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Archive for May, 2013

THE MORALITY PLEDGE

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 10, 2013

BRYCE ON MORALITY

– “And if I stumble, grant me the courage to ask for help.”

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

We take several pledges and oaths during our lifetime, a symbolic and public commitment to certain ideals and principles. For example, the pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States expresses our commitment to our country and patriotism. Just about everyone in our government must take an oath to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States. Our wedding vows represent our commitment to our spouse. Even street gangs and organized crime allegedly have symbolic oaths binding their members to their groups, for better or worse.

As I have just completed my series of articles on “Stand Up for MORALITY,” I have been asked what kind of token gesture we should make to express our commitment to improving morality. I thought about this long and hard, whereby I devised the following pledge which is intended to recognize the impact of morality on society and define some basic values the general populace can subscribe to. The pledge is not based on religion, thereby making it universally applicable to anyone who understands the need to practice and promote morality in this country.

The Morality Pledge

I believe morality is a distinguishing characteristic of our culture.
A society without morality is primitive and barbaric.
I know I am not perfect but I will try to lead a virtuous life, not just for myself, but for my family, friends, community, and country.
I will always try to do what is fair, equitable, honorable, or common sense under the circumstances.
I will adhere to the laws, rules, regulations of the land, as well as the local customs, courtesies, and social norms.
If I consider the laws, rules, and regulations immoral, I will endeavor to change them peacefully.
It is my responsibility to become a positive role model, promote moral values, and urge others to develop a moral compass.
I will recognize, and not ridicule, a person practicing a moral act, and will not accept the immoral behavior of others.
I recognize humans are imperfect and make mistakes, but we should strive to improve our society, not destroy it.
I may forgive a transgression, but I certainly will not forget and allow it to be repeated.
I believe in the moral values of honesty, courtesy, respect, kindness, honor, loyalty, courage, integrity, dedication and pride in workmanship.
I will do unto others as I would have others do unto me.
I will respect my elders and those in superior position.
I will help, aid, and assist all persons less fortunate, as I am able to.
I will not wrong, cheat or defraud another.
I will respect the property of others.
I will work faithfully, professionally, and industriously for those employing my services.
I will respect the dignity of the human spirit and treat people fairly and equitably.
I will not do anything to bring dishonor to myself, my family, my community, my profession, and my country.
I will endeavor to take responsibility for my actions and not become a burden on society.
I recognize this will be a difficult task, but grant me the power to resist temptation and do what is right.
And if I stumble, grant me the courage to ask for help.

Something as simple as this pledge may have a profound effect on how morality is implemented in this country. Simply place your right hand over your heart, the sign of fidelity, raise your left hand, repeat the pledge, and express your commitment…. There, that wasn’t so bad was it?

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:  IN PRAISE OF SISTERS – The unique relationship between a brother and a sister.

LAST TIME:  STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 8 OF 8) – Unidirectional teaching is one thing, but it is also important to develop a two way dialog.

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.

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STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 8 OF 8)

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 8, 2013

BRYCE ON MORALITY

– Unidirectional teaching is one thing, but it is also important to develop a two way dialog.

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

This is Part 8 in my series on “Morality” as derived from my new eBook “Stand Up for MORALITY.”

In Part 7 we discussed simplifying complex moral problems and made some more observations about the properties of Morality. Here, in Part 8, we will wrap-up our series with a discussion on “Where do we go from here?”

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

There is an old maxim derived from psychology which contends, “You cannot treat a patient if he doesn’t know he is sick.” If we can admit we have a problem with morality in this country, the next concern should be how to treat it. The answer should be rather obvious, become more proactive in teaching morality. We have been reactive far too long, probably because we falsely believe someone else is going to properly teach it for us, such as the schools and the media. This “hands off” approach is probably the single biggest cause for the decline of morality in this country. Unless you are willing to do what is necessary to teach morality yourself to your offspring or subordinates, someone will invariably do it for you, and probably not to your liking.

First, when should morality be taught? The sooner, the better, particularly for impressionable youth. Lessons of “good versus bad” should be given repetitively, as well as challenging the subordinate to think for him/herself, e.g.; “Is that right or wrong? Why?” Such lessons should be applied consistently. If not, the subordinates will question its validity as it applies to them. If a person understands the cause and effect of a moral lesson, they will more likely embrace it.

