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Archive for the ‘Morality’ Category

TIM’S CRASH COURSE ON ETHICS 101

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 23, 2019

BRYCE ON MORALITY

– Some suggestions.

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

We all know basically what is right and wrong, but ethics requires a person with strength and character to implement them, something that is somewhat uncommon in this day and age. I’m not going to tell you to keep your word, or to be honest and lead an upright and respectable life; you should know this already. The question is, do you have the fortitude to do so?

Perhaps these simple guidelines will help:

1. Learn to say, “No.” It is an incredibly powerful word and something we do not say enough of. At times it may seem awkward and uncomfortable to say, but learn to say “No” nonetheless.

2. Avoid politics and religion in the workplace. Employers do not want to disrupt the harmony of the workplace. Consequently, avoid such discussion. However, once your are off-site, you are free to discuss whatever you want; we live in a free country.

3. Go the extra mile, avoid the temptation to take the easy way out. Short cuts may seem nice, but following the right path is more rewarding in the long run.

4. Write a code of conduct defining how employees are to behave on the job.

5. Recognize and reward ethical behavior; Penalize bad behavior.

6. Report indiscretions, either internally within your company, or to external sources, such as the Better Business Bureau. As a tip, make sure it is well documented. Don’t want to report it? Then don’t complain or whine about it to others (shutup).

7. Participate in and promote organized discussions on ethics, either in the office, at home, in school, in civic groups, on the Internet, or wherever. Raise the consciousness on ethics.

8. Last but not least, lead by example. Become a role model for how you want others to behave.

And God, No, don’t let the government get involved with teaching ethics. That would be like allowing the inmates to run the asylum.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Don’t forget my new book, “Tim’s Senior Moments” now available in Printed and eBook form.

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 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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Posted in Business, Morality | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

BRYCE TAKES ON JESUS

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 24, 2019

BRYCE ON RELIGION

– I believe.

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

As many of you know, I have written on a wide variety of subjects over the years, everything from management and technology, to history, politics and life in general. Some of it is instructional, some political, some humorous, and others are simply observations of life. I have also written considerably on morality over the years, but little on organized religion, least of all Jesus Christ. I find people today are hesitant to discuss Jesus, and Christianity in general, as it has become politically incorrect to do so. There are a lot of Christians who tend to treat their religion very privately, and resist discussing it publicly. I wish to change this by stating my own beliefs.

First, let me openly say, I believe in Jesus and consider myself a proud Christian. I am familiar with many passages in the Bible, but I cannot say I have read it cover-to-cover. Yet, I remember the lessons I learned in church and various readings over the years. Do I believe Jesus existed? Yes, of course, there is certainly a lot of evidence to indicate his existence. Was he the son of God? Actually, I believe we’re all the sons and daughters of God. The biggest difference was that Jesus possessed the word of God.

His lessons of love, morality and spirituality are well known and shaped the Christian sense of right and wrong for many centuries. For example, I marvel at the resiliency of the human spirit, our ability to feel empathy and help others, to seek pride in workmanship and be industrious. From this, I have learned to appreciate the wonders of Mother Nature and find its bounty inspiring; everything from the beauty of a lone flower, to crops, to the majesty of wildlife and our physical surroundings. It is all beautiful and humbling to witness. However, it is our ability to think and master complex problems in order to improve the human condition I find particularly rewarding.

As a Christian I am cognizant of the immortal part within us that shall survive the grave and which shall never die. I firmly believe this and see evidence all around us. For example, I remember the gentle humor of my maternal great-grandfather and the gentleness of his wife (my great-grandmother). I learned from my maternal grandmother the necessity of keeping one’s mind sharp and busy, the work ethic of my paternal grandfather and the need to treat others fairly from my other grandmother. I embody these life lessons handed down to me through my family, as well as the many people I have encountered in my journey through life. Through me, their lives live on. I only hope I can competently pass these lessons on to my heirs and acquaintances.

I recognize we are imperfect creatures and susceptible to evil, which must be combated, and that religion has been the cause of death and destruction over the millenniums, such as the Crusades, the Inquisition, and today’s confrontation with Muslim extremists. Such chapters in our history reminds us of our imperfections. Fortunately, Jesus taught us the necessity for atoning for our sins and the power of forgiveness.

Christianity is the world’s largest religious group and can be found around the world. It has touched the lives of literally billions of people and played a substantial role in the development of Western civilization.

