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The Rabbi & The Shrink

Author: Rabbi Yonason Goldson and Dr. Margarita Gurri, CSP

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What do you get when you cross an Orthodox hitchhiking rabbi and a Catholic Cuban psychologist? An unpredictable conversation about everyday ethics and the secrets for successful relationships in business, family, and community. http://therabbiandtheshrink.com/Contact us with questions and comments: Podcast@TheRabbiandTheShrink.com
21 Episodes
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What does leadership really look like? How do you decide what to share, with your team and with the outside world?And when you're a leader, how do you balance the ever-changing demands that get put on you?Kimi Hirotsu Ziemski helps us sort of how to be a real leader and not just the person in charge! https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimihirotsuziemski/http://ksppartnership.com/http://www.pmidsig.org/https://consciousleadershippm.com/1:05Boundary management is a communications management term. And what it means is there are some things that you share with your team, and only your team. And there are some things that you share with the greater stakeholder community. The question becomes, if you are not fully transparent if you are making choices about what you share, and when you share it, is boundary management, actually ethical or is it by some people's lights, fibbing, lying, committing the falsehood? 7:00The seven key success parameters are actually a framework that is sort of like the most beautiful Mandela of things that are interwoven. But for explanation purposes, we generally take them apart. But they always start out with clear definition.22:00We've been trying to get this client for years, decades. We got the request for proposal. I went through it, I took it to my engineers, my engineers got incredible heartburn. And I went to my boss, and I said, Diana, how much trouble Am I going to be in if I go to this client and respectfully declined to bid on the business? It's not bleeding edge, it's hemorrhaging edge. And they don't believe that they can make it work to a level of reliability and quality, that they're willing to put their names and our company name on. 
What makes a successful relationship?Is marriage really the happily ever after part or do they still require work?What is reasonable to expect versus what do you need to accept? Find the answers to these questions and more as we talk to Claire Vande Polder, the author of Making Marriage Happy:  Hard-Won Wisdom from Real CouplesGrab your copy here:Making Marriage Happy:  Hard-Won Wisdom from Real CouplesConnect with Claire onLinkedinInstagram2:45What I came up with is a book that is basically, what happy couples do as told in their own words.  It's the only book, I know of where all the expert advice comes from people who are only experts in their own relationship and what they do that makes them happy.7:00 When I was a younger person I looked at people who had been married for a while and I thought, okay they're just they're like on autopilot right?29:00it took a lot of time before they understood that's not who my husband is, this thing that I really wish my wife was doing? That's really not who she is so, can I just lay off of that and let her be more who she is, and then take more of a look at what am I doing? How could I change myself?  Could I change the way that I think about something because I have more control over that and just learn to love?
Does thought influence language of does language influence thought?Is it worth the risk to offer constructive criticism?Can you set high standards and remain respectful when others fall short?Discover the answer to these and other highly relevant questions as Grammar Goddess Susan Rooks joins The Rabbi and the Shrinkhttps://grammargoddess.com/https://www.linkedin.com/in/susanrooks-the-grammar-goddess/https://twitter.com/Grammar_Goddess2:00  The importance of preserving the integrity of languageWe are what we say and what we thinkLanguage is only as perfect as how we use itObjective vs. subjective perception8:00 Words are free, but it’s how you use them that costsWe get defensive when we don’t like what we hear“You can do [even] better”11:00  It’s risky to offer correction or disagreeStart with a smileYou can have high standards and still be pleasantSmile at strangers16:30  What’s the effect of grammar mistakes?The power of positive speakingTechnology can bring us closer togetherAccept people for where they are coming fromLook for the nobility in others25:00  We’ve become more abruptWe have a responsibility to choose our words carefully30:00 Be curiousWhen you hear an accent, adjust expectations“You’ll see the robot in the street”33:00 Onomatopoeia -- a word that sounds like what it isIn Hebrew the same word means “word” and “thing”Respecting the meaning of words is respecting reality36:00 How do we further meaningful discussions that increase understandingListen to learn, not to respondEverybody knows something you don’tThe sages teach:   Who is wise? One who learns from every person39:00 How do you keep words freshStrike a balance between tradition and progressionWhy can’t our language be poetic and elegant while preserving the integrity of words?43:30  Should some of us impose usage on others?Orwell’s vision of thought control through speech controlChoose to speak respectfully
