Monday, July 25, 2011

Michael Josephson: I'm not fixing the dent

  Relentless rehashing of Casey Anthony’s trial and her present whereabouts, the ever-widening scandal involving media mogul Rupert Murdoch and Britain’s top cops, and shameless posturing by feuding politicians unwilling to agree on a budget, all make it so hard to pay attention to more important things, like the human dimension of unemployment, the suffering of soldiers maimed and killed in faraway wars, and the ongoing tribulations of victims of forgotten disasters in Haiti and Japan.

  Consider the parable of a doctor driving through a poor part of town. He was in a hurry, so he ignored a young by trying to flag him down. But, as he slowed for a traffic light, his car was hit by a brick. The man got out of the car and screamed, “You’ll go to jail for this!”

  The boy cried, “Take me to jail, but first please call someone to help my mom. She’s on the floor in our apartment and I think she’s dying. We have no phone and I couldn’t get anyone to stop – I didn’t know what else to do.”

  Filled with shame, the doctor rushed to the woman’s aid and saved her life with CPR. Of course, he didn’t call the police, and he made sure the boy was taken care of as his mom was taken to the hospital.

  When the doctor got home and told his wife, she said, “Well, that dent will cost you $1,000 to fix.”

  “No, it won’t," he said. "I’m not fixing the dent. I'm going to leave it as it is to remind me that not everyone in need has a brick.”

  About the author: Michael Josephson is one of the nation’s most sought-after and quoted ethicists. Founder and president of Josephson Institute and its CHARACTER COUNTS! project, he has conducted programs for more than 100,000 leaders in government, business, education, sports, law enforcement, journalism, law, and the military. Mr. Josephson is also an award-winning radio commentator.

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