The United States would probably never have been founded had it not been for religious persecution. Here, we established a safe haven for people to practice their religion of choice, be it the many Christian religious sects, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and many others. Because the early settlers were European, this explains why Christianity played an influential role in our country’s founding and development.

I am truly bewildered as to why Christians are scoffed at today. We have accomplished a lot even though we are certainly not perfect, after all we’re only human, but I suspect Christians are ridiculed as we are perceived as some sort of political and religious threat.

I practice Christianity, others may follow another path, which doesn’t bother me the slightest bit. However, I deeply resent it when people look down their noses at my religion and try to portray it as radical, dangerous, and leads to such things as racism and injustice. I am sorry but I simply refuse to accept it. Such discrepancies lies at the very heart of the teachings of Jesus, to love and accept.

Atheists and agnostics would have us believe religion is meaningless and anyone practicing it is not intelligent to know better. I, for one, am not so naive as to believe that the heaven and Earth were all created by accident. There must be a reason for us to exist. As for me, I like to believe it is to make the world a better place to live and for us to evolve as a species, to seek perfection for the glory of God. I am certainly not ashamed of my religion and am unapologetic for being a Christian.

I am also not so naive to believe that in the immensity of the universe, we are the only beings possessing the gift of life and thought, who must also be experiencing the same travails we are, be it ahead of our development or behind us. The prospect of meeting such beings in the future, to share information and prosperity, is intriguing.

All of this though, begins with a sense of religion, and in the eyes of Christians, the lessons of Jesus Christ. From my perspective, we were given the rare gift of someone to show us the way to grow and develop.

Yes, I believe in Jesus and I see no reason not to publicly declare my devotion, either here in print or in person. Actually, I believe we need more people to do so, and not be afraid of skeptics and political correctness. No, I will not whisper His name or hide my faith as the Jews were forced to hide their religion in Nazi Germany. By not publicly declaring our support for our beliefs, the lessons of Jesus are weakened and face erosion.

As an aside, over the years I have heard many different songs pertaining to Christ, be it Christmas Carols, Gregorian chants, and other songs from popular music. The one I particularly enjoy is “Oh Happy Day” by the Edwin Hawkins Singers. I remember when this first came out in the late 1960’s. I have always found it to be a positive spiritual message confirming our belief in Jesus. It’s just as applicable today as it was back then.

Oh Happy Day!

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 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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

THE CAUSES FOR MORALITY DECLINE

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 31, 2017

BRYCE ON MORALITY

– The causes are right in front of us, but is anyone paying attention?

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

Not long ago, I wrote about “Our Changing Values” whereby I noted our shifting attitudes towards what is considered right and wrong. This was based on Gallup’s May 2017 report noting an accelerated trend toward liberal positions. The purpose of my column was to have people take notice of an emerging problem. Unfortunately, most Americans have not noticed, or are simply apathetic about the problem and do not understand what is causing it. Perhaps I can help.

The cause for our changing attitudes does not reside in a single area, but rather a combination of different elements, such as technology addiction, our drug culture, parental abdication, Hollywood values, a decline in church influence, and an influx of immigrants. Let’s consider each separately:

First, not long ago it was discovered technology possesses the same addictive powers as drugs. In my column on “Proof of Technology Addiction,” I reported on the work of Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, who contends technology raises dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with rewards, as does sex and drugs. He goes on to say, “Recent brain imaging research is showing that they affect the brain’s frontal cortex – which controls executive functioning, including impulse control – in exactly the same way that cocaine does.”

This addiction to technology, such as smart phones, tablets and pc’s, is affecting our social skills, including our ability to converse orally or through the printed word. When we become more fixated on technology as opposed to humans, it denotes a change in our perceptions, values and priorities.

Second, we are plagued by a fifty year drug culture that is becoming more invasive in our lives. News of a rising opioid epidemic is common today and shows no sign of abating. Heroin is on the rise, as is marijuana where states are starting to embrace it for both medicinal and recreational purposes. Like technology, when we become addicted to drugs, our values and priorities change. Instead of working harder and leading a worthy life, we become consumed with getting high as an escape outlet.

Third, parental abdication – unlike yesteryear, it is now common for both parents to be fully employed. This means an adult is not home to tend to the needs of their offspring. It also means parents are tired and willing to have others look after their children, such as teachers and coaches, people charged with teaching various skills, but not morality. Parents also generously provide youth with computer games to occupy their time, but such games may encourage violence and other vices. On the plus side, families still enjoy assembling around the dinner table if it is nothing more than once each week. Interestingly, a 2016 Harris Poll claims 4 in 10 families eat their meals in front of the TV, not the dinner table, another sign of deteriorating social skills and a gravitational pull by technology. This abdication by parents to teach morality to their children is perhaps the most disturbing element here.