Is it iconoclastic or wicked to question the value of diversity?Why do we struggle to value innate talents over superficial appearance or identity?Have well-intentioned but misguided policies contributed to contemporary problems?These and other compelling questions will be addressed in rough and tumble conversation when Rabbi Daniel Lapin joins the Rabbi and the Shrink.https://www.linkedin.com/in/rabbi-daniel-lapin/https://rabbidaniellapin.com/2:00  The synergy between theology and psychologyIs diversity a moral imperative?Is it iconoclastic or wicked to question the value of diversity?Diversity of opinion and outlook is critical and more significant than mere identityDoes a cohesive community gain or suffer from diverse values?10:00 Should we rather address systemic otherism?How do we deal with the tension between finding common values and encouraging different perspectives?Why do we struggle to value innate talents over superficial appearance or identity?17:00 Diversity in testimony in court to protect against unconscious biasIn team activity, brothers’ innate knowledge of one another is an advantageThe way others label us provides us with insights about the “other”23:00  How do we celebrate diversity independent of skin colorIs cultural appropriation an expression of tribalism?The culture of languageSome things are not fair… that’s the way of the worldKindness is the antidote to resentmentWe have to accept the unpleasant realities of the past and try to move forwardHave well-intentioned but misguided policies contributed to contemporary problems?Traditional values help us move forward in prosperity and well-being34:00  Nelson Mandela taught reconciliation rather than retributionDon’t fixate on fairness; make the most of what you haveJonathan Haidt: emphasizing differences increases divisionsA the blood level, we are all the same38:00  Change the world by changing yourselfPrivate enterprise provides the greatest opportunity to benefit society“You are your own worst enemy.”  Face that and build yourself up.Better the world by becoming one of the poor?All we have control over is ourselves.It’s so much easier to try to fix other people48:  Word of the day: Irrefragable -- not able to be refuted or disproved; indisputableUnanimity is a clue that we’ve missed something importantShalom translates best as “harmony” -- different pieces playing different parts fused together Diversity in the context of unityThe sons of Jacob were very different, and their differences became a source of strength
Does lying ever serve a higher truth?Why is it better to be a journeyist than a journalist?Is marketing ever more than manipulation?Learn the answer to these and other fascinating topics as the Rabbi and the Shrink discuss the interplay between fact and fiction with business presentation coach and storysailor Dave Bricker.https://storysailing.com/https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidbricker/1:30  Do the stories we tell have to be 100% true?Our job as storytellers is to transport the audienceBe a journeyist, not a journalist: Your story is a metaphor to inspire and teachThe story vs. the meta-story“Disbelieve everything I say; I am telling the truth.”How much creative license are we allowed?Life doesn’t unfold in a neat orderBlend details for narrative effectMiracle -- a true story that embellishes facts9:00 When is the truth not good enough?Drama vs. documentaryDon’t we all have different versions of the truth, anyway?You can end up being accurate but not interesting14:00 At what point am I fabricating?Should we be teaching children about Santa Claus?The unpleasant history of our most enduring children’s story19:00 The Hebrew words for truth and falsehood contain deeper meanings“Distance yourself from a false word or thing”When is it truthful to lie?There’s more to truth than facts…But now we can rationalize anythingHow Aaron the High Priest brought people closer together22:30  What’s the difference between a salesperson and a con artist?One delivers on his or her promisesThe difference between fooling people and delighting themThe psychology of marketing: service or manipulation?Don’t I have a duty to convince others of the value I can provide them?Does it matter what you bait the hook with?28:00 Political and religious evangelismPushing vs. pulling in salesIf we don’t believe in ourselves or in those we serve, we resort to unethical tactics33:00 Sometimes intention makes all the difference, sometimes no differenceThat’s the grayness of ethics with which we have to grappleFictionalizing the truth?Narrative vs. parableStories carry truth better than facts39:00 Word of the day:  Streeteries -- restaurants that move their establishment onto the street because of COVIDWords evolve as culture evolvesIt’s important to preserve the integrity of language and thought while adapting to a changing worldEthical principles don’t change but situations do, so we’re called on us to navigate the complexities of life by following our moral compass42:00  Is it possible to stay neutral when telling a story?Always take a position of service and promote transformation43:30  James Thurbur’s retelling of Little Red Riding HoodClassic stories evolve into classic spinoffsThe lessons keep giving
Episode #17:  Mark Brown -- everyone deserves a second chanceWhy do we fear what we don’t understand?Is freedom a goal or an obligation?What practical steps can we take to create a culture of civility and mutual respect?These and other substantive questions are answered when World Champion of Speaking Mark Brown, CSP, joins the Rabbi and the Shrink.https://markbrownspeaks.com/https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-l-brown-speaker/1:00  How Mark became a World Champion of SpeakingDisney and “a second chance”Intolerance, indifference, and ignorance -- how we treat each otherDon’t be tied to what others think of youWhy do we fear what we don’t understand?8:00 The unknown makes us feel vulnerable so we try to assert controlThe responsibility of creators to project values and messagesOur responsibility as consumers of media to seek out positive messagesWhy don’t we get it?How do we get to a place where we want to understand?Have the courage to be yourselfBe fast, funny, and curious15:00  Who takes the first step to find common ground?The first step is often unseenAsking questions is more important than coming up with answers17:00 Why the most joyous season in the Jewish calendar became a time of morningThe destructive consequences of disrespectCulture goes from the top down and is magnifiedFreedom is not the goal but an opportunity, a