The Spirit of March Madness

Have you even wondered why March Madness – seemingly just a series of college basketball games played by athletes, the vast majority of whom we will never hear about again – captures our imagination in a way unparalleled by any other major American sports tournament? Here is my Elite Eight list of reasons: Passion – Players are not playing for money (even if schools are) and you can feel the intensity, sacrifice, hard work, energy, and love that capture the meaning of amateur – “lover of”. Community – Between university bands, insane......

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Video: Putin's Annexation of Crimea and the "Humiliation Excuse"

From Odyssey Network’s Faith on the Record series: Last week Vladimir Putin led Russia in the annexation of Crimea, the latest move in the international crisis unfolding between Russia and Ukraine. According to Brad Hirschfield, humiliation “is used time and again around the globe to justify some of the most horrific things”, but “faith should help us appreciate the eternal, unbendable, unshakeable human dignity that each of us possesses regardless of what those around us do or have done to us in the past.” Odyssey Networks tells the stories of faith in......

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Are You Being Heard, or Just Being Loud?

Talking past each other is a human problem which affects us all. More often than not, it afflicts us with those about whom we care most. If we didn’t care, there would be no conflict. We would just walk away. I came across a recent example, concerning the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, otherwise known as the Mormon Church.?Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of developing some wonderful relationships with senior leaders in the Church and I have learned much from them about many things, including the practice......

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Character Day is Today!

Can you learn to be kinder and braver? Can practice make you more persistent, more optimistic, and more compassionate? Is it possible to cultivate your curiosity and creativity, widen your perspective, and strengthen your resilience? These are important questions for us individually and collectively as we work on what it means to flourish as human beings in the 21st century.? For millennia, religions and wisdom traditions understood that their “job to get done” was to help people develop these strengths and virtues. Today, we are beginning to have the social science and......

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Creating Conversation: A Visit with Conservatives

How often do you spend time listening to people with whom you believe you have serious differences in worldview and policy? Earlier this week I had the opportunity to be at a breakfast sponsored by AEI – The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank whose stated mission is “to defend the principles and improve the institutions of American freedom and democratic capitalism – limited government private enterprise, individual liberty and responsibility, vigilant and effective defense and foreign policies, political accountability, and open debate.” Glenn Hubbard, chairman of......

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3 Ways to Step Up Your Life

Sometimes we get into trouble because we overstep: We jump into a situation too soon. We act with too much enthusiasm or commitment. The bigger challenge that most of us face in life, however, is not that we overstep, but that we understep – that we miss opportunities to be who we most want to be – whether out of fear, self-consciousness, or the simple premise that we are not really up to the opportunity/challenge. Sound familiar? The biggest regrets people share with me (and frankly, which I have felt in my......

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When a Friend Is Suffering, How Do You Help?

How do you comfort someone going through a really hard time in life? Recently, I received an email from someone describing how his very good friend’s 42 year-old daughter (a woman with two young children, age 4 and 6 – his grandchildren) was diagnosed last year with cancer and just entered hospice. This man lost his only son 12 years ago in an auto accident. And on top of all this, his brother, with whom he’s extremely close, just had major heart surgery. He asked me if The Wisdom Daily had any......

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Video: Faiths Unite to Prevent Gun Violence

From Odyssey Network’s Faith on the Record series: March 13 kicked off the 2014 Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend. The event brought a coalition of over 50 denominations and faith-based organizations together in Washington, D.C. to address the ongoing issue of gun violence in America. Odyssey Networks tells the stories of faith in action changing the world for the better. Their stories explore a wise range of issues including peace, tolerance, social justice and the environment.? Visit Odyssey Networks at www.odysseynetworks.org. To view more of Brad’s Faith on the Record discussions, please......

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Empathy in Action: I've Got You Covered

Ever been in a position when you needed someone to cover for you? To do something you should have done yourself but, for whatever reason, could not? Of course you have! We all have. Perhaps you planned to bring a sick friend some soup, but asked someone else to deliver it for you because you got too busy to finish the good deed. Maybe you arranged for someone else to take care of your kids for a while because you were delayed. In those cases, someone covered for you, which is great,......

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The Ten Commandments Were Just the Beginning

I am part of a new series, The Bible Rules, on Sundays at 10pm ET on the History 2 (H2) Channel. Taping The Bible Rules was a particularly grueling experience – I mean for TV. It wasn’t like wandering around the desert for 40 years or anything, but it was definitely the first time in my life that I was interviewed for that many consecutive hours. You can watch for yourself and see, but I already know, based on the time I spent with the producers, that they’ve done something quite amazing.......

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