AIE Blog

Where is the common good in our Government?

By john · August 10, 2011 · Filed in AIE Blog Posts · 1 Comment »

Ihave watched and listened almost patiently over the last several weeks to our leaders discuss and debate our  financial situation. It is hard to conceive that a countnry founded on strong values can be so deadlocked and impotent. It would seem to me that there is almost no solution to our serious financial dilemna. When do our leaders from the top on down begin to consider all of us.

It does not matter what your political persuasion is, neither side seems either willing or able to get beyond their own ideology. As a country, we are not democrats, republicans, tea party people, conservative, liberal, progressive or any political persuasion. We are Americans, first, foremost and forever. We are bing treated as sheep or cattle that need to led around on a rope. It is as if we can not think for ourselves. Our leaders are so far away from any spiritual influence or thinkingm yet many will invoke religion to support their position.

Wde need to get back to the founding parentsof this country, who clearly understood what it meant to disagree or agree. They also understood what it meant to compromise when necessary to protect the people and promote and foster the common good for all.

We only need to read our Constitution and our Declaration of Independance to see where we are supposed to be headed. Reading and thinking about those documents shows how far we have to go to get back to reasonab le and sound thinking and government. The time is now; not in a partisan and bickering way, but in the aura of working towards what is best for the American people and not any individual, organization or ideology.

We, at The American Institute of Ethics want to see movement towards harmony, friendly discourse, no name calling and most of all respect for everyone in the process, whether or not we agree or disagree. Peace to all of you.

John Sequeira, President

REFLECTON ON EVENTS IN ARIZONA ON JANUARY 9, 2011

By john · January 11, 2011 · Filed in AIE Blog Posts · 3 Comments »

There are no words to express the horror and shock about what happened last Saturday. The killing of six innocent people,, the wounding of at least 10 others including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. We have seen too much of this type of violence, slaughter and grief in recent years. Since whe did we decide that a gun was a ethod or resolving differences.

The shooter is probably suffering from some serious mental instability, but that is not an excuse. What happened is truly sickening and abhorrent, but what oncerns me and The American Institute of Ethics is what is happening now.

We are finding parties on all sides of the political spectrum blaming the other side for what happened. We have spoken from this forum before about toning down the hate and ugliness that seems to permeate and control our political dialogue. I and neither does anyone else know what motivated this person to do what he did; but the ugly and violent rhetoric certainly did not dissuade him from his mission.

Then there is the issue of our laws regarding guns. I really do not know what the answer is to controling the use of guns. Is it eliminating all private ownenrship of guns or passing new laws regarding registration and licensing and the handling of guns. It would appear that the laws in place in Arizona  were not enforced as this person with his mental condition and background should never been issued a permit for a gun.

In the final analysis, it is all of us who must share the blame. We allow our politicians to spount on endlessly without effect and we do not demand more from them. Our elected public servants are not enforcing the laws they passed on our behalf. This man, with his background and medical records should never have been issued a permit for a gun. You have to wonder how many more like him are out there. In many ways, we reap what we sow.

Wouldn’t it have been nice and very effective from our President on down if we heard after the fact and observed our nation, our political parties and our society as a whole coming together to mourn the dead, heal the sick and work together to put an end to this type of violence. I would like to think that we are more mature and a gentler people than to settle for this type of activity.

John Sequeira

The American Institute of Ethics at the end of 2010

By john · December 30, 2010 · Filed in AIE Blog Posts · 8 Comments »

We, at AIE wish everyone a most prosperous and happy and enlightening New Year. As we look back at 2010, we had an election which only served to emphasize how disfunctional our government and our World has become. If either of the major political parties believe this election was an endorsement for what they have done and are doing, they will be sadlly mistaken – the last election was an indictment of what is going on and the American people, in their wisdom, have had enough. This era of logjam, of discordant rhetoric and non-cooperation must come to an end, our survival depends on it.

We are victims of Dualism, the “ism” that says if  I believe in one thing and you believe in something different, we can not discuss or try to compromise, one or the other has to be completely put down or destroyed. This dualistic behavior and climate has permeated our entire lives, including our families, churches, all of our institutions and 2011 must see, at least, the beginning of the end to dualism. We have to get back to the idea that it is healthy to disagree – that was the foundation of our society, it is the foundation of our world.

At AIE in 2011 we created our on line learning program “Rebuilding Ethics in a Changing World” and will be marketing it to businessess, organizations and individuals who share our dream of an ethical and value sensitive World. We have also introduced our Youth Empowerment Program for high schools and have already on board, one high school and the program was presented at Dominican University in San Rafael very successfully. We have three more high schools that should make a decision to partner with us in early 2011.

From all of us here at The American Institute of Ethics, we wish you and your families and beautiful and very blessed New Year and you will be hearing much more from us and we encourage you to join us be becoming a member of The Institute and you can do so from our website at AIEWEB.org.

Peace,

John Sequeira, President

HEALTHCARE IN 2010

By john · October 6, 2010 · Filed in AIE Blog Posts · 3 Comments »

 

HEALTH CARE IN 2010

 

2009 and 2010 saw a great debate and battle to reform our healthcare system in the United States and it seems the argument goes on and on. The questions still remain: is the system really improved? Is the system really less expensive than before and many of the answers are “no” or “to be determined.”

 

Let me tell you about a friend of mine who was a successful businessman and owned his own business. Over a year ago he was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of brain tumor and surgery was performed and, at first, apparently successful. Unfortunately, the cancer returned and he has undergone over a year of radiation and chemotherapy.

 

As a small businessman, his private health insurance responded and he was not old enough for Medicare. The response was adequate in the early stages, but at the end the drugs used were so expensive that he went though all his reserves and is now filing for both corporate and private bankruptcy and is forced to sell his beautiful home which was extensively remodeled in the last couple of years.

 

It was the lack of response by insurance and government that has brought this proud man to his knees. He is so grateful for every day and he is a man of tremendous faith. Is this what healthcare reform means today, if so, there has been no improvement?

 

Expensive drugs like chemotherapy drugs, inhalers for asthma and COPD sufferers are paid at pennies on the dollar and they can bankrupt and destroy families. The American Institute of Ethics finds this unacceptable after all the turmoil that the healthcare debate caused in our Country. It would appear to us that it is still in need of fixing.

 

John Sequeira, President

Ethics and Dualism

By john · September 21, 2010 · Filed in AIE Blog Posts · 5 Comments