privilege, and an obligation21:00 We are responsible for preserving the standards of our cultureTolerance means we can get alongOur differences don’t define usTake responsibility for what you do and don’t do, what you say and don’t sayThe home and society are intertwinedThe lessons of Rehoboam son of Solomon Surround yourself with wise counsel30:00 “The building of youth is destruction; the destruction of old age is building.”Why we stand up for a parent, a scholar, and the elderlyWe have to reinforce in ourselves fundamental valuesDon’t devalue the old because we are enamored with the new34:00 How can we do better as individuals and a society?Focus on and magnify the positive and you will automatically diminish the negativeSeek advocates in positions of authorityCreate an environment in school that replicates our vision of a better societyWe are all teachers of those who observe us48:00 Use your voice to speak boldly and respectfullyYou can say the same thing encouragingly or dismissivelyHow will our words be received?Timing can be everythingTry to see the world through the eyes of othersDon’t be a bully or a victim54:00 What is our action plan?1) Work on ourselves2) Learn through observation3) Develop our voiceThe words you choose can ignite or defuse violenceExercise restraint for yourself; come to the defense of others61:00  The word of the day:  phenomenologyMartin Heidigger -- Reality and consciousness are co-creatorsUnderstanding depends on the relationship between themMy responses to what happens to me determine who I become
Who are your limiters and your liberators?How does leadership “bubble up”?What are the four steps of success?What do Navy SEALS and Holocaust survivors have in common?Why is hope essential to being ethical?She grew up on two continents and went to eight different schools before putting herself through college waiting tables. Starting her career as an assistant at Embassy Communications, a television company founded by the legendary Norman Lear, Libby survived three mergers to become head of publicity, advertising, and promotion for Sony’s worldwide television group in just five years.After her first career heading communications at media giants Sony, Universal, and Turner Broadcasting, Libby founded LA-based Libby Gill & Company, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. She guides individuals and organizations to lead through change, challenge, and chaos by deeply engaging employees in a shared future-focused vision of success.https://libbygill.com/https://www.linkedin.com/in/libbygillleadershipexpert/https://www.facebook.com/libby.gill.58https://www.amazon.com/Leadership-Reckoning-Education-Develop-Leaders/dp/1952938368/ref=sr_1_1?crid=6KEKA0K8FJ6C&dchild=1&keywords=leadership+reckoning&qid=1610487960&sprefix=be+the+spark+%2Caps%2C173&sr=8-11:00 Hope is a belief that change is possible and that you are responsible for your outlookIt’s a science, not abstractWe have more strength than we give ourselves credit forThe wisdom of 12-step recovery programsThe fusion of community and accountability9:00  Leadership “bubbles up”A willingness to learn, develop, and growSelf-awareness, empathy, cooperation are keys to successful leadershipNavy SEALS and Holocaust survivorsThe simplicity of service as a means of survival13:30  Can everyone be a leader?The distinction between hope, optimism, and happinessLink belief with behaviorThe Anatomy of Hope by Jerome GroopmanThe idea of True Hope19:00 Is hope essential to being ethical?21:00 The 4 steps to successClarify your visionSimplify the pathwayExecuteStop, review, reflect, refineIncremental improvementSlow down, meditate, study, pray, nature, reset the mindTake a technology Sabbath26:00 How finding her voice helped Libby help others find their voices and thrive31:30  We all influence whether we know it or not with little time and effort34:30  What are you doing to make the world a better place for one other person?Limiters vs. liberatorsSet limits on mood vampiresLimit expectations but have a positive outlookThe story of the four sages43:00  Look for silver liningsUse technology to create new connections44:30  Word of the Day -- Serendipity: joy enhanced by the unexpectedFrame the ordinary in a way that makes it new.Choose hope!
Episode #15: Bob BurgHow do you create a context that promotes everyone's success?How do you communicate information for maximum impact?What are your unconscious operating systems and are they serving you?How do you find and foster successful partnerships?What should your target be to increase your chances for success?Join us as we discuss these and other fascinating questions with Bob Burg, NYT bestselling author and Hall of Fame speaker on The Rabbi and the Shrink.https://burg.com/https://www.linkedin.com/in/bobburg/https://twitter.com/BobBurghttps://thegogiver.com/1:00 How the rabbi met BobExtraordinary accomplishments while keeping the common touch3:30  What is a go-giverFocus on others is the best formula for businessInternally motivated but outwardly focusedEthics: being selfless is selfishBusiness is about how we make others feelBenevolent context for everyone’s success8:00 Collaboration is people with different skill sets complementing each otherStories carry the message so they become implanted in usParables and allegories14:00 Being a giver is not being a doormatHow Bob got his start18:00 Knute Rockne -- invest in people19:30 How do we get people to connect with our message?Unconscious operating systems make us think others think like usValue is in the eye of the beholderSuccess begins by asking questions, then listening with every part of your body24:00 Dialogues of the deafParaphrasing establishes understanding and trust25:30  Compromise is not the answerFirst look for the win-win27:00 Go-Giver success alliance29:00 Finding and fostering successful partnerships35:00 Word of the day: meliorism -- the belief that the world can be made better through effortDon’t make making money your target; aim to serve others, and success will follow.