Unidirectional teaching is one thing, but it is also important to develop a two way dialog, thereby allowing the teacher to understand what the pupil is thinking. For most families, the dinner table can be invaluable for discussing morality. Openly discuss difficult subjects such as sex, drugs, alcohol, crime, violence, government, politics, etc., not in a crude way, but in a calm, rational manner. Do not try to escape your responsibilities, confront them. If you do not address it now, you will have to react to it later as your offspring will learn it elsewhere. Such an open discussion is invaluable for building trust, confidence, and bonding. For parents, it is particularly useful for understanding what is going on in your offspring’s world, e.g.; what kind of friends they have and what are they saying and doing.

As we have stated, understanding the consequences of our actions and decisions is an important part of learning moral values. To this end, be sure to reward and punish fairly and consistently. Anything less, will be observed by the object of your attention.

Next, become a positive role model. This may very well mean you will personally need to “shapeth up and geteth thine act together.” This will likely involve some soul-searching. You should always be cognizant that as a parent or boss, you are the prime role model and, as such, you should lead your life the way you want your subordinates to do. If this means cleaning up your appearance, dress, speech, habits, or whatever, such is the price for teaching morality. Yes, this means sacrifice.

It also pays to routinely monitor and analyze the progress of your children or employees. This can be done simply by developing a checklist and grading the person in question. On a scale of 1 (High) to 5 (Low) consider these universally applicable attributes associated with a person’s Morality:

Adherence to rules and regulations – whether written or unwritten
Authority, respect for – respectful versus disrespectful
Compassion – Kind and caring versus vicious
Courtesy – exhibits good manners versus crude
Duty, sense of – exhibits dependability, trustworthiness and responsibility
Honesty – truthful versus habitual liar
Language – articulate versus crude
Promptness/Tardiness – always on time or is regularly late

If this sounds like an Employee Evaluation form, it essentially is. Whereas managers/employees typically review such forms jointly to guide the employee, this should be considered optional in this situation. It may be more desirable to prepare this analysis and not divulge the contents to the person as it will become a guide for you, the mentor or parent, as to what issues need to be concentrated on. Then again, openly reviewing it with the other person provides an opportunity to discuss what is right or wrong with their moral values, along with “Why” you believe this is a problem. Conducting such an analysis on a routine basis, such as annually or twice a year, makes it rather easy to plot improvements or detect problems emerging.

I have developed such a form which is included at the end of this manuscript. If desired, please use it as you see fit.

I admonish you to get involved in the teaching of morality, not just at the dinner table, but become actively involved in the lives of your offspring or employees, particularly in the early formative years. If you do a good job early on, it will be more rewarding later on. For children, encourage and support their interests, be it athletics, academics, music or hobbies. If this means becoming a coach, an umpire, a volunteer, or a member of the PTA or Scouts, so be it. However, do not become overbearing thereby inhibiting their personal development. In other words, do not try to live your life through your children. Be more of an observer and offer advice as required. Investing your time now will pay dividends later.

Finally, applaud those people exhibiting strong moral character or committing some unselfish action. Encourage such behavior, do not ridicule it. Such positive feedback will encourage others to emulate them as opposed to criticizing it. If you see someone who has committed some special moral act, either compliment them, or report it to the media, be it the local newspaper, television station, or on the Internet. Recognizing moral behavior is important for others to emulate, be it an act of honesty, keeping one’s word, extending one’s self to help another, or some other act. If people understand their actions are being observed by others, it can have a profound effect on their behavior, as well as others surrounding the person. Most people are modest and avoid reporting simple acts of moral courage they have committed. They modestly see it as nothing more than something they do on a normal day-to-day basis. Nonetheless, we need more role models to emulate, regardless of their social standing in life. We need more people to “Stand Up for Morality.”

CONCLUSION

“I do not believe the greatest threat to our future is from bombs or guided missiles. I don’t think our civilization will die that way. I think it will die when we no longer care. Arnold Toynbee has pointed out that 19 of 21 civilizations have died from within and not from without. There were no bands playing and flags waving when these civilizations decayed. It happened slowly, in the quiet and the dark when no one was aware.”
– Laurence M. Gould
President Emeritus
Carleton College

EPILOG – Friends, I hope you have enjoyed this series on Morality. Again, you can obtain the entire text as an eBook entitled, “Stand Up for MORALITY,” which is 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:  THE MORALITY PLEDGE – “And if I stumble, grant me the courage to ask for help.”

LAST TIME:  STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 7 OF 8) – What is the effect of the decline 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: , , , , | 6 Comments »

STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 7 OF 8)

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 6, 2013

BRYCE ON MORALITY

– What is the effect of the decline of morality?

