as redundant work flows. Nonetheless, a system inevitably takes shape the same way water runs down a mountain and forms into streams with all of its twists and turns.

I have seen this phenomenon occurring recently in a new media start-up with some rather bold ambitions. Over the last few months they have assembled a team of rather smart and ambitious people. Even though they lack a systems department (or even an I.T. department), they have been forced to create all of the systems themselves. Is it perfect? Hardly, but they are persevering and assembling the information to make the company a success. They either do so, or the company will perish before it ever gets off the ground.

If the company survives, it will inevitably blossom into a big business requiring full-time systems analysts, programmers, data base personnel, and other technicians. Undoubtedly, these people will be faced with untangling the Natural Systems and organizing them into something more efficient and effective which will be no small task as such systems normally resemble a plate of spaghetti rather than anything structured.

No Virginia, information systems have been with us literally for centuries. The computer is simply the latest twist. Just remember, even in the absence of Systems Analysts, systems always find a way to deliver information. It is what Les Matthies, the legendary Dean of Systems, called, “The Natural System.” Such systems may be quick and dirty solutions that are wasteful. The remarkable thing about them is simple; they work!

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  ARE WE BECOMING MORE TOLERANT, OR LESS? – Ask yourself the question, who was more tolerant, your parents or yourself?

LAST TIME:  STAYING HEALTHY ON THE JOB – The realities of playing sports as we grow older.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News with Dave and Lance” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim’s postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen’s Association, and throughout the Internet.

Posted in Management, Systems | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

STAYING HEALTHY ON THE JOB

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 12, 2013

BRYCE ON WORK & PLAY

– The realities of playing sports as we grow older.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Before graduating from college, I played my fair share of contact sports, including football, baseball, hockey, and rugby. Like a lot of kids, I got pretty beat up in the process, such as cuts, scrapes, bruises, sprains, and a particularly nasty knee injury which sidelined me for the remainder of a season. Nonetheless, I loved playing and think back fondly on those years.

As I entered the workforce though, I came to the sudden realization my playing days were over. I could no longer afford to become sidelined from my job due to a broken bone, sprain, or some other serious injury. Plain and simply, it would affect my livelihood. It’s hard to give up such sports, but it became clear to me it was time to find something less brutal to do. This explains why activities like golf, tennis, racquetball, fishing, etc. are popular among those in their middle age or older, there is less of a chance to suffer a serious accident.

Some time ago I helped establish an “Over 35” coed softball league in my area which has since become rather popular. I found our games to be a great stress-reliever and the hub of social activities for the many people who played the game with us over the years. I admonished my players not to get injured. I wanted them to have fun, but if it was a matter of losing a game or facing an injury, particularly at our ages, let’s take the loss. While others played as if they were in the World Series, we played smarter and survived the games with no significant injuries. We may have been beaten by other teams, but they paid for it in injuries, or should I say their companies did.

Young people typically find it difficult to accept the fact they are getting older, and occasionally you come across someone who has seriously injured themselves foolishly. I remember one young man in our print shop who broke his collarbone playing touch football (not tackle). This obviously hindered his effectiveness as a printer. He may have thought the injury was funny, but we made it clear that it was not.

Contact sports is for people who can afford to be injured, such as youth. It is certainly not for adults who have to make a living to support a family. Risking injury in some frivolous game is just plain stupid and should be rebuffed as opposed to celebrated. An injury sets the company back, your workload, your coworkers who must pick up your slack, and your family.

As I warn young people entering the workforce, let’s leave the contact sports to the fond memories of our youth. For example, one day I’ll have to tell you about the Sycamore game in 1971.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  UNDERSTANDING THE NATURAL SYSTEM – Systems always find a way to produce information to support the needs of the enterprise.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News with Dave and Lance” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim’s postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen’s Association, and throughout the Internet.

Posted in Business, Life, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

NEW eBOOK SEEKS TO IMPROVE MORALITY IN AMERICA

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 11, 2013

NEW eBOOK & AUDIO BOOK BY TIM BRYCE

– “Morality is something we all claim to know, but never openly discuss.”

(Click for TIM’S INTERVIEW ON WJTN-AM 1240 WITH JOHN SIGGINS – 20:21 in length)

(Click for TIM’S INTERVIEW ON KIT-AM 1280 WITH LANCE TORMEY & DAVE ETTLE – 9:23 in length)

PALM HARBOR, FL, USA (April 11, 2013) – MBA Press is pleased to announce the publication of a new eBook and Audio/Book from author Tim Bryce entitled, “Stand Up for MORALITY,” (ISBN: 0-9786182-8-9).

Gallup’s annual poll regarding the country’s “Values and Beliefs” paints a dismal picture of the direction of morality with 73% of the respondents believing it is “Getting worse.” Blame can be traced to such things as apathy, greed, a permissive society, parenting, and the entertainment industry. Whatever the cause, people are wondering what can be done about this deteriorating condition. Author Tim Bryce has prepared an analysis of morality in his new eBook, reviews its properties, and makes some recommendations to improve our condition. According to Bryce, “Morality is something we all claim to know, but never openly discuss. Consequently, it is being applied inconsistently across the country. By getting people to openly discuss morality, I am hoping to raise the consciousness of people and apply it on a more uniform basis.”

The book is universally applicable for businesses, schools, and any other institution, including nonprofits.
Contents include:

What is the state of Morality?
Who has an interest in it?
Why it is necessary to teach it in a uniform manner?
What is it? Definitions.
How does it affect us?
How is Morality taught/learned.
Institutions affecting Morality.
Some basic Moral Rules.
Problems (exercise)
Concluding Observations.
Where do we go from here?

According to Bryce, “This is a difficult subject as people feel uncomfortable with it. They think their morality is fine, but everyone else is wrong. The reality is we all need to re-examine our sense of morality, be it at work, home, the classroom, our neighborhood, or wherever people assemble and try to live/work together. I would add this is not about religion. Religion is your business, not mine. I make comments in the eBook pertaining to organized religion as an institution but my intention is to comment on the need for promoting fundamental morality in our society. By understanding the properties of morality, it will enable us to support and perpetuate it.”

“It is well written and the subject matter is timely and well presented. A subject the public needs to think more about.”
– Bill Petrey – Dayville, Connecticut

“Wow Tim this is truly fantastic. It really is.”
– Carol Van Drie – Lansing, Michigan

“It occurs to me that this should be required for discussion in schools as well as business.”
– Jan Smith – Skidway Lake, Michigan

Mr. Bryce is a writer and management consultant who is located in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. He has penned hundreds of articles and several books on a variety of subjects including management, politics and our changing world. Among his books is “MORPHING INTO THE REAL WORLD” – a Handbook for Entering the Work Force. His main blog, “The Bryce is Right!”, can be found on the Internet at timbryce.com

Mr. Bryce has also developed a companion seminar of the same name to discuss morality and allow attendees to work through exercises. He is also available as a guest speaker on the subject.
He can be contacted through his web site at: timbryce.com

“Stand Up for MORALITY” is sold as an eBook, in both PDF and Kindle formats, and as an MP3 AudioBook..

The Kindle format is available through Amazon for $9.99 (U.S.) at:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C5TKMXY

The PDF version is available directly from MBA Press for $10.00 (U.S.) at:
http://www.phmainstreet.com/mba/morality1.htm

It is also available as an AUDIO BOOK (MP3), 47:26 in length, suitable for use on computers and smart phones; $10, see MBA Press.
ISBN: 0-9786182-8-9

Notice distributed by:

MBA PRESS
a division of M&JB Investment Company, Inc.
P.O. Box 675
Palm Harbor, FL 34682-0675
Tel: 727/786-4567
http://www.phmainstreet.com/mba/mbapress.htm

Since 1971: “Software for the finest computer – the Mind”

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  STAYING HEALTHY ON THE JOB – The realities of playing sports as we grow older.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News with Dave and Lance” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim’s postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen’s Association, and throughout the Internet.

Posted in Literature, Morality | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

WHO IS TEACHING MORALITY?

