Virtue of the Week: Understanding

Seven Deadly Sins There is a big difference between knowing something and truly understanding it. The difference is empathy, a critical skill we might all benefit from practicing more of. You know how you’ll try to communicate something very important to another person and sometimes they’ll wave you off with an impatient, “I know, I […]

Virtue of the Week: Understanding

As I watch the presidential conventions it occurs to me that we all could use a little more understanding In this world today. It makes me think about the three wise men. The three wise men, or the Magi were astrologers, soothsayers, magicians, advisors to kings, priests and prophets in their culture. They were seekers […]

Virtue of the Week: Understanding

MY LESSON IN UNDERSTANDING By Gen. Douglas MacArthur One of my first classes at West Point was studying the time-space relationship later formulated by Einstein as his Theory of Relativity. The text was complex and, being unable to comprehend it, I committed the pages to memory. When I was called upon to recite, I solemnly […]

Virtue of the Week: Understanding

THE SIX BLIND MEN AND THE ELEPHANT There are various versions of the story of the blind men and the elephant. The ‘blind men and the elephant’ is a legend that appears in different cultures – notably China, Africa and India – and the tale dates back thousands of years. Some versions of the story […]


To show empathy is to identify with another’s feelings. It is to emotionally put yourself in the place of another. The ability to empathize is directly dependent on your ability to feel your own feelings and identify them. If you have never felt a certain feeling, it will be hard for you to understand how […]

Life is a poem, not a math equation

That is a lesson that was hard for me to learn. By nature, I am an organizational freak. Every box and book has its place on the shelf. I don’t know where I got this from, but ultimately it can lead to the notion that we can control things around us. We start to look […]

Character Education and Psychological Models of Virtue

Dr. Kevin Ryan Teacher Education’s Muddled Models of Character Education The topic I was assigned is “character education and the psychological models of virtue.” Since most of my work for the last forty years has been in teacher education, my response will be from the purchase of what teachers are taught about character education and […]

Virtue: Personate or Personify?

Okay, so you agree. Virtues are the glue without which no nation can long endure; they are the sticky stuff without which no institution can hold together; they are the centripetal force without which no organization can defy disintegration. If people do not learn about virtues in the home, in the school, in the media, […]