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

This is Part 7 in my series on “Morality” as derived from my new eBook “Stand Up for MORALITY.”

In Part 6 we considered some Moral problems as an exercise. Here, in Part 7, we will discuss simplifying complex moral problems and make some more observations about the properties of Morality.

SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY

In other words, moral situations may very well be complicated requiring some thought to dissect them to their most fundamental form before recognizing a moral solution. What situations may be simple for some, may be complicated to others. Perhaps the most difficult situations to interpret are those involving sex, violence, drugs and alcohol. Again, it is necessary to break the problem into its fundamental components and determine its morality. For such situations, it is necessary to be mindful of the formal laws, rules and regulations pertaining to a subject, and understanding its effect on others. It also helps to operate from a standard base of moral values.

To illustrate the point, many years ago I happened to be in Cincinnati during a severe winter storm. The city was experiencing blizzard conditions on a work day and the roads were icy. Nonetheless, I was charged with driving to the bank to make a deposit for our company. There were few people on the roads as most had been warned of the road conditions. The route to the bank involved passing through a major four-way intersection which was normally very congested. On this day though, there were but two cars in one lane waiting at the intersection for the light to change. As I approached them from behind I suddenly realized how slippery the roads were. So much so, I quickly realized if I applied my brakes I would surely begin to slide, possibly moving sideways and hitting the other cars. It wasn’t that I was traveling too fast (I was going no faster than 20mph), as much as the driving conditions were simply too treacherous. My options were to obey the law and stop at the traffic light, whereby I would have certainly begun to slide and likely hit the other cars, or pass through the red light thereby causing no injury to anyone. In the flash of an eye, I made the decision to disobey the law and travel through the intersection. Had a police patrol car spotted me, I would have likely been charged with a moving violation. Nonetheless, I made the decision based on my perception of the harmful effect I would have caused others as opposed to adhering to the letter of the law. I tend to believe I made the right decision under these extraordinary circumstances.

CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS

WE LIVE IN AN IMMORAL WORLD. Morality is a human invention. If everyone practiced morality in a uniform manner, we would live in a moral world. However, because of the inconsistency by which morality is applied in the world, there will always be discrepancies and omissions. As such, realizing a 100% moral world is unrealistic.

WE CANNOT BE MORALISTIC 100% OF THE TIME. There will always be an indiscretion, large or small, we will overlook, perhaps because it does nothing more than inconvenience us. Regardless, we should strive for self-improvement and seek perfection. This brings up a a point, PRACTICING MORALITY REQUIRES EFFORT. A person must make a concerted effort to practice morality, not just in their actions but also in their decision-making process.

LEADING A MORALISTIC LIFE IS NOT EASY. In addition to effort, the moral person may be ridiculed, chided, criticized, or ostracized for doing so (it’s not necessarily “Cool”). Nonetheless, you must live with yourself and look at yourself in the mirror. It is your conscience.

What is the effect of the decline of morality? It represents a decline in courtesy, law, the loss of respect of others (their rights and freedoms), and a decline of our civilization. WITHOUT MORALITY, WE WOULD LIVE IN A PRIMITIVE/BARBARIC CULTURE.

NEXT TIME: In Part 8, we will wrap-up our series with a discussion on “Where do we go from here?”

“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 8 OF 8) – Unidirectional teaching is one thing, but it is also important to develop a two way dialog.

LAST TIME:  STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 6 OF 8) – Solving problems of Morality (an exercise).

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: , , , , | 2 Comments »

STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 6 OF 8)

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 3, 2013

BRYCE ON MORALITY

– Solving problems of Morality (an exercise).

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

This is Part 6 in my series on “Morality” as derived from my new eBook “Stand Up for MORALITY.”

In Part 5 we discussed the other institutions affecting morality. Here, in Part 6, we will consider some Moral problems as an exercise.

PROBLEMS

Let’s consider some sample scenarios and determine whether or not they are moral. This can either be done individually or collectively as teams. Allow time for people to think and discuss. Make it competitive if you like. Some are simple, others more complex. All are from real life situations.

1. You happen to find a wallet on the sidewalk filled with a considerable sum of money but no identification as to the owner. Nobody saw you pick it up or knows you have it. What should you do?

A. Pocket the money and discard the wallet claiming “Finders keepers.”

B. Turn it over to the police in case the owner comes looking for it?

2. You are a professional programmer with many years of experience. You have just been hired by a new company and placed on a project to write a program. In designing the software, you realize the logic of the program will be similar to another program you wrote for your previous employer. What should you do?