Fourth, the values of Hollywood greatly influence youth. Sexual remarks and innuendo often is emulated, and massive amounts of violence may also lead to unhealthy decisions. The lessons of greed, lust, selfishness, theft, deceit, etc. are all graphically displayed, but not necessarily in a positive manner.

Fifth, declines in the belief of God and church attendance – both Gallup and Harris have produced polls showing the belief in a Supreme Being is slowly declining. Further, attendance at religious institutions is also declining; “65 percent of churches are declining or plateaued.”

Even more disturbing is fewer younger people are going to church which, of course, affects membership. “For every new church that opens, four close.” For many years, churches and temples preached the lessons of right and wrong, but with fewer attendees, these lessons now go unheeded. It has become glaringly obvious to churches they must change in order to survive, be it the venue or how to disseminate their message.

And finally, sixth, we are faced with an enormous influx of immigrants, both legal and illegal. According to a recent report, “U.S. Immigrant Population Hit Record 43.7 Million in 2016,” representing an increase of half a million since 2015, 3.8 million since 2010, and 12.6 million since 2000. And the figure of 437 million immigrants will likely double by 2060 if left unchecked.

America has always been a melting pot of immigrants, but those coming to our shores have adapted to the American way of life, not the other way around. It is true, each ethnic group brings their own unique peculiarities to the table, but it is necessary for them to adapt to the language, customs and laws of their new country as several generations have done so before them. However, if they refuse to adapt, an unhealthy adversarial relationship is created which affects our social climate, such as offering different rules of right and wrong.

With the decline of the family unit and organized religion, there are fewer and fewer outlets to teach moral values, such as the Golden Rule (“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”), and the virtues of such things as the Ten Commandments. This opens the door to learn new values as proposed by Hollywood, immigrants, and driven home through technology.

Now that we have identified the problem, and noted its causes, the next question should be rather obvious; What can be done about them? As long as the public remains apathetic to the problem, and refuses to discuss it, it will certainly not get better on its own. If you would like me to speak on this subject at your house of worship or nonprofit group, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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 40 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 © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  THINNING THE HERD – Are accidents truly accidental or a matter of “natural selection”?

LAST TIME:  HOW WELL ARE WE PREPARING THE NEXT GENERATION?  – Not as well as we might think.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Morality | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

OUR CHANGING VALUES

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 9, 2017

BRYCE ON MORALITY

– “You cannot treat a patient if he doesn’t know he is sick.” – Bryce’s Law

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

Each year, the Gallup organization checks the pulse of the country’s morality. According to their annual study, for the last few years, many people believe America’s morality is deteriorating. In their May 2017 report, Gallup noted, “Americans continue to express an increasingly liberal outlook on what is morally acceptable, as their views on 10 of 19 moral issues that Gallup measures are the most left-leaning or permissive they have been to date.”

Some people will laugh at this observation, others will look at it more seriously. Coupled with this is the reality of declining attendance and membership in organized religion and traditional civic minded institutions such as Scouting, Freemasonry, Knights of Columbus, and other charitable organizations. This denotes apathy and indifference to the values these organizations embrace. Historically, our values are learned around the dinner table, but parents today have abdicated teaching values to school teachers and the entertainment industry. This reflects a change in parenting skills and a decline in the cohesiveness of the family unit.

Patriotism is also changing. Fewer people are standing for the pledge of allegiance and national anthem, offering a symbolic gesture of protest instead. Some people believe this is an acceptable form of protest, others do not, but it is gaining in notoriety and further dividing the country. There are those who still relish a hometown 4th of July parade with some John Philip Sousa thrown in for good measure. There are others who find this comical and dismiss it out of hand. The same is true when “Taps” is played on Memorial Day or Veterans Day. This denotes a split in our perceptions of what America is suppose to represent and love of country.

There are many other indicators of conflicting values in this country. For example, some state governments are resisting attempts by the federal government to investigate voter fraud. Further, states and cities desperately cling to the concept of Sanctuary Cities, which is commonly viewed by others as havens for illegal immigrant criminals.

It is also worth noting a recent FBI report noting the rise of violent crimes over the last two years (2015, 2016). Such crimes include:

* Murder and non-negligent manslaughter offenses, which increased 8.6%.