Why is ignorance a gift?Children come with innocence; when do we lose our own?Why are we afraid to tell our own truth?How does sympathy drive us apart?If I have 16,729 friends , why do I feel so alone?Join us as we discuss these and other compelling topics with Paralympian and executive coach John Register on this episode of The Rabbi and the Shrink.https://johnregister.com/https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnregister/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M08l27PzJ8E1:00 People are uncomfortable telling their truths and articulating the object of their fearsAll fear stems from fear of the unknown2:30 Kids are willing to say what adults are afraid toEmbrace the new normalNew is “no prior frame of reference”5:00 Kids come with innocence… when did we lose ours?Labels and categories create tensionEmpathy vs. sympathyHonor and respect others for who they are and on their terms10:00 Have low expectations and work to raise the bar11:00 Ignorance is a good thing if it makes us curiousWe need to be inquisitive and want to expand our knowledge base14:00 The fear of being misinterpreted of of inadvertently giving offense suppresses our curiosity16:00 Swifter, higher, stronger -- always set the bar higher above each plateauThe nature of steps -- the top of one is the bottom of the nextA door is a point of transition: always look for the next door20:00 How do we manage a step backward?Always tell the truth and take responsibility23:00 We all have disabilities -- some are more evident than othersGive every person the benefit of the doubt that they are trying to overcome their own challenges27:00 Find the quiet space in your daily routine and use them as anchoring ritualsDevelop good habits and avoid decision fatigue32:00 We need support systemsFriendship is a profound gift, and we need to seek out people of quality and invest ourselves in them34:00 We need to be able to take so others can give36:00 Giving hard news, making hard decisions, supporting others in their decisions38:30 Relationships may never recover from trust betrayedStanding up for principles, even when there’s a price to pay42:00 In a culture of trust, there is less opportunity for giving or taking offenseWhen truth outweighs fear, we commit to a courageous life46:00 Tell people closest to you your secrets, then you won’t have to be afraid they will come outIntegrity calls us to take responsibility and be accountable50:00 Word of the day: interstice -- take a pauseWe should respond, not react, which requires us to take a moment before we speak or act52:00 What’s one area where you can bring a truth to light and share it with another?56:00 The founder of the ParalympicsThe refusal to accept that circumstances can’t be improved is the essence of ethics
What happens when leadership is disconnected from the front lines?Is deception ever necessary or ethical?Is it possible to set the bar too high?These and other fascinating topics are discussed in this interview with customer service guru and NYT/ WSJ bestselling author Shep Hyken on The Rabbi and the Shrink.https://hyken.com/https://twitter.com/Hykenhttps://www.pinterest.com/ShepHyken/https://www.linkedin.com/in/shephyken/https://www.facebook.com/ShepHykenSpeaker1:00 No excuses or false expectationsEthics applies to big ideas and principles but never at the expense of little detailsIf I take your money for my product or service, I have an ethical responsibility to make it as easy as possible for you to use it4:00 Customer experience is integral to businessWhy do businesses fail to anticipate customer needs?7:30 Major disconnect between leadership and frontlinesExperience the real experience11:00 Critics have to engage in deception to avoid preferential treatmentIs this ethical?14:00 The element of positive surpriseCreativity without dirty tricks or deceit17:00 The ethics of  doing business during COVIDThe principles of business remains the same but practices change to meet changing expectations22:00 Increased quality leads to increased expectationsCommunication and information prevent frustration26:00 What businesses do we love?What are they doing right?How can we do what they’re doing?Improving our work environment will spill over into everyday lives29:00 Have we confused ethics and politics?31:00 Does politically correct language cause confusion?Open-mindedness goes both ways35:00 Do companies need to cut customer service expenses to remain competitive?40:00 During COVID, how do we balance safety against service?How do we balance physical well-being against psychological well-being?43:30 The word of the day: quotidian -- ordinary to the point of mundaneElevate the ordinary to a level of extraordinaryCreate exceptional experiences47:00 A little better than average stands out as exceptional48:00 “Gold is a very rich color”50:00 Personalize the experience and win loyal customers53:00 Use good judgment to make ethical decisions
What is the connection between ethics and civility?Can democracy survive without a civil culture?How do we balance insensitivity against hyper-sensitivity?These and many other critical matters of human interaction are discussed in this week's episode with Chief Civility Officer Sejal Thakkar.https://www.linkedin.com/in/sejalthakkar/1:00 Harassment and discrimination vs. civilityEvaluating and filtering our own behaviorWhat are our core values? What are the guidelines?4:00 Internal vs. external behaviorA mindset of commitment to standardsUnclear definitions promote inappropriate behaviorPrevention vs. reaction7:00 Checking boxes vs. addressing root causesOver- vs. under-reactionWhat can individuals do to improve a culture?3 out of 4 people do not report cases of harassment11:00 Have we overcorrected in promoting respect?When leaders set an example of dignity and respect, openness and civility become more natural15:00 How do we become conscious of unconscious bias?Create a culture of awarenessCivility = civilization19:00 Raise awareness so bias becomes consciousCommunication is the beginning of raised awareness“Ouch!”23:00 Compliance is the collective response that must be filtered through individual responseThin-skinned vs. thick-sinned25:00 Sometimes it’s best to let small affronts passWhen leaders and colleagues can be trusted to intervene, we all feel safer29:30 Civility includes addressing every form of improper behavior32:00 How do we manage different perceptions of civility based on personality types and cultureAuthentic respect for others and willingness to engage in genuine discourse to find common ground35:00 A smile and a flame are the only things you can give away without giving upIn healthy environments, we project positivity38:00 “He stole my property, not my dignity or my manners”40:00 Can democracy survive without civility?Civility promotes creativity, productivity and, ultimately, profitability43:00 Is cancel-culture out-of-control civilityIs shaming consistent with civility?47:00 Word of the day: verbicide -- killing a word through misuseCivility vs. political correctnessPolitical correctness become weaponized civility51:00 How does a community handle the genuinely or maliciously hypersensitive?Hiring and retaining the wrong people58:00 We need more common sense, which is anything but common
Could you be the next Bernie Madoff? Could I?What is the ethics diamond?What is meliorism and why can't we be ethical without it?These and many other gems of wisdom are found in this week's episode with executive coach Jennifer H. Elder, CSP, CPA, CVP.http://www.sustainablecfo.com/https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferhelder/1:00 The ethics diamond (the fraud triangle + one)Facing the dilemma of choosing knowing someone will get hurtPressure from one side or both: angel and devil on your shoulderRationalizationWhat’s the likelihood of getting caught?2:30 The crisis of COVID magnifies all these elements5:30 Gray areas are fertile ground for rationalization: How honest can I be with myself?How much we need a community to hold us accountable*8:00 Slippery slope: small violations lead to bigger onesWithout consequences, we get bolder10:30 Transgressions become permitted and then become values11:30  The fallacy of the slippery slope?13:00 An ethical culture allows for making mistakes and missteps as a mechanism to do betterChange starts with individuals, and is modelled from the top downThe damage caused by mixed messages and double standardsNoble behavior inspires higher personal standards18:30 Keep ethical values up frontDon’t just print, post, and prayOrganizational responsibility21:00 Is this the right thing to do?Ethics begins where compliance endsTake the moment of failure and focus on past successes24:00 The story of Noah and the ark: the world was filled with violence and on the brink of self destructionTry to raise up others while not letting them pull you down27:00 Does the ethics of a company resonate with the culture of the time and fit with its own people?*30:00 In a polarizing culture, finding common core values becomes increasingly essential to survivalHarvard/ University of London study: ethical businesses have 4 times higher sales“Help me understand your position”Learn to be curious35:00  Whistleblowing: “What is lawful can be awful”The importance of having a hotline“Hold me accountable”Report but verify41:30  Why is it so hard to sell ethics?The evil of “soft skills”Sincerity sells45:30 Word of the day: meliorism -- the belief that the world can be improved through effortEthics is impossible without optimism*47:30 Organizational ethics defines the cultureThree questions for employees to create an ethical climate52:00 Communication, collaboration, and problem-solving55:00 Ethics requires courage; courage requires support and rewards (when they work)1:01:00 Whistleblowing should be hard and should be worth itFEAR: false expectations appearing real
Episode #9: Service?

