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Archive for the ‘Morality’ Category

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?

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
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.

 

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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

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
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

NEXT UP:  THINKING SMALL – It is preventing us from achieving greatness.

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

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 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”?

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

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

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  FACEBOOK’S WORKPLACE – The latest twist on collaboration software.

LAST TIME:  MORE CUSTOMER SERVICE SNAFUS  – Four stories which you will undoubtedly relate to.

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.”

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

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

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

PROMOTING MORALITY

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 27, 2016

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Some suggestions.

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

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.

NEXT UP:  HILLARY CLINTON IN DENIAL – The report from the Inspector General may hurt her irreparably.

LAST TIME:  OFFICE DEPOT REWARDS  – Another technology innovation gone awry.

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.

NEXT UP:  WACKO DECISIONS – Instead of rationale thought some people rely on questionable methods.

LAST TIME:  WHY WE SLOW DOWN  – Is it because we cannot perform a task like we did when we were younger?

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 »

WHY DO WE TOLERATE THUGS IN SPORTS?

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 10, 2016

BRYCE ON SPORTS

– Is victory more important than morality?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
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Recently, a friend brought to my attention a web page produced by USA Today containing a data base of “NFL Player Arrests.” Between the years 2000-2015 there were 810 players arrested for various offenses. Some beat the rap, others were fined, and some served jail time. In 2015 alone, 28 players from 21 teams, representing two-thirds of the teams in the National Football League (NFL), were arrested for such crimes as illegal drugs, speeding, driving under the influence, other traffic offenses, battery, domestic violence, burglary, animal cruelty, disorderly conduct, rape, and gun offenses. In addition to paying fines and serving jail time, the offenses resulted in player suspensions and, in some cases, they were promptly released by the teams.

These are the cases formally documented in the courts, there are many others simmering on the sidelines, such as the rape case involving Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston which hangs over his head like the Sword of Damocles. Until such time as he can clear his name, he will continue to be a liability to the Buccaneers organization.

I realize football is a rough sport, but the NFL is developing a reputation for condoning immoral behavior. A lot of this could be chalked up to high spirited young men who do not know better. If this is true, perhaps it is time for the NFL to promote a mentoring system where seasoned veterans offer wise counsel to the young, or perhaps some training. It is the responsibility of the coaching staff to prepare the players for game day, but perhaps it is time for them to assume the same responsibilities corporate managers have in supervising the activities of their younger workers to assure they properly adapt to the corporate culture.

The point is, the youngsters have to be told they are no longer teenagers, but adults who are responsible for their actions, not to mention role models for the teams and cities they represent.

The NFL is not alone in its problems controlling its players. Similar offenses can likely be found in the NBA, MLB, NHL, and just about every organized sport.

Whereas we have been experiencing a general breakdown in morality due to the deterioration of the family unit, it becomes the responsibility of managers to practice what I refer to as “Parenting Management,” whereby the manager has to make up for what the parent failed to instill in their offspring.

There is another major problem though, loyal and enthusiastic fans tend to overlook the indiscretions of the players. To such people, victory is more important than a player’s brush with the law, and this is perhaps more disturbing than the offense itself. The fans and the teams should be as indignant and concerned as the courts. Too often they are not.

Can we completely eradicate thuggery from organized sports? Probably not, but we can significantly reduce the volume of incidents with some basic management techniques, such as education and mentoring.

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.

NEXT UP:  IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS… – that makes life worth living.

LAST TIME:  MOVING UP TOO FAST  – What happens when you do not pay your dues.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); 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 Morality, Sports | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

DEVIANT BRUCE JENNER

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 2, 2015

BRYCE ON MORALITY

– Another example of the corruption of American morality.

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

Gold-Medal Olympic athlete, Bruce Jenner, created an overnight sensation when he appeared on the cover of the June 1, 2015 issue of “Vanity Fair” magazine. Shot in a corset by photographer Annie Leibovitz, Mr. Jenner, used this opportunity to promote his transgender switch to a woman named Caitlyn. Interestingly, his decision to pose as a woman was applauded by both sides of the aisle as a sign of political correctness and the magazine sold out in no time. I, for one, do not accept his deviant behavior and am appalled by his notoriety.

I believe Bruce has gone from hero to an unhealthy role model for youth. I doubt seriously the Wheaties people will be using him on their cereal boxes anytime soon. His celebrity will likely encourage others to follow in his footsteps.

I do not know what caused Mr. Jenner to make the “switch.” I suspect it is the immoral culture of Hollywood which led to it. Frankly, I do not care. Enough is enough. Just about everyone I know agrees, but are unwilling to rebuke his behavior in fear of being labeled “Socially Intolerant.”

You have heard me talk about tolerance in the past pertaining to religion and politics, but never on immoral behavior. I regard this as another indicator of the decline of our morality. No wonder the Muslim world laughs at us.

I understand all of this is being choreographed as a prelude to Mr. Jenner’s upcoming reality show on E! TV which will begin in July, where he will discuss his new life as a woman. I will not be watching.

I am more appalled by the public’s acceptance of all this; where is the condemnation? I guess this is just another example of the wussification of America.

And for those who claim I am not being politically correct on this subject. Frankly, I do not care. No, I will certainly not be referring to him as “Ms.” or “Caitlyn.” As far as I’m concerned, the man is lost. More disconcerting though, will America follow?

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 © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  SLOWING DOWN? – Are we working harder or smarter?

LAST TIME:  BED BUGS & OUR CHANGING WORLD  – What is the true cause of our changing world and what can be done about it?

Posted in Morality | Tagged: , , , , | 20 Comments »

 
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