* Aggravated assault, which rose 8.6%.

* Rape, which increased 4.9%.

* And robbery, which rose 1.2%.

Overall, the 2016 violent crime rate rose 3.4% as compared with 2015, a significant uptick. Chicago represented the largest metropolitan area for violence, easily outpacing New York City which has approximately three million more people.

So, the question becomes, do these changes in our values represent an improvement or a decline in our society? As indicated by the Gallup study, liberals will see this as positive while conservatives will argue its harmful effects, and therein lies the true reason for divisiveness in America. And when you add intolerance for opposing views, you’ve got a recipe for violence.

If you believe these changes are positive, there is nothing much for you to do as the pendulum is rapidly swinging your way.

However, if you believe these changes are negative, the first thing to do is simply recognize a problem exists. After all, “You cannot treat a patient if he doesn’t know he is sick” (Bryce’s Law). Second, it is time to speak up, either in group settings, in letters to your local newspapers or Congressmen. A dialog about the moral values in this country is long overdue as the country appears confused as to what is right and wrong. For religious and civic minded institutions, such discussions are vital before they close their doors permanently. Apathy and indifference will not suffice, now is the time to act before it is too late. Remember, silence represents acceptance of the status quo.

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 40 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 © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  MANAGEMENT A LA 1961 – Some management lessons from the past.

LAST TIME:  GAMES WE PLAYED AS KIDS  – Anybody remember “Red Rover”?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Morality | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

THE PROBLEMS RESULTING FROM MORAL DECAY

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 11, 2017

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– How it impacts business.

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

I recently went out to dinner with a business friend who owns a medium sized manufacturing company with just over 50 employees. Over a couple of cocktails he started to express to me his frustration with his people. He claimed to pay them well, provides a comfortable work environment, and offers a respectable benefits package. Regardless, he wished his people were more dedicated and professional in their attitude. He yearned for the old days when there was more pride in workmanship (and you thought I was the last of the whiners). I’ve known my friend for a long time and know his management style; he works well with people and although he insists on organization and structure, he tends to empower his workers to assume responsibility as opposed to micromanaging them to death. Frankly, I know a lot of people who would love to work in his environment, yet he still had this problem of employee attitudes and asked me for my thoughts on it.

I told him what he was experiencing was a simple matter of moral decay. Regardless of the work environment he provided and his interpersonal relations with his employees, there are other forces at work, namely our eroding system of values. I explained the following to illustrate the point:

* It used to be a person’s word was his bond. If he made a verbal commitment, you could count on it. Today, lying and deceit are commonplace in just about every corner of our society. Consequently, our expectations to honor a commitment have been lowered and, even worse, we have lost faith and trust in our fellow man.

* We used to have dedicated workers who cared about their work and doggedly saw a task through to completion. Now, we no longer associate our reputations with our work products. This may be because we have laws today making it difficult to reprimand or fire anyone regardless of their performance. Further, we now suffer from the “99% complete” syndrome whereby we never seem to finish anything with the excuse that, “We’ll get around to it.” In other words, determination and pride have been replaced by indifference which erodes production and opens the door for competition.

* We used to respect our bosses and were loyal to our companies. As long as you were employed by someone, you bit your tongue and endeavored to help the company succeed. For example, I knew a loyal Boeing employee who steadfastly refused to fly on anything but Boeing aircraft. Today, concepts such as corporate loyalty and respect are a thing of the past as employees no longer trust management, and management doesn’t trust its workers, all of which leads to an inordinate amount of back stabbing and political maneuvering. It’s no small wonder that today’s employees are regarded more as free agents as opposed to team players.

To me, morality means giving of one’s self, putting aside our self interests for the common good of all. However, if in fact such things as honor, courtesy, pride, respect, sacrifice, courage, dedication, commitment, loyalty, honesty, perseverance, integrity, and professionalism, are adjectives of the past, then we are indeed witnessing the moral decay of our society. Actually, it’s rather remarkable we have progressed as far as we have as a species, but it makes you wonder how much farther we would be if we had the moral fortitude to overcome greed, corruption, and other vices. As Samuel Clemens correctly observed, “Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.”

Interestingly, American morality seems to change whenever we change presidents from one political party to another. I can think of no other single event which benchmarks a change in our culture than the passing of the presidential torch. Consider for example, the social changes incurred in the transition from Eisenhower to Kennedy, from Carter to Reagan, Bush to Clinton, and now Obama to Trump. A change in Presidential party signals a change in social norms and moral priorities.