Episode #9: Service?

2021-05-0659:06

0:30 The sages taught that we are created for three purposes:To learn, to serve, and to perform acts of kindnessWe have to connect ourselves to something greater than ourselves, and that takes effort3:00 Service has two elements: intention and effort; each can exist independent of the other but should be integratedGood deeds have tangible and intangible benefits8:00 Not all acts of value can be measured or quantified, yet they are substantive10:00 It may be my job to serve, I may be getting paid, yet I am still providing serviceHow I do my job depends on my level of commitment, which may depend on the environment created by those around me14:00  The value of service depends on effort, either in the moment or in preparationWe should always challenge ourselves to raise the level of our service16:00 “The Love Languages”Serving others depends on responding to their wants and needs18:00 Why were Adam and Eve challenged by the prohibition not to eat?There mission was to preserve the status quo, but they wanted to be active, not passive, contributorsEGO -- Elbow God Out22:00 The status quo may be uninspiring but is essential to the foundation of our lives26:00 Should parents pay children for chores and grades, or does that undermine the precept of service?Make it funReward vs. bribery: is there a difference?Incentives for the entire family together to promote collective success: collective responsibility and rewards34:00 Responsibility first, reward secondWhen we all do our jobs, we all benefitIt’s easier to do the job yourself than oversee and cajole childrenHolding children responsible for doing jobs and teaching them to do them with joy give them a sense of self-worth, teaches them the value of work, and helps us appreciate one another40:00 Providing the opportunity to serve teaches them the rewards of successIf it’s better to give than to receive, the greatest gift is the opportunity to give“Mrs. Smith is doing very well in 4th grade.”Anything worth doing is doing well44:00 Is coerced work consistent with service?The contradiction of “juvenile delinquent”Levels of responsibility change as we grow and mature46:30  Service is the key to a happy lifeAccept apologies while asserting responsibilityBe gracious when being thankedUse language with precision to promote a mindset of service50:00 Love rebuke as an opportunity to improve53:00 Word of the day: impeach -- to chain or trappedBe become chained by the consequences of our actions and trapped by the habits we developTake risks, ask thoughtful questions, and be patient when others answer56:00 Johnny Carson broke the rules of humor by drawing attention to his failures
Episode #8: Gossip?

Episode #8: Gossip?

2021-05-0355:31

1:00  The last refuge of the unethical is “it’s not illegal”The last refuge of the gossiper is “but it’s true” -- if it’s not true, it’s slanderThe purpose of speech is to connect with others, and gossip uses speech to divide people and tear them apartThe biblical prohibition against gossip4:00 Pope Francis: gossip tastes like candy but is poison: it denies the G-dliness in others6:00 Different types of gossip cause different types of damageHow Aaron the High Priest used speech to bring people together7:30  When good speech can be used to cause harmEmo-terrorists and saboteurs10:00 Guard Your Tongue by Rabbi Israel Meir KaganHow much damage seemingly benign comments may causeNegative speech must have some wider benefit13:00 Complaining vs constructive criticismAvoid the sense of entitlement that leads to complaining and gossip15:00 The Hebrew for “gratitude” translates literally as “recognize the good” -- the key to happiness16:00 Say what you need to say in a way that opens hearts, minds, and conversations17:30 We try to make ourselves feel better about myself by tearing others downBetter to build myself up, but it’s easier to destroy than to buildIf you feel unworthy, maybe you are: now what will you do about it?20:00 Our “origin stories” make us who we are, but don’t exempt us from responsibility for our actions23:00 Compassion is responding to a need: refined kindness, which is unfiltered givingWe all take turns between being amazing and awful25:00 Reacting is easier than thinkingThe sages teach: don’t speak ill of inanimate objects -- avoid behaviors that promote bad habits27:00 We set higher standards for others than for ourselves, when we should do the opposite; but if we set standards too high then we set ourselves up for failureEthics requires grappling with contradictionsOften we don’t believe in our own value29:00 The qualities of ETHICSEmpathy, Trustworthiness, Humility, Inquisitiveness, Courage, Self-discipline32:00 The contrast between highs and lows allows for the experience of happiness33:00 The four steps to avoid gossipRealize in the moment you are gossiping (would I want someone to be saying this about me?)Don’t ask leading questions (don’t cause trouble)Address the issue: turn the conversation in a constructive directionOffer a silent prayer35:00 Make a cost-benefit analysis before you speak37:00 The tongue and the lips: not everything that can be said should be said38:00 Remembering Rabbi Abraham TwerskiDrugs are poison and should be thrown in the garbage.  Why do you think you are a proper receptacle for them?40:00 We don’t have to like ourselves; we have to know that we were created the way we are for a reason and a purpose.42:00 A change of environment can help us transform ourselves; a new sense of self-image can help us reidentify as better versions of ourselves45:00 Gossip is a form of bullying“The tyranny of the majority" and the fallacy of utilitarianism.The platinum rule48:00 Word of the day: petulantDon’t indulge the impulse to complain and whine; an ethical mindset is a positive outlook51:00 The head of the high court said he grew up among the sages and never found anything better for a person than silenceDon’t be afraid of silenceThink ahead to ask people about themselves
