Tuesday, December 9, 2008

On The Tunney Side of the Street #206, Dec. 8, 2008 (www.JimTunney.com)

After Further Review The Josephson Institute recent survey (http://charactercounts.org/programs/reportcard/index.html) reported that 30% of U.S. high school students have stolen from a store. Michael Josephson, a colleague and founder of the Institute, was “most dismayed” by the findings about theft. His Institute surveyed 29,700 students at 100 randomly selected high schools nationwide and found, in addition to the above, 23% stole from a friend or family member; 64% “cheated on a test” – 31% more than once; and 36% said they used the internet to plagiarize an assignment.

Despite all that, 93% of those students said they were “satisfied with their personal ethics and character” and 77% responded that “when it comes to doing what is right, I am better than most people I know.” Evidently those students weren’t too good at math. If 77% said they were “better than most” – “most” comes out to be 23%! Huh?

Is there any relationship of these students’ behavior to the arrest of New York Giants WR Plaxico Burress on gun charges? (http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/fb/texansfront/6151333.html) Burress, accidentally shot himself in the right thigh with a .40-caliber Glock gun he was “packing” - without a permit - at a Manhattan (New York) night club about 1:00am recently. (“Nothing good happens after midnight” see page 55 in “It’s the Will, Not the Skill”.) “Accidentally?” – “Shot HIMSELF?” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said “It would be an outrage if we didn’t prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/03/sports/football/03weapon.html?em) Bloomberg continued, “People who live in the public domain, make their living because of their visibility, are role models for kids.” Benjamin Brafman, Burress’ attorney said, “Plaxico is standing tall. He is a mature adult.” Huh? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Brafman

There is an obvious disconnect between the Mayor and the attorney. One doesn’t “stand tall” or be a “mature adult” with this example of stupid behavior. The NY Giants have suspended Burress for the rest of the 2008 season without pay; Burress was signed to a $35 million contract earlier this year (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/5037). Did Burress’ pinhead behavior START with petty theft or not getting caught cheating on a test?

“Pervasive apathy” (as Josephson calls it) - a blasé attitude about ethical shortcomings - is far too rampant in today’s impassive society. How do we help young people understand that “packing” may start with those “minor” offenses? How can you help? Well, you may not be able to do all the world needs, but the world needs all you can do. http://charactercounts.org/michael/the_nature_of_character/

Will you take thoughtful, positive action to do what you can to correct this concern?

For more information about Jim Tunney, please visit his website:
www.JimTunney.com, or if you would like to respond to this message,
please send your email to Jim@JimTunney.com

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