Monday, October 31, 2011

Dalai Lama is given the Mother Teresa International Caring Award

Senators Daschle and Dole present Dalai Lama with Mother Teresa International Caring Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 13, 2011) – On behalf of the Caring Institute, Co-Chairs of the Caring Institute, Senators Tom Daschle and Bob Dole along with Caring Institute Founder and Executive Director Val J. Halamandaris presented His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet with the Mother Teresa International Caring Award for dedicating his life to promoting the values of caring, compassion and public service. The ceremony was held today at the U. S. Capitol.

“Today we were honored to recognize the peaceful work that one man has accomplished because he truly cares for the people he serves,” said Senator Daschle.

“His Holiness is driven by a sincere compassion for people,” said Senator Dole. “The Caring Institute was founded upon this same concept. Its mission is rooted in Mother Teresa’s directive that we must reverse the poverty of spirit that exists in our world today.

“In Tibetan Buddhism, a Bodhisattva is anyone who is motivated by compassion and seeks enlightenment. The Tibetan name Dalai Lama means Ocean of Wisdom. His Holiness is the personification of caring, compassion and kindness,” said Halamandaris. “Our goal is to highlight incredible people who give back to society in outstanding ways and who are truly making a difference in our world.”

This award was given by the Caring Institute. For more information about their mission and work click here!




Defining Respect

The Six Pillars of Character  - 
excerpted from
Making Ethical Decisions, Michael Josephson

Trustworthiness. Respect. Responsibility. Fairness. Caring. Citizenship. The Six Pillars of Character are ethical values to guide our choices. The standards of conduct that arise out of those values constitute the ground rules of ethics, and therefore of ethical decision-making. 

There is nothing sacrosanct about the number six. We might reasonably have eight or 10, or more. But most universal virtues fold easily into these six. The number is not unwieldy and the Six Pillars of Character can provide a common lexicon. Why is a common lexicon necessary? So that people can see what unites our diverse and fractured society. So we can communicate more easily about core values. So we can understand ethical decisions better, our own and those of others.

The Six Pillars act as a multi-level filter through which to process decisions. So, being trustworthy is not enough — we must also be caring. Adhering to the letter of the law is not enough — we must accept responsibility for our action or inaction.

The Pillars can help us detect situations where we focus so hard on upholding one moral principle that we sacrifice another — where, intent on holding others accountable, we ignore the duty to be compassionate; where, intent on getting a job done, we ignore how. In short, the Six Pillars can dramatically improve the ethical quality of our decisions, and thus our character and lives.
People are not things, and everyone has a right to be treated with dignity. We certainly have no ethical duty to hold all people in high esteem, but we should treat everyone with respect, regardless of who they are and what they have done. We have a responsibility to be the best we can be in all situations, even when dealing with unpleasant people.

The Golden Rule — do unto others as you would have them do unto you — nicely illustrates the Pillar of respect. Respect prohibits violence, humiliation, manipulation and exploitation. It reflects notions such as civility, courtesy, decency, dignity, autonomy, tolerance and acceptance.

Civility, Courtesy and Decency
A respectful person is an attentive listener, although his patience with the boorish need not be endless (respect works both ways). Nevertheless, the respectful person treats others with consideration, and doesn’t resort to intimidation, coercion or violence except in extraordinary and limited situations to defend others, teach discipline, maintain order or achieve social justice. Punishment is used in moderation and only to advance important social goals and purposes.

Dignity and Autonomy
People need to make informed decisions about their own lives. Don’t withhold the information they need to do so. Allow all individuals, including maturing children, to have a say in the decisions that affect them.

Tolerance and Acceptance
Accept individual differences and beliefs without prejudice. Judge others only on their character, abilities and conduct.

What are your thoughts on respect? How do you grow it? how do you know it when ya see it?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

T R U S T W O R T H I N E S S | What is real?

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived, and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive and realistic.
— John F. Kennedy

As we continue our conversations around trustworthiness, we are called to look at the myths that have been made real. In these times of unrest we must look at the how we continue to live in the myths or seek to create NEW truths.

Some myths that are hard to know as truth or perceptions are statements like these. Business is not ethical. Government will never be ethical. Our leaders have no character. Politicians are a bunch of liars. Successful businessmen are cheats. 

While many of these statements are true in some cases, I also know them to be false.

Jacksonville does have ethical businesses like Baily Publishing run by Jim Baily. We have leaders that are character driven like Sheriff John Rutherford, who leads JSO with integrity and caring. We do have successful business men like Vince McCormack who leads Perdue Inc with respect and trust.

These individuals show us that there are truths we can count on! Each leader has allowed himself to be accountable. They have surrounded themselves with people who hold ethics to be the standard by which they act.

As we look to creating our futures, I believe it is critical for us to see what truths and myths we perpetuate. Mother Teresa NEVER went to an anti-war marches, she ONLY attended peace rallies. We can look to the truths we aspire to create by moving our hearts, hands and voices to actions that are based in our shared personal truths.

We all want communities that are based on the truth. We all know it is possible. I ask you to raise your voice and let truth be heard! Let us work to create together!