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Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCharityMarriageMorals, Ethics, ValuesSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconI have always been impressed with the mentality of the Mormons with respect to the issue of charity.' I had a tour of their main charity facilities, and was amazed at what I saw and learned.' There are absolutely no handouts ' they barter !Here's how it works:' if you could lose your home, or if you need food, clothing, medicine or toys for your children, the Church takes financial care of your needs.' In exchange , you provide services to the very mechanism that rescued you .' This means that folks in the bakeries are people who have benefited from the charitable services; those helping in the stores that sell thrift clothing, housewares and food are those who have benefited from the charitable services, and so on.The basic concept is to preserve a sense of dignity and pride in those who have temporary need by giving them an opportunity to use their skills in the service of others.' Walking around the premises, I felt the uplifted attitude of all who were there:' smiles, waves, and straight backs.The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints provides for people all over the world ' not only with goods and goodwill, but with the opportunity to not lose a sense of self when 'things' are lost.'I probably sound like an advertisement for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.' I am not a member of their religion, but I am impressed with their charitable philosophy, because I believe it teaches our children their real value, while motivating and uplifting them at the same time.Their young people who graduate high school are expected to go on two-year 'missions,' reminiscent of the Peace Corps.' These young people come back much more mature, as they've experienced the pain and need of others, and have sacrificed two years of their own comfort to be of service to others.Other youngsters just don't want to skip a beat in their acquisition of iPods, cell phones, and other 'Internet in your hand' gadgets.I believe that the economic disaster our country is in right now is a kind of blessing in disguise with respect to values. Without values, life just provides us with 'things,' but not necessarily with any profound meaning. More >>

Tags: CharityEconomyFinancesMarriageMorals, Ethics, ValuesReligionValues
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05/13/2010
IconI cannot even estimate how many recent callers fall into two discrete, and unfortunate, categories:' the first are largely women calling to find out how they can better deal with the bitter resentment they have toward their husbands, because of economic stress; the second are largely men calling to find out how they can better deal with the feelings of failure as a man because of economic stress.To the women, I say "Unless he actively burned money in the basement, gambled it away, or spent way, way, way over budget, your fears are turning into rage toward the one person you should turn to , and not on ."' When they (generally) limply come back with "Yes, he spent more than we had," and I come back with "And, didn't you?" then the meeting is called to order.To the men, I say, "I am heartened that you see your responsibilities so clearly, but you are letting your shock get in the way of your problem-solving skills.' You see a hungry tiger in your living room, salivating over your kids.' Shock sets in, and you can be depressed that you don't have a stun gun or you can't figure out another way around that tiger to save your family.' We indulge in the shock and sadness of it all, but now it's time to see the challenge."I have teenagers with small incomes from part-time jobs call, wondering if they have to "share" with their parents who are up against it.' Can you imagine that?' Instead of being rather excited about the ability to contribute to the family at a time of crisis, many of our teens are only looking out for "Number One."All cities are having charity drives not only for the holiday season, but for victims of fires and personnel layoffs due to incompetency in government and private industry.' Most of the time, this issue is food, but sometimes children's lists include iPods and laptops!' Can you believe that?' What have we taught our children about humble survival and retrenching when they are still focused on high-priced electronics? More >>

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