This Is Tolerance?

January 26th, 2007

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Combustible fuel.
Attorneys are expected to finish closing arguments today in a hate crimes case that is roiling the coastal California town of Long Beach. On Halloween night of 2006, an ugly fight involving a group of black teenagers and three white women left all three women badly beaten (one had 12 facial fractures). Long Beach is a port city that prides itself on diversity and tolerance. There’s only one problem: modern-day tolerance, mixed with diversity, forms a combustible fuel that often ignites hate crimes.

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Back and Forth

January 19th, 2007

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Paradise Spell.
Half of our 2007 New Years’ resolutions have already crashed and burned. Health club memberships are up, attendance has begun to slack. Americans are like Jay Gatsby who “believed in the green light… that year by year recedes before us.” We’re “motivated by the Paradise Spell,” as David Brooks puts it, “by the feeling that there is some glorious destiny just ahead.”1 Yet we rarely achieve our aim of lasting life-change. Why?

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Purpose as a Pointer

January 12th, 2007

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Implicit answer.
The best companies, according to consultant Nikos Mourkogiannis, invest in something greater than strictly bottom-line concerns. Red® is an example. It’s not a charity but a company that sells red iPods, phones, credit cards, and clothing apparel. Their purpose is to invest some of its profits to buy and distribute antiretroviral drugs for women and men dying of AIDS in Africa. This kind of compelling purpose can serve as a “moral DNA” enhancing corporate mission, elevating worker performance and building customer loyalty according to Mourkogiannis, the author of Purpose: The Starting Point of Great Companies.

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Lost Script

January 5th, 2007

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Wipe out.
37-year-old Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs recently flew back from Toronto to be with his girlfriend Kim Porter while she gave birth to his twin girls – D’Lila Star and Jessie James. Diddy already has two sons – Christian, 8, with Porter, and Justin, 12, who live with his ex-girlfriend, Misa Hylton-Brim. This isn’t Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Roughly 50 percent of all black children, 25 percent of Hispanic children and 16 percent of all non-Hispanic white children grow up in a household with only their mother.1 In the 1950s, 77 percent of black American families were united, compared with 85 percent of white families. But between 1970 and 2000, the marriage rate for blacks dropped by half. It wasn’t as severe for other ethnic groups, but the idea of marriage as an indispensable condition of child rearing is trending downward – both in America and Europe.

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