So what can be done about deteriorating moral values? You would think that our religious institutions would have a significant role to play here. Not necessarily. There are those who go to church simply to absolve themselves of their sins from the preceding week, not to correct any character flaw. After being “cleansed” they revert back to their indiscretions. No, we need to lead by example, reward accomplishments and truly penalize violations as opposed to looking the other way. There will always be those who are morally handicapped and persist in attempting to undermine our system of values, but we owe it to ourselves and our posterity to persevere. Our ability to surmount moral corruption defines who we are as a civilization.

Years ago, Arnold Toynbee said succinctly, “Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder,” meaning our social problems are actually self inflicted. If we can cause the problems, I would like to believe we are strong enough to solve them, regardless of the price to be paid. Going back to my friend’s problem, what is needed is a little inspiration, hope, belief in ourselves, a little brother/sisterhood, and a legal system that doesn’t stifle morality, but rather promotes it. Regardless of the magnitude of the job, from major to menial, workers must believe they are leading an honorable and worthwhile life. There is nothing wrong with ambition, as long as it doesn’t lead to incessant politics. There is nothing wrong with personal achievement/recognition, as long as teamwork doesn’t suffer. There is nothing wrong with criticism, as long as it’s constructive, not destructive. Basically, we just need some common sense and respect for the human spirit.

So, the question comes down to this; Do we still possess the fortitude to do what is morally right? That is a question for each of us to answer and for our heirs to judge.

First published: October 20, 2008

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 40 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 © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  THE PROBLEMS RESULTING FROM MORAL DECAY – How it impacts business.

LAST TIME:  EXPANDING GOVERNMENT  – Why it has gotten so.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Business, Management, Morality | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

WHAT IS FAIR?

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 5, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Is it in the eye of the beholder?

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

Good question. This is something we all demand but I don’t think we really know what fair is; to illustrate:

* In this country we have established an extensive system of jurisprudence involving lawyers, judges, juries, appeals, etc. Yet, when a decision is finally reached, we claim it wasn’t fair. Case in point, the Casey Anthony jury decision. America felt she literally got away with murder.

* In sports, we trust the officials will be fair in regulating the game, but we become unglued when we find an official tampering with the rules. When I coached Little League baseball, I would resent umpires who called balls and strikes one way for a team and different for the other. I didn’t realize the strike zone could change so significantly between innings.

* The news media outlets tout themselves as fair and impartial, but I don’t know anyone who honestly believes it.

* In the work place, we hope our bosses and coworkers will treat us fairly in our working relationships, and feel dejected when we find ourselves on the losing end of a political maneuver. All we want is a fair and even playing field to compete on. Rarely do we get it.

* On the highway, we believe everyone should observe the same rules of the road and are aghast when someone flagrantly violates them, while others get stopped for petty moving violations.

* We want people to pay their fair share of taxes, but argue about how this should be accomplished. Some suggest a flat tax, others want regressive taxation whereby the rich must pay for the poor.

* We believe countries should treat each other equitably and are outraged when we find a violation of agreements thereby threatening peace or disrupting economics.

Being “fair” is an obsession with a lot of people, but only if it is in their favor. As much as we harangue about fairness, deep down we really don’t want it. Fairness is a human interpretation. It is in the eye of the beholder. What one person considers fair, another will consider just the opposite, even if the law, rule or regulation is documented in writing. It takes an impartial and informed person to determine what is equitable for all of the parties concerned. Unfortunately, it seems people today are easily prejudiced and rely more on gossip and spin as opposed to facts.

Fairness is based on who interprets the rules, usually by the person(s) in power, not by plurality of vote. As the power shifts, our interpretation of fairness shifts. This means our sense of fairness changes over time as perspectives and priorities change. For example, what would be considered “fair” by our nation’s founding fathers is certainly not the same as those in government today. In the early days, it was considered “fair” for land owners to be the only people allowed to vote in elections because they were considered responsible citizens, not shiftless rabble. Naturally, this changed over the years so any Tom, Dick, or Mary can vote regardless how “responsible” they were as citizens. Today, elections are won more by media spin than by the true issues of the day. Yet, we believe this is fair.