1:00  Generosity is an expression of kindnessTheologically, the world is built on kindnessWhen we give, it validates us, empowers us, and makes us partners in creation3:00 Generosity is natural to children, but then we grow out of itBabies are takers; if they don’t get what they want, they scream and get itParenting is the job of weaning the child off of the need for immediate gratificationMost of us aren’t trained to be parents6:00 Overly generous parents raise entitled and selfish childrenIs there such a thing as true altruism?Why would anyone choose the pleasure of giving over other pleasures?10:00 Does the pleasure of giving negate the pure motives of giving?If I want to be a giver, then I’ll give even without the internal desire and thereby acquire the natural impulse to giveManners: acting artificially polite for the sake of contributing to a better society and cultureThe prisoner who acted generous in order to con people and then became “addicted” to being good14:00 Maimonides: most of life is habit -- by developing good habits we reserve mental energy for challenging decisionsSteve Jobs’s wardrobeCreate a joyful rhythm for life16:30 Every morning ask yourself: what do I need to do today to be a better person than I was yesterday?The definition of a good person is someone who’s trying to be a better person.19:00 We need to have goals to better ourselvesThe story of the rabbi and the miser: one little act can lead to much bigger actsIs it better to give a thousand dollars to one cause or one dollar to a thousand causes?Giving is for the giver as well as the receive24:00 Is it better to give anonymously or publicly?Some people need recognition; some people need to see that others are giving before they will giveIdeally, good deeds are best when they’re done modestly27:00 Jewish law forbids giving more than 20% to charity so the giver won’t become a charity caseWe have to take care of ourselves first before we can take care of others32:00  Kindness and justice combine to create compassion, which is the essence of charity34:00 What if a person puts himself in financial straits because of pride?A rich person who loses his money is ashamed that he can’t maintain his former lifestyle: how do you make a calculation between psychological pain and physical deprivation?38:00 How do we meet the needs of a person who needs charity but is ashamed to ask for it?40:00 Looking for creative ways to help others helps them and us42:00 Look for the real request behind the words45:00 Sometimes we have to save others from themselves47:00 Word of the day: Athazagoraphobia Fear of forgetting, being forgotten, or being ignoredWe all want to be valued, which means we need to be worthy of being valued50:00 We are all important; we need to recognize our own importanceIf we wait for the approval of others, we may never get itMake the choice to be wonderful and let that be its own reward54:00 We can’t control how people treat us, but we can control our response56:00 Since it’s better to give than to receive, the greatest give you can give another person is the opportunity to giveWhen done with pure intentions, taking can be giving
Episode #6: Setting Limits?

Episode #6: Setting Limits?

2021-04-2601:00:51

0:30  King Solomon: “Don’t remove the boundaries of eternity.”We have to reexamine boundaries and conventions, but not abandon them wholesaleEinstein regret: relativity leads to relativismBalance respect for the past with a progressive eye to the future3:15  All of psychology is about setting limitsWhy do we have so much trouble with it?Human beings are lazy, so we try to avoid difficult decisionsWe try to set our default between generosity and self-care7:00 Commands, demands, and requests10:00  Embarrassment over being seen as irresponsible or out of controlAs parents and as members of society, we do have the right and the responsibility to give rebuke, but also to deliver it civilly13:30  How do we decide what limits we set for ourselves in all aspects of our lives?Don’t act out of anger but out of principlesBalance self-respect against social expectations16:00 Using diplomacy to give rebukeWe don’t want to be the policeAsk for helpfulness rather than coming with complaints18:00 We want others to take responsibility for themselves and feel resentment if we’re forced to remind them to be responsibleManaging the minor conflicts so they don’t escalate is what life’s all aboutIf I give you rebuke I’m really saying I believe in you and your ability to do better21:30 How do we feel about taking a back seat so others can shine?When we know we’re being watched, we watch more carefullyZoom etiquette27:00 The sacrifices of others reminds us to take more responsibility ourselves29:00 Political polarization draws lines that separate us from one anotherJames Carville and Mary MatlinPolitics is today’s religion, so we see each other as heretics33:00 Civic responsibility is an expression of character34:30  Word of the day:  compartmentalizationWe create boxes in our minds so we can simultaneously hold two ideas that are incompatiblesWe have to accommodate people with different values for society to function38:00 https://www.ted.com/talks/daryl_davis_why_i_as_a_black_man_attend_kkk_rallies?39:45 Challenge: how might you engage someone who has values you can’t abide?When are we justified in cutting ourselves off from people?42:00 Randy Pausch, Last Lecture: https://www.ted.com/talks/randy_pausch_really_achieving_your_childhood_dreams45:00 It takes courage to evaluate our own reactions to others47:00 Trying to be everything to everybody doesn’t workParents need to allow their children to test boundaries without stifling themLife’s contradictions and paradoxes are meant to be managed, not resolved49:00 What can you do to reach out to someone distant from you?What are our options?52:00 We learn more from discussing our differences:  constructive disagreement.54:00 The value of an accountability partner.Embrace disagreement.Thank heaven for difficult people.