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 10, 2013

BRYCE ON MORALITY

– And why it is important to our survival.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)

To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

One of the most important pieces of legislation passed by our first Congress in 1789 was the Northwest Ordinance. This has long been forgotten by the American public, but the original intent was to define the terms by which America would expand and admit states from that area (the lands surrounding the Great Lakes). An important part of the legislation was Article 3 which stated: “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

In other words, our founding fathers saw the necessity to teach knowledge, religion, and morality in the schools, and for many years the schools did so. Even well into the 20th century, public schools were used to provide religious instruction albeit it was not compulsory and conducted after normal school hours. Aside from this, schools used to teach general religious concepts, such as one divine entity, and moralistic concepts of right and wrong. This was all abandoned in public schools over the last fifty years. To the founding fathers, religion and morality were recognized as a requirement for good government and citizenship. Excluding them from public schools eliminated the means to teach such concepts in a uniform manner. Now such teachings defaulted to other entities:

PARENTS – due to the economic pressures of today, more and more are taking a “hands off” approach to teaching morality and religion to their offspring, thereby allowing them to default the responsibility to others. Many simply do not grasp the significance of it.

SCHOOLS – still have a role to play, but mostly on issues relating to cheating, plagiarism, and general conduct (fighting, tardiness, absenteeism). Formal training on morality is certainly not in the mix. Consider this, reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag is now considered optional in many schools.

COMPANIES – establish codes of conduct, but somehow unethical practices still surface in the cut-throat world of business. Too often, companies fail to practice what they preach.

NONPROFITS – youth sports and scouting programs were originally designed to teach such things as citizenship and “fair play.” Today, pledging to the flag is a rarity in such institutions. Religious and fraternal organizations also have a role to play, as such organizations were designed to promote morality. However, most have evolved into nothing but social clubs, thereby voiding their effect on the public.

CHURCH – attendance at church services dropped over the last fifty years, but appears to have stabilized, particularly as the Baby Boomers grow older. Gallup recently reported New England and the Northwest are now considered the most non-religious states in the country (with the South being the most religious). It’s hard to believe New England, the birthplace of many of our founding fathers, has retreated on religion.

HOLLYWOOD – in the absence of everything else, our youth learn morality and religion from the media as delivered through technology. If morality and religion is lampooned, youth will take note and likely follow suit. It is rather sad when Hollywood has more sway in influencing children than their own parents.

Let us be clear on what is meant by teaching morality, the differences between right and wrong: Teaching the Golden Rule (“do unto others as they would do unto you”) causes people to respect the rights of others. An appreciation for the concept of “property” discourages theft and promotes the concepts of earning and saving. Respect for parents, elders, and government promotes social harmony. Understanding the necessity of government and law promotes tranquility. Honesty promotes moral rectitude and social stability. And philanthropy promotes empathy for our fellow man.

There are many such moralistic lessons which are no longer taught in public schools a la the Northwest Ordinance. Consequently, there is no uniformity in the moral fiber of the country and a general deterioration in our social mores.

Any institution that teaches uniform morality should be actively supported. If schools can no longer teach it, and parents avoid it, one must wonder who is teaching it. The answer is obvious, it has defaulted to the corruption of Hollywood who answers more to the mighty dollar than their conscience. Who should we turn to? Our government? Hardly. Their business is to tend to the administration of the land, not preach dogma. What is needed is a new type of delivery system to teach moral values. I am not sure what this vehicle should be; perhaps it should be special instruction in the form of a training program or text. Whatever it is, something is desperately needed to prevent the country from deteriorating further.

FOOTNOTE: I am currently working on a training program to teach uniform Morality, suitable for use in companies, schools, and other institutions. If you would like to know more or to follow my developments, please send me an e-mail: timb001@phmainstreet.com

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  
timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  STAYING HEALTHY ON THE JOB – The realities of playing sports as we grow older.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 12:30-3:00pm ET), and KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays. 6:00-10:00am MST). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim’s postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen’s Association, and throughout the Internet.

Posted in Morality | 15 Comments »