Our perception of fairness is based on our moralistic makeup which, obviously, varies based on cultural and religious differences. To illustrate, the morals of a Salvation Army Colonel will be substantially different than an atheist gang-banger from the ‘hood. I cannot imagine any commonality between the two. This is what happens when you live in a heterogeneous society. Japan, on the other hand is more homogenous in nature and as such, shares moral values which leads to consistent interpretations of what is right and wrong. The point is, as morality declines or becomes splintered through incompatible interpretations, it compounds the problem of realizing consistent fairness. The greater the uniformity in morality, the more likely fairness will be consistently applied.

Fairness is often defined by a plurality of vote, be it polls, legislatures, or a jury. It is their perception only, not necessarily what is fair. We have all seen too many votes that led to erroneous results primarily because those in judgment are not properly informed or lack the ability to offer an unbiased verdict.

As the populace becomes more disjointed, we write legislation based on poll numbers or elections, but this does not necessarily mean it is fair, only that it is the perception of the plurality, which may be right, but also could be wrong.

So, whether you are on a ball field, in a classroom, in the workplace, or wherever, you must recognize that absolute fairness is a myth. It is based on the interpretation and whims of the people who interpret the rules. Even if we were to automate decisions by computer, we must remember such rules are programmed by humans with all of their frailties. In other words, the computer will only render a decision as programmed by the human-being.

If you are upset that something is unfair, get over it. King Solomon died thousands of years ago. You win some, you lose some. Put your best foot forward and hope you’ll be treated fairly.

“Forget fair. Our world was not designed to be fair.”
– Tom Hopkins
“How to Master the Art of Selling Anything”

Also published in The Huffington Post.

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 40 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 © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

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LAST TIME:  JOB ENTITLEMENTS  – Who says you are entitled to it?

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Posted in Life, Morality | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

PRIME TIME MORALITY

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 11, 2016

BRYCE ON MORALITY

– Does everything on TV have to be rated “R”?

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I came home from work not long ago and decided to watch some prime time television on one of the major networks. I’m not going to mention which one as I think they are all basically the same. It was a sitcom night and my wife and I watched three of them. Over the next hour and a half it occurred to me the network was transmitting some rather disturbing messages:

* They discouraged smoking, but promoted recreational drug abuse and alcoholism instead.

* Pre-marital sex, lesbianism and a ménage à trois was portrayed as okay, and marriage was for suckers (and will most likely end in divorce).

* Profanity and lack of manners and courtesy was considered the norm, not the exception.

And this was just one evening’s worth of prime time.

In 90 minutes I learned my sense of the world was all screwed up and I should be more like these hip young characters in the shows. I am certainly not a prude, but these messages disturbed me in terms of what Hollywood is telling our youth.

It wasn’t always like this of course, as censors watched prime time content carefully. This all changed with the advent of Cable-TV which could offer more risque programming for its viewership. Profanity and pornography quickly crept into our consciousness. It seemed the more lewd and obnoxious the program was, the better. Cable-TV became such a powerful force that the prime time networks could no longer resist and lowered their standards in order to remain competitive. This of course marked a significant change in our culture as our vocabulary, humor, customs, and morality was greatly affected.

Some would argue, “What’s the big deal? The kids are going to learn it anyway.” This may be so, but I question the media’s role in advancing it. Think about it, whereas the “Big 3” networks at one point offered programming rated “G”, today they would easily earn an “R” rating regardless of the day of the week.

Television signals have been traveling through the cosmos since we started transmitting in the 1940’s. Distant worlds are just now receiving pictures of “I Love Lucy” and “The Honeymooners” among others. I wonder what their impression of Earth will be when they finally receive episodes of “Two Broke Girls”, “Two and a Half Men,” and just about everything else we show these days. I wonder if they will understand any of it, as I know I have trouble making any sense of it myself.

As I have written in the past, our sense of comedy has changed radically over the years. Whereas, we were more “suggestive” in the past, which would cause viewers to use their imagination, now it is all “in your face,” leaving nothing to the imagination. I am just questioning the wisdom of having the networks drive home questionable moral values over and over again every night. Is there no self-control or sense of responsibility in the media anymore? Evidently not.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

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 40 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 © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

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Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

 

Posted in Morality | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

TRYING TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 17, 2016

BRYCE ON MORALITY

– Doing “right” requires perseverance and an intolerance for what is “wrong.”

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As we grow up, we are taught the difference between right and wrong. Even in the absence of effective parenting, a growing problem in this day and age, children look to schools, their religious institutions, their clubs and peers, and the media for answers. Teachers are typically overburdened, attendance at church has diminished to approximately 40% of the populace, the media is more inclined to promote sex and violence as opposed to morality, and there is a steady resurgence of juvenile gang related problems in recent years. It’s not until we are older, and more mature, when the difference is made clear to us. Even then, it remains fuzzy to some of us.

