Flat World Faith

December 29th, 2006

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The world is flat.
Using fiber-optic cables, advanced compression technologies, and aeronautical work force software, Boeing has set up a twenty-four hour ‘round-the-world workday (two shifts in Russia and one in America). In Russia 1,000 engineers, formerly with different Russian aircraft companies like Ilyusian, Tupelov and Sukhoi, pass engineering plans back and forth with American engineers to produce the most cost-effective aircraft. This new competitive workplace is why Thomas Friedman says the world is flat.1 It’s why drive-through orders at twelve McDonald’s franchises in Missouri are handled in Colorado Springs, where the workforce is cheaper.2  The world is within reach; and the winners are those who are most competitive.

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Boring.
“Have you read a good Buddhist novel lately?” That question was put to a friend of mine years ago by a Princeton University PhD candidate. Her thesis focused on early Japanese literature (including Buddhist stories) and frankly it was pretty boring stuff. Buddhism lacks one element that makes any story compelling. Ironically, that same element is often missing from the modern retelling of Christmas – which makes the all-too-familiar tale all-too-forgettable after December 25th. What’s missing?

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Murder & Wonder

December 15th, 2006

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Horror.
Katie Mason was a nine-year girl visiting a Connecticut summer fair with several of her playmates. Her mother, Joan, briefly left Katie with the other mothers as she crossed the road toward a concession stand. Just then she heard a commotion behind her…

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Murder & Wonder

December 15th, 2006

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Horror.
Katie Mason was a nine-year girl visiting a Connecticut summer fair with several of her playmates. Her mother, Joan, briefly left Katie with the other mothers as she crossed the road toward a concession stand. Just then she heard a commotion behind her…

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Eyes Wide Shut

December 8th, 2006

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Innocently blind.
On business trips, he would spend several hours praying and reading the Bible each morning, with another round of prayers at midday. As a ship captain, he enjoyed long spells of solitude on deck, keeping a diary and recording that he knew no “calling that… affords greater advantages to an awakened mind, for promoting the life of God in the soul.” His expensive cargo required extra officers and crew, reducing his onboard responsibilities. “I never knew sweeter or more frequent hours of divine communion, than in my last two voyages to Guinea, when I was either almost secluded from society on shipboard, or when on shore… I have wandered through the woods reflecting on the singular goodness of the Lord to me.”

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Two-Legged Stools

December 1st, 2006

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The greatest evil is not done in those sordid dens of crime that Dickens loved to paint. It is conceived and moved (seconded and carried and minuted), in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails, and smooth-shaven chins, who do not need to raise their voices.1

Not enough.
Many businesses today are renewing an emphasis on integrity, especially in light of the cascade of ethical collapses in corporate America. But surveys indicate that ethical boundaries still remain blurred.2 If Aristotle was hired as a consultant, he would say the problem is trying to prop up moral behavior on a two-legged stool.

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