1:30 People can violate the normative values and standards of society to the point where they forfeit the privilege of being allowed to remain a member of that society.2:45 Groupthink vs constructive disagreementOnly when you understand the ideas of other people do you really understand your ownInsecurity drives us to shut down dissenting voices5:00 It’s us vs. them, and you’re them: BYE!Children have a fresh way of looking at things, and are unafraid to ask whyThe older we get, the more threatened we are to reevaluate our world view9:00 How do you deal with people you have to deal with who are not open to discussion?Oblique approach rather than frontal assault11:00 What outcome do you hope to achieve in your discussion?Communication vs. conversationDialogues of the deaf15:00 We aren’t trained to listen; we’re planning our responseWhat has happened to curiosity?The I in ETHICS is Inquisitiveness vs. willful ignoranceSometimes, our lives are too cluttered for us to be able to listenSometimes society cancels us for asking questions22:00 No one ever died from a questionThe real safe space is where we’re free to explore and investigate24:00 Are we justified not to listen to people like White Supremacists or should we give everyone the benefit of the doubt first?Isn’t labelling a form of cancelling?28:00 Is it ever evil to listen?Ideas can influence us for good and badWhat’s the difference between filtering and cancelling?32:30 How do we prepare ourselves to listen to dangerous ideas  without making ourselves vulnerable to them?Young people are not mature enough to deal with complex ideasWe have to protect children (and ourselves) from ideas they aren’t ready to handle36:30 We deal with kleptomaniacs differently from how we deal with thievesNot every thief is a kleptomaniac -- there are levels of culpability38:45 Steven Covey:  Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand but with the intent to replyHow should we listen: First, paraphrase41:00 Why don’t we want to listen?Do we have to like someone to listen?43:00 Sometimes it’s better to let people have their opinions and not engage themSet ground rules47:00 When we listen first, we encourage others to listen to us48:00 Gossip vs. venting vs. necessary informationWe have to take all the variables into account50:45  Ronald Reagan denied screen actors’ achievement award54:00 We have to anticipate how our word will affect others -- am I serving my audience?55:00 Word of the Day:  antediluvian --  before the FloodWithout a civil society, society descends into destruction57:00  Ask yourself: whom do I want to cancel?  How can I listen instead?
1:00 Have we confused assertiveness with aggression?How do we balance being assertive with being civil and respectful?Civility is the root of civilizationDoes cancel culture promote or undermine civil society?How do we hold one another accountable with objectivity?4:30 Is hate speech ever comparable to terrorism?6:00 We can’t have informed opinions if we are uninformed?7:30  “Who gets to say…” = “no one gets to say.”Jewish jurisprudence answers how to approach objective consensus11:00 We want to preserve free speech while promoting civilityEthics allows us to strike a path forward13:00 What happens to humor when we are afraid to give offense?14:00 “Derech eretz” -- the way of the land: standards and values are interwoven with social normsThe history of shifting standardsConventions provide minimum standards for society17:30 The anonymity of social media posting demands responsibility but promotes irresponsibility20:00 Democracy and freedom also function if we take responsibility for ourselves22:00 “Don’t you just hate it when your morality gets in the way of your life?”Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch: freedom = moral discipline24:00 Why is once-accepted speech suddenly unacceptable while once-banned speech has become normative.27:00 Why isn’t ethics a required course of study?28:30 Arnold Schwartneggar’s call for personal responsibilityMovies and TV shows depict ethical dilemmasThe responsibility of the media and entertainment industry32:00 Do we judge others by their best day or their worst day?There’s no easy answer, but it’s the discussion that benefits us34:00 The purpose of government is to serve, not get reelected36:30 The job of comedians is to challenge boundaries.Sometimes that helps society progress; sometimes it erodes our moral foundationsThere is a world of difference between asking “what can I do?” and “what should I do?”40:00 Ethics is the source of all our problems and their solutions42:00 Demonstrate to others the cause and effect of making ethical choices46:00 “The Social Dilemma” shows the unintended side effects and consequences of new technology.Collective responsibility comes from an ethical mindsetWe need to talk more about responsibilities and less about rights49:00 Ideally, we should listen to others and rearticulate before we express our own ideas.50:00 Word of the day: anatidaephobia -- the fear that a goose or duck is watching you.People are always watching us, and some of them fall into the goose or silly goose category, and will misrepresent us and our words; so we need to be mindful and careful with our words.56:00 Steps for promoting ethics:Further the discussionAwarenessCall to action57:30 The most successful ad campaign ever: delittering Hong Kong1:00:00 When we ask others how they’re doing and they respond “fine,” probe further by asking for more information.