I’m not here to preach dogma, only to try and articulate how we learn the differences between the two. Perhaps the most influential philosophy in this regards is “The Golden Rule” whereby we are admonished to “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” This is a fundamental part of modern human rights and a philosophy embraced by all religions. Yet, it is something we have moved away from in recent times as people have become more self-centered due to socioeconomic influences; e.g., greed and competition.

In the corporate world, for example, there is more of an inclination to establish “Win-Lose” relationships as opposed to “Win-Win,” as professed by the late quality assurance consultant W. Edwards Deming. Under “Win-Lose,” in order for one party to succeed, another party must fail. Deming challenged this rationale and questioned what is wrong with establishing “Win-Win” relationships whereby both parties succeed. He often cited the story of the project to make NYLON, the well known synthetic polymer, which was developed by two groups working in cooperation, one from New York (NY) and another from London (LON), hence the name. Joining forces, was simply the right thing to do.

Pursuant to Deming’s work, I have learned that the only type of business deal to enter into is a situation where both parties benefit, not just one. If one party prospers at the expense of the other, it is simply not worth it. Consequently, integrity and trust are key elements for “Win-Win,” two important socialization skills that seem to be diminishing. There is nothing wrong with tough negotiations, but when a deal is struck, you must have confidence that the other party if going to uphold their end of the bargain.

Doing the right thing is not always easy; in fact, it can be rather painful which is one reason why some people avoid it and take the most expeditious way out. For example, people would rather find a loophole than pay a creditor what is rightfully due them. Doing what is right isn’t always profitable either, as we discovered when we made the decision to move our business from Cincinnati, Ohio to the Tampa Bay area of Florida. At the time, we had several employees and when we finally made the decision to move the company, we offered them two choices, either we would help them find a new job locally or pay their relocation expenses to Florida. Keep in mind, we were not required to do either, but felt it was the right thing to do. Economically, it would have been cheaper to terminate everyone and recruit new personnel in Florida, but this was not the route we took. From this perspective, doing “right” means accommodating others, not just yourself.

Doing what is right requires moral fiber which comes from learned behavior. In the absence of parenting and formal teachings, it is learned through the social mores of the people we come in contact with, regardless if they are positive or negative role models. In other words, in order to adapt to a social group, be it a vicious gang or a Cub Scout pack, we will gravitate towards and emulate those we perceive as confident leaders or those with particular talents we admire, hence the need for positive role models. This also means the media has a moral responsibility to our culture. If they depict unsavory characters with questionable moral integrity in a favorable light, the actions of these characters will be envied and emulated. Yes, life can definitely imitate art.

So, is doing the right thing “right” for you? That depends on your perceptions and priorities. Understand this though, doing what is right is more than just adhering to the legal laws of the land. It’s also a matter of adhering to the moral values you have personally adopted. Now for the big question, how does your morality compare to what society expects; is it better, worse, or nothing more than the status quo? Hopefully, it is better. Doing “right” requires perseverance and an intolerance for what is “wrong.” Bottom line, can you look yourself in the mirror with any regrets?

Also published with News Talk Florida.

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 © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

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PROMOTING MORALITY

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 27, 2016

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Some suggestions.

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For several years, the Gallup organization has been monitoring and measuring morality in our country. One glaring statistic always jumps out at me, specifically Americans believe morality is in decline and our values are changing. There may be several causes for this, such as the decline of organized religion, the influence of the media, and the decline of parenting. This has resulted in a new period of unrest where riots, violent protests, and a general disrespect for the law has become commonplace.

The question is, are we doing enough to promote morality in this country? The answer is simple, No. When I was performing research for my book, “Stand Up for MORALITY,” I found there were very few people addressing the problem. I found the New Zealand police trying to teach it, as well as the Israeli military, but aside from organized religion, I found very little in terms of addressing morality in this country as well as others.

There are essentially two elements for an individual’s judgement. First, our perceptions perform an essential role, such as our sense of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. If we do not perceive a situation correctly, we are likely to arrive at an erroneous conclusion. As a veteran systems man, I can assure you, if the input is wrong, everything that ensues will be wrong. Consequently, people tend to act on impulse as opposed to dissecting a situation correctly.