A. You finalize the logic of the program and write the code anew.

B. Since you kept copies of the programs you have written on a flash drive, you copy the code from your previous assignments. Nobody will know the difference.

3. You are a parent of a high school senior and, naturally, you are concerned about the progress of your offspring. You believe your son/daughter to be a good student. However, the student brings home a high “C” on an important test. You become concerned the grade will cause the student’s grade point average to drop thereby making it harder to be eligible for a certain college. What should you do?

A. You call and ask to arrange a meeting with the teacher whereby you ask advice on how the student should work to improve his/her grades.

B. You call and ask the teacher to change the grade to a low “B”. If the teacher refuses, you
call the principal and register a complaint about the teacher’s competence.

4. You are a patent attorney who has been asked to discuss a new invention as created by a prospective client. You arrange an initial meeting at your office where you discuss the invention. No nondisclosure agreement is signed. The invention is of interest to you as you have a friend who owns a manufacturing company who can build such a product. The invention would be simple to reproduce. What should you do?

A. Tell the inventor you do not believe it is a viable product. You and your manufacturing friend then jointly apply for a patent for a similar offering. After all, you did not accept the inventor as a client, nor did you sign a nondisclosure.

B. You inform the inventor you do not have an interest in the product but provide a reference to another attorney who may be able to help him. The matter is dropped.

5. Commuter traffic is preventing you from getting to work on time. It will also cause you to be late for your weekly meeting where you normally report on the status of your department. You know five other people who will be attending the meeting, all of which are your subordinates. You now realize you will be late for the meeting by at least 30 minutes, maybe longer. What should you do?

A. Using your cell phone, you call the office and notify the attendees you will be late; they can either start without you or wait until you arrive.

B. 30 minutes isn’t a long wait. Instead of calling, you decide to focus on driving to work as quickly as possible.

6. You are a clerk in a cigar store. Mr. Smith is one of your regular customers. He appreciates your efforts and, even though he is under no obligation to do so, he always gives you a $5 tip for the cigars he purchases. One day, Mr. Smith is in a hurry and in signing his credit card receipt, he forgets to add a tip and total. Before you can catch him though, he is gone. What should you do?

A. Knowing he will not mind, you add the $5 tip to the receipt and total it accordingly.

B. You leave the tip blank and use the subtotal as the total.

7. You are a 24 year-old male office worker. You joined a company straight out of college and are enthusiastic about the mission of the business, its products and services. Although your immediate boss is easy going, the department’s senior director is older and very straight laced. Over time, you begin to grow facial hair which, admittedly, looks rough. One day, you decide to wear tattered blue jeans and a T-shirt to work. The senior director stops you in the hallway and admonishes you about your appearance. He instructs you to go home, change clothes, shave, and report back to work. This upsets you as you believe you look fine for the job and being unfairly treated. What should you do?

A. Ignore the Director and go about your business.

B. Do as the Director instructs.

8. You are a talented illustrator who produces artwork for magazines and books. A publication has hired you to develop a political illustration. However, you do not agree with the political point of view you are to depict. What should you do?

A. Produce an illustration in accordance with the specifications of the publisher.

B. Produce an illustration that changes the theme of the graphic and expresses your own political beliefs.

9. You are a well-known and respected newspaper reporter. You have been researching a major story for the last three months. You finally write the article which has the potential of becoming a whistle-blowing expose. You review the article with your editor. Although he thinks you have done an admirable job with the column, he is worried about the political ramifications of the piece, particularly to a politician the newspaper favors. Consequently, he orders you to either change it so it doesn’t embarrass the politician or drop it altogether. This offends you as you realize this is an important subject which the public should be made aware of. What should you do?

A. Do as your editor instructs; you either change it or drop it.

B. You give the story to a colleague who has it printed in a competing newspaper.

10. You are an intolerant anti-smoker. While at an outdoor cafe you observe a person at the next table smoking, which is legal to do so. You detest the smell and instantly develop a dislike for the smoker. What should you do?

A. Ask the smoker to extinguish the cigarette as you claim it bothers you. Should the smoker refuse to do so, you ask the waiter for another table further away from the smoker.

B. When the smoker isn’t looking, you grab the pack of cigarettes and throw it in the trash.

11. A new mother receives a mailed gift containing two of the same expensive item for her baby, but the shipping invoice indicates the giver was charged for only one item. Clearly, one item should be returned to the store with an explanation of the mistake. What should you do?

A. Keep the extra one to give as a shower gift.

B. Take it back to the store for a refund.

NOTE: Both answers are wrong.