1:00 Repentance means a return to the straight and narrow through 1) stopping the improper behavior, 2) feeling remorse, 3) verbalizing our apology, and 4) planning a strategy not to backslide into old behaviors.  Without a specific, concrete plan we have little chance of achieving lasting change.4:00 The story of the first time Rabbi Goldson observed the Sabbath according to Jewish law, which demonstrates that the promises we make to ourselves may be the most important promises we keep.9:30 Many people are not good to themselves, which may be why ethics really does start at home.  What do you do to take care of or honor yourself?11:00 Is there any sin that is truly unforgivable?  According to the sages, only seven biblical figures totally forfeited their share in the world to come through actions that led others to sin.Will Rogers’s philosophy toward sin.13:00 Start with achievable goals. Find accountability partners.15:00 Are there do-overs?  Aside from the most egregious and lasting harm we might cause, we should be able to hit a reset button and commit to better behavior than wallowing in regret or resentment.If a sin leads me to set higher standards for myself, then it actually becomes metabolized into something positive.18:00 Look at the past with fresh eyes, recognize each party’s responsibility, evaluate with empathy, identify what needs fixing.We are heroes and victims and witnesses in almost every situation.  We need to ask ourselves how do we become heroes? And what do we learn from our mistakes?21:00 There’s no app for being ethical, and there shouldn’t be.  It’s by grappling with gray areas that we develop our ethical muscles.When it comes to our errors, we can always make ourselves better, but we can’t always repair the damage we’ve done.23:30 Moderating our response to others’ mistakes, especially children.25:30 The Nazi officer asked a camp inmate for forgiveness.  Should the Jew have forgiven him?28:00 Does mental illness exempt a person from culpability?  But it shifts responsibility to seeking help and to those in a position to help.  Sometimes we just have to struggle with the impossibility of finding closure.33:00  What was, what can be, and what should be, is the path forward.Continuing behavior should not be forgiven unless it is uncontrollable or no effort is being made to control it.The evils of sarcasm.39:00 Word of the day: incogitant -- thoughtless, careless, or lacking the faculty of thought.  We have to be thoughtful to be ethical, but we also have to balance high standards against reasonable expectations for others and ourselves.The Hebrew word for rebuke shares its root with the word for vindication.42:30 How do we understand the biblical command not to bear a grudge?  We can’t control our feelings, but we can control whether we act on or articulate our feelings.We don’t have to say everything we think. Only speak when it’s likely to do some good.47:00 If two people both think they’re doing the right thing and they disagree with each other, how do we reconcile their different perceptions?Schedule a time to discuss disagreements; don’t ambush people.“I’d like to understand your point of view.”54:00 How do parents confront school policies or actions by the school that the parents see as unethical.  Often a third party intervention can de-escalate conflict.
Episode #2: A Good Apology?

Episode #2: A Good Apology?

2021-04-0801:08:36

2:00 Assertiveness training doesn’t always teach that the rest of the world isn’t always assertive.Choose your battles; don’t engage in conflict over little things, but save your conflict for substantive issues.What we choose to say and do is the foundation of ethics.3:30  Word of the day: Zeitgeber -- an environment cue that helps an organism regulate its metabolism.We need to take cues from our environment so we can regulate our ethical metabolism.5:00 Isn’t it unethical to never speak up?Compliance can be the enemy of ethics if it becomes an excuse not to grapple with ethical decision making.Constructive disagreement enables us to see an issue from all sides.7:30  What makes us act unethically?We human beings are in conflict with ourselves.  The amygdala wants immediate gratification and the frontal lobe looks ahead for long term consequences.11:30  How do we respond ethically to others’ misbehavior?Situational ethics?  The principles of ethics don’t change, but situations do.14:30 Most people want to do the right thing.  So what gets in the way?We combat the Freudian id by asking what serves the greater good.Kamikaze pilots believed they were serving the greater good.  Did that make it so?17:30  Is there a difference between morality and ethics?Morality descends from a higher authority which is cultural.Ethics emerges from a collective sensitivity for what’s right.20:30 Golden rule vs. the platinum rule.  Is it all about me?24:00 Character traits are neither good nor bad; they all have good and bad applications.Conflict is not bad if it is constructive, but  enabling us to see both sides of an issue more clearly so we can better understand the whole picture and thereby make better decisions.26:30 Anger turned inward produces violence. Anger is a gift when it invites you to pay attention.If we’re so angry that we can’t take a sip of water without spilling it, we shouldn’t be having an argument.We should ask ourselves with empathy: Why is this person angry? Did I contribute to their anger?31:45 The sages compare anger to idolatry; they also teach the importance of timing.If we can recognize the irony in the moment and laugh at ourselves, we can defuse the ange.Hillel: Don’t do to others what is hateful in your eyes.  Consider with empathy.  36:00 It’s an art to interpret words and circumstances in a way that brings us together.39:00 What’s the difference between anger and aggression?  This is the kind of question we need to ask ourselves.Anger is an emotion; aggression is a behavior.  Aggression can be good or bad; anger is always bad.43:00 If your neighbor is using a leaf blower at 7:00 Sunday morning, is it acceptable to respond by blasting your stereo at 3:00 the next morning?46:00 Responding to immorality from a loved one is very different from responding to a stranger or casual acquaintance.48:00  Don't let the devil in the door.  Protect yourself by protecting your own environment.50:30  “I don’t understand” vs. “That makes no sense.”  First look inside myself.52:00 Fix yourself first.  Set limits.  Lay down ground rules.  Ask “why are you mad?”3-yes technique.The more clearly we see our own perspective, the more passionate and single minded we become.  It takes an act of will to look from a different perspective.1:02:00 The steps to a good apology
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