The second element, is our interpretation of right and wrong, representing our moral judgement. Based on our perceptions, we then calculate what we believe to be a proper course of action which is ultimately based on our values, such as:

* Implementation of the Golden Rule; do we want to do unto others, as we want others do unto us, or are we contrary and self-absorbed, only doing what is best for ourselves?

* Do we believe violence of any kind, be it murder, rape, muggings, is a proper way to socialize?

* Do we believe theft is justified based on our socioeconomic condition? For example, is looting and theft acceptable for the poor and disadvantaged, as opposed to working to obtain property?

These two elements, perceptions and values, is the basis for our morality. Our sense of society is ultimately based on finding commonality in moral values. It’s a “Birds of a feather” phenomenon whereby we cooperate with people who share our beliefs, and resist those who do not. If all of us possessed incompatible values and perceptions, chaos will ensue. In the past, consistent moral values were taught by organized religion, but as the concept of God has diminished, inconsistent interpretations emerge.

Since organized religion is in retreat, where should we seek our values? I do not believe the government should be the source of dogma, but it would be nice if they could devise a program to promote moral principles. I am certainly not suggesting a marriage of church and state, but rather an institution concerned with funding ethical practices.

I tend to believe nonprofit organizations have a role to play, such as civic organizations who preach patriotism and fair play, be it in Scouting, organized youth sports, the Rotary, Lions, and fraternal organizations, particularly the Masons, Oddfellows, and Knights of Columbus. If such groups opened their doors to discuss morality, or made an effort to recognize moral behavior, they can go a long way to changing the public’s sense of right and wrong.

Business can play a role within their organizations by establishing a code of conduct and strictly enforcing it. After all, there is little point in creating legislation if there is nobody to enforce it.

Finally, something has to be done about rating Hollywood movies and television shows. If aliens are monitoring our airwaves, they probably believe we have a propensity for violence, our sense of comedy is crude, we are narcissistic and resist cooperation, and are bent on the destruction of our own species. No wonder they don’t want to land here!

However, if we were to focus on promoting moral behavior, we would likely experience less crime and violence, representing a decline in costs, and we could begin to rebuild our country cooperatively.

Then again, maybe I’m just naive in the country’s desire to get along.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

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 © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Life, Morality | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

HONORING YOUR COMMITMENTS

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 16, 2016

BRYCE ON BUSINESS

– Is it good business to do so?

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Our firm has been in business for 45 years, yet it seems like yesterday when we started. We have had our share of ups and down, but perhaps the one thing we are most proud of is that we have never failed to honor commitments to our customers. This means we shipped our products on time, conducted our consulting and training services on time and professionally, issued reports promptly, and never lied to our customers. They may not have liked what we had to say, but we always endeavored to tell the truth. In other words, you can take our word to the bank.

We have even walked away from prospective customers simply because we didn’t believe it would be beneficial for both parties. Our competitors found this perplexing.

Not many companies can make the same claim, which is why we are proud of this fact, but we always believed in treating our customers fairly and honestly. We may worry about meeting a deadline, but we sleep well at night otherwise. I would also like to believe we delivered products and services with quality and class, never with any shlock.

All of this was specifically designed to maintain our credibility and sense of professionalism. In other words, our integrity. From the start we tried to maintain a moral compass, and as an inherent part of it, we took the position, “Our word is our bond.” Without such integrity, we believed we couldn’t live with ourselves. Others may not have a problem cheating others, we do.

I have a friend who is in the construction business and develops high quality houses and condos both in the Midwest and Southeast. A few years ago, he partnered with a consortium of developers who had big plans for real estate. However when the housing bubble burst, all of the developers reneged on their commitments and filed for bankruptcy, except my friend. Some from the group became despondent and committed suicide; it was that bad. Unlike the others though, my friend saw this as a stain on his reputation and couldn’t imagine remaining in the field unless his integrity remained intact. Although he was strapped financially at the time, he worked with his creditors and over time paid them all off. Whereas his former partners fell into obscurity, my friend’s reputation grew as a result. Today he is back stronger than ever as a developer, and has an excellent credit rating. He is also asked to be a professional witness or negotiator in cases between banks and developers. All of this because he maintained his integrity.

It is very easy to walk away from your commitments. Some of our bankruptcy laws have made it perhaps too easy. The fact remains though you are judged, both professionally and personally, by your work ethic. If your integrity tumbles, you will likely tumble in life. It’s all about establishing trust with the people you come in contact with and honoring your commitments. Bottom-line, it is just plain good business.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

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 © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Business, Morality | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »