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CAN WE BE DIFFERENT AND STILL BE CIVIL? I DISAGREE
For the first third or so of my life, the news was delivered on television each night by a man named Walter Cronkite. This veteran reporter was relatively old when I was a kid, but he had been the most recognized and respected voice delivering the news to U.S. citizens for many years. Every night, he would report the news, stating the facts and ending his segments with his famous tagline “and that’s the way it is.” This doesn’t mean he never shared his own opinion. On air, after reporting on the bloodshed of the Vietnam War, Cronkite urged the United States to get out of Vietnam and negotiate as “an honorable people.” When he made this statement, he did so in a civil manner, without ranting or hurling insults at those who would disagree with him. The portion of the program where he expressed his opinions was separate from the official news portion. When you look back at the respectful way those opinions were presented and compare with where we are today, seeing someone being civil and respectful on the news seems almost miraculous. Every day, it seems to me that the 24-hour news cycle brings audiences nothing but rage and heavily biased vitriol. I’ve seen it on the right-leaning media, where correspondents are firing off incendiary statements full of name-calling, designed to be in clear lockstep with the current administration. But I’ve also seen it on left-leaning channels, where some people claim the world is so terrible that the
only choice is anarchy. Every report comes with an emotional component of finger-pointing, where someone must be blamed. It sometimes seems that there is no one just presenting the facts anymore and letting the listeners form their own opinions. Of course, there’s a reason why stories have a slant when they are reported by the news. They’re meant to push our buttons. Simple facts do not get ratings. When people get all riled up, ratings go up — and that’s good for business. The problem is that these emotions build, and the way we react to things today is so volatile. And then, of course, as if that was not bad enough, you have the dark corners of the web, where conspiracy theories and hateful rhetoric as well as racism and antisemitism are the norm. The shootings in Pittsburgh back in October are an especially harsh and painful reminder of what happens when someone listens with fervor to all the chatter and decides to act on his hate. Here’s my question: When did every disagreement become grounds for war? I’ve seen someone call another person a Nazi just because that person was pro-life and then another person call someone a Nazi for being pro-choice! I couldn’t believe my ears. Nazis were horrible individuals who wanted to eradicate anyone who wasn’t just like them.
Your neighbor isn’t a Nazi just because he or she has a different political opinion than you.
I will say that there are some upsides to everyone being so captivated by the current political climate. People are participating in democracy again. They’re going out to the polls, and young people are running for office and bringing new ideas to an old system. This is great because the Founding Fathers built our government on the idea that the people should play an active role in choosing their leadership — but there has to be a way that we can do this without tearing each other apart. It’s hard to be civil when something strikes an emotional chord. We want to fight for what we believe in. And yes, there are some things worth fighting for. The American Civil War was fought largely because the southern states didn’t want to end slavery. The United States entered World War II to fight actual Nazis allied with a Japanese dictatorship who together wanted to spread their cancerous evil throughout the world. In these instances, real human life and suffering was at stake. There was a clear right and wrong, good and evil. Participating in our wonderful democracy should not feel like you are fighting Nazis and actual dictators, because as much as you may want to believe someone is emulating a Nazi or
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4 Winter Illnesses You’d Rather Avoid
KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR BEFORE THEY ATTACK
Achoo! That’s the last noise you want to hear this winter. Cold weather brings a slew of sicknesses, so be vigilant to treat these common illnesses, or better yet, avoid them altogether. The Common Cold Although there is no cure, a cold is easier to treat than other illnesses. If you or a loved one has a runny nose, low-grade fever, headache, cough, nasal congestion, or sore throat, the common cold has most likely taken hold. With the help of rest and perhaps some cold medicine, like cough drops and decongestants, the cold will come and go in about a week. Bronchiolitis Bronchiolitis appears most commonly in children less than a year old and is caused by other viruses. Of the many symptoms — nasal congestion, low-grade fevers, and
around five days, but it can be shortened with the aid of antiviral medications. However, these medications are recommended only for children who face serious complications or hospitalization from the flu. If you want to avoid catching this, your best bet is to receive the annual flu vaccine. Strep Throat A sore throat, headache, stomach ache, vomiting, and high fever are signs of strep. This infection is treated with antibiotics and should be addressed soon after the first symptoms appear to
prevent further complications. Children with strep throat should stay away from school and other activities until they’ve been on antibiotics for 24 hours.
coughing — wheezing is the one you should be most concerned about. If your child is having difficulty breathing and is dehydrated, they may have caught a more serious strain of the virus. Most children will recover with at-home rest, but some may need to be hospitalized for more severe symptoms. Influenza
Everyone knows that getting sick is no fun and is best avoided at all costs. However, it happens to
everyone eventually. Catching a virus or infection in its early stages can help you shake the sickness much faster.