As much as we might like to do one thing, we must resist temptation in order to fulfill our moral obligation. To some, the temptation is too great to resist. The more frequently we turn away from our moral values, the more our culture deteriorates. Consider the permissiveness of our society today. Was it like this during our parent’s generation? Our grandparent’s generation? Or great grandparent’s generation? 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, patriotism, love, assisting others, etc. The impact of economics, war and peace played a dramatic role on their values, as did their participation in organized religion. It is my contention each generation becomes more permissive than the last due to changing perceptions of the country. What is considered acceptable today, may not be considered so yesterday, or possibly tomorrow. Ask yourself the question, who was more tolerant, your parents or yourself? And who is more tolerant, you or your offspring?

NEXT TIME: In Part 7, we will discuss simplifying complex moral problems and make some more observations about the properties of 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 7 OF 8) – What is the effect of the decline of morality?

LAST TIME:  STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 5 OF 8) – Are we really ashamed of participating in such organizations or are we being conditioned to think this way?

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: , , , , | 3 Comments »

STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 5 OF 8)

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 1, 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 5 in my series on “Morality” as derived from my new eBook “Stand Up for MORALITY.”

In Part 4 we discussed how Morality is taught and learned. Here, in Part 5, consider the other institutions affecting morality.

Let us also consider the other institutions affecting morality:

FAMILY – it is the inherent duty of parents to teach the lessons of right and wrong to their offspring, either at the dinner table or by being a role model. However, due to the economic pressures of today, more and more are taking a “hands off” approach for teaching morality to their children, thereby defaulting 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 immoral practices still surface in the cutthroat world of business. Too often, companies fail to practice what they preach.

NONPROFITS – youth sports programs and scouting were originally designed to teach such things as citizenship and “fair play.” To illustrate, consider their Oaths, Laws, and Pledges:

Boy Scout Oath

On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.

Boy Scout Law

A Scout is:
Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful,
Friendly, Courteous, Kind,
Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty,
Brave, Clean, Reverent.

Little League Pledge

I trust in God
I love my country
And will respect its laws
I will play fair
And strive to win
But win or lose
I will always do my best.

Despite their good intentions, such organizations are experiencing a decline in membership. For example:

“The organization, long an icon of wholesomeness in a simpler America, has seen its membership plunge by 42 percent since its peak year of 1973, when there were 4.8 million scouts. In the last decade alone, membership has dropped by more than 16 percent, to 2.8 million.”

– New York Times
“Boy Scouts Seek a Way to Rebuild Ranks”
July 30, 2010

“As for Little League, which covers kids aged 4 to 18, about two million kids played in the U.S. last year, compared to about 2.5 million in 1996—an overall decline of 25%.”
– Wall Street Journal
“Has Baseball’s Moment Passed?”
March 31, 2011

Fraternal organizations, who also claim to promote morality, and organized religion are also in decline. Consider the Freemasons and their allied bodies, such as the Shrine, Grotto, Eastern Star, Scottish Rite, York Rite, Job’s Daughters, DeMolay, Rainbow Girls, et al. Membership in the Masons is in serious decline. So much so, Lodges and chapters of the various allied bodies are shrinking and closing their doors. According to the Masonic Service Association, membership in the Masons (in the United States) has dropped 68% since its high in 1959.

Attendance at church services has also dropped over the last fifty years, but appears to have stabilized, particularly as the Baby Boomers grow older. In December 2012, Gallup 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.

Is the decline of fraternal and religious institutions indicative they are not keeping up with the times or are the attitudes of the public changing in terms of participating in such perceived moralistic organizations? Probably both. Are we really ashamed of participating in such organizations or are we being conditioned to think this way? I suspect the latter.

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.

SOME BASIC MORAL RULES

Let’s try to define some basic moral values that all can accept. This should be done as a group discussion, be it at the dinner table or office. Here are some commonly referenced values:

* Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

* Respect elders and those in superior position.

* Adhere to the laws, rules and regulations of the land.

* Help, aid, and assist all persons less fortunate, as I am able to.

* Not wrong, cheat or defraud another.

* Respect the property of others.

* Work faithfully, professionally, and industriously for those employing my services.

* Respect the dignity of the human spirit and treat people equitably.

NEXT TIME: In Part 6, we will consider some Moral problems as an exercise.

“Stand Up for MORALITY” is an eBook available in PDF, Kindle and Audio formats.
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Mr. Bryce is available to speak on this subject

Keep the Faith!

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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

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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 6 OF 8) – Solving problems of Morality (an exercise).

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

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