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Week of 1/23/23


“Is it the act, or the lie to cover it up?”

The boy was in trouble. He did not complete his task. When asked about it, he lied. His younger brother lied for him as well. Inevitably, his father discovered the incomplete task, that his son had lied about it, and that boy had convinced his younger brother to lie. These negative events required actions that would teach all 4 children a serious life lesson.

Let’s examine these events in order. First, there was standing requirement that the boy complete a health related task each morning. This responsibility was assigned because there were negative health issues that could result if he failed to complete this simple task. The father was responsible for teaching the boy the what, why, and how of completing the task. That was done. Then, understanding that you can only “expect what you inspect,” the father checked to ensure that this task was performed.

Secondly, the boy had been taught the what, why, and how to accomplish this task. He knew it was his responsibility. But, he was so intent on doing something fun, he skipped the morning task. He then convinced his younger brother (who imitated his older brother) into skipping his task and lying. The older boy did not understand he was teaching his younger brother to be irresponsible and dishonest.

Thirdly, he lied to his father about it. Then, his younger brother lied as well. Making matters worse, they lied in front of the other children. So, we have disobedience and dishonesty from the older boy. And, the same from the younger boy who wanted to be like his brother. These negative actions were aligned with irresponsibility and a lack of discipline. Although these actions were all negative, they presented the father with an opportunity to create a positive outcome for all.

The father took the following actions. He punished the boy while explaining to other children why he was being punished. He noted the irresponsibility, dishonesty. and lack of discipline in the older boy’s actions. The father shared that discipline creates integrity, and how integrity is required for others to trust them. He shared that the older children were responsible for setting a positive example for the younger children. With what he did, the father showed that he was responsible for teaching his children using both his words and actions, and that improper behavior must be confronted and corrected quickly. Then he shared the greater message that discipline leads to responsibility. Responsibility leads to positive habits. And, that positive habits create integrity.

That is today’s Morning Minute. 

Morning Minute: 1/27/23 Is it Courage or Something Else?


“Is it Courage or Something Else?”

The TV weatherman entered the NYC subway to go home after a long day. 5 young punks, ages 15-17, were harassing an older man, calling him names, slapping him, and spitting on him. When they set the man’s hair on fire, the weatherman had seen enough. He extinguished the fire and pushed the punks away from the man. They attacked the weatherman, kicking and punching him. They chased him through several cars until the next stop where the punks departed. Was it courage or something else?

The Catholic nun, whose group served the inner city poor, went downstairs for her morning prayers. While praying she heard a noise outside. She looked outside, seeing nothing out of the ordinary. The nun heard the noise again. Going outside, she saw a ladder propped up against the building. One man was holding the ladder, the other was on the roof stealing their copper downspouts. The nun had seen enough. She chased away the man holding the ladder shouting that they were not to defile God’s house nor keep these nuns from serving the poor people in their community. She kicked down the ladder hoping to trap the man on the roof. However, he leaped down and ran away. Was it courage or something else?

The young man saw a shopper in the store stuffing merchandise in his big coat. So he began recording what the man was doing,  intending to give the video to the manager. The shoplifter continued his spree until he could carry no more. The young man had seen enough. As the robber was leaving, bypassing the cashiers, the young man stood in the doorway. As 30-40 people watched, the man shouted to the robber, “You are not leaving this store with all the stuff you didn’t pay for!” After a few tense seconds, the robber dropped his loot and ran out the door. Was it courage or something else?

Before you answer that question, answer this. What was the similar action that caused the weatherman, the nun, and the young man in the store to confront those doing wrong? In each case, these normal people sprang into action when they had seen enough. Fed up with not acting and allowing these punks to steal, maim, and destroy, they confronted the wrongdoers. These heroes saved an old man, a religious house where the poor were being served, and a store owner from being robbed.

Real change occurs when good people have had enough. Call it courage, adrenaline, or stupidity for getting involved, these everyday heroes changed their world in their own small way. When will we have had enough to get involved, confront evil, and help to return our communities and our country back to those who do good.  That is the real question. What will it take before we do what we know is right and needs to be done?

“Is it Courage, or Something Else?”

That is today’s Morning Minute.