The flu is known for causing high fever, muscle aches and pains, nausea, and other symptoms similar to a cold. Often, the fever will last for
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Choosing the Right Charity How Your Business Can Give Back the Right Way
We believe that small businesses can have a positive impact on local communities and the wider world. A successful charity campaign can make a world of difference for people in need, especially over the holidays. But not all charitable organizations are created equal, and supporting the wrong organization can do more harm than good. Here are some tips on finding the best fit for your business. Align Missions When narrowing down the thousands of local and national charities you have to choose from, comparing the mission statements of these organizations to your own is a great place to start. Charities that align with or complement your own goals as a business are natural partners. Still, while matching big-picture goals is a great start, you also need to make sure your chosen organization aligns with the heart and soul of your business: your employees and customers.
... Cover article continued a dictator, our system of government is designed to prevent one person from having too much power. As much as you may disagree with that person, unless they are an actual skinhead or neo-Nazi — and even they are just wannabes — that person is not a Nazi, I assure you. My wife and I have very different political views, but we also love each other, coexist under the same roof, and have raised two beautiful daughters together. If we were at each other’s throats every time we disagreed, our lives would be nowhere near as good as they are. If you don’t like where something is going, you can make your voice heard at the polls. If you disagree with your leadership, you can run for office yourself or vote for candidates who appear to you to be qualified to do a better job than those in office now. And if you are happy with the way things are, you can support the candidates you feel have done a good job. The people of this great nation have a lot of power, and we have opportunities to use that power without screaming obscenities or inciting violence. Now that the midterms are over, I hope that we can learn how to be civil in our disagreements again. This is an amazing country, no matter what the news outlets claim. Let’s work together to keep it that way. –Joseph Miller connected to your work. Maybe a member of your team lives with a disability or a significant number of your customers face social, cultural, or economic challenges. Putting time, money, and effort into supporting a reputable organization that helps the people and communities connected to your business is one of the best ways to show you care. Check Credentials Good intentions only go so far. To really make your charity efforts count and ensure your donations are used appropriately, you need to do some research. Thankfully, organizations like the Better Business Bureau, Charity Watch, and GuideStar.org keep data on IRS-registered charities, making it easy to see which groups are reputable. In general, you should look for organizations that have a great track record of transparency and make all of their financial information readily available. Remember the ‘Why’ If you’re just looking for a tax write-off or good publicity, charity efforts are going to feel hollow and frustrating. More than anything, philanthropy should involve a cause your business is passionate about — no matter how big or small. Taking the time to remind yourself why you’ve chosen to support a particular cause will keep you from losing sight of what giving back is all about.
Find Human Connections The most powerful charity work your business can support is a cause that stems from the needs and passions of people
Joe’s Monthly ‘SOUL SNACKS’
“If you’re connected upstairs, you don’t fall downstairs.” –R.L. Brody “Purgatory is discovering in the next world what you could have accomplished in this world — but you lacked the desire.” –R.L. Brody
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Inside This Issue
‘And That’s the Way It Is’ page 1 What Do My Symptoms Mean? page 2 What Our Clients Are Saying page 2 Choosing the Right Charity page 3 Soul Snacks page 3 A Guide to Making Ideas Stick page 4
CHIP AND DAN HEATH’S ‘MADE TO STICK’ Uncovers What Makes Ideas Matter
Have you ever wondered why certain stories that have no basis in fact get passed around like wildfire? Whether they’re rumors, urban legends, or conspiracy theories, these tales can often gain more traction than important ideas and facts. In their book “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die,” Chip and Dan Heath explore the qualities that give ideas relevance and pass- around value. “An accurate but useless idea is still useless,” they write. This point is key to understanding why people get excited about certain ideas and ignore others. The Heaths argue that the presentation of ideas can have just as much of an impact on their “stickiness” as the content of the ideas. After analyzing hundreds of examples, they note, “We began to see the same themes, the same attributes, reflected in a wide range of successful ideas.” “Made to Stick” explains those attributes using myriad examples to illustrate how stickiness works in the real world. Early in the book, the Heaths share six key principles, demonstrating how good ideas are made valuable and exciting by their simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, and credibility; are capable of rousing emotions; and are often presented in the form of stories. While these principles are relatively straightforward, they are often subverted in an effort to use business jargon and other neutered forms of language.
The Heaths deploy John F. Kennedy’s famous speech about putting a man on the moon as an example of a compellingly relayed idea. “Had John F. Kennedy been a CEO, he would have said, ‘Our mission is to become the international leader in the space industry through maximum team- centered innovation and strategically targeted aerospace initiatives,’” they explain. Nobody would have been excited about that.
If you’ve ever thought that you had a great idea but couldn’t get your employees to buy into it, a lack of stickiness may be the cause. Understanding how to present your ideas in an inspiring way could unlock the key to increased productivity and growth like you’ve never achieved before. The next time you present an idea to your team, a group of conference attendees, or any other audience, ask yourself if that idea will stick. If it won’t, you’re just wasting your time. If you need a little guidance on how to make your ideas punch a little harder, “Made to Stick” should be on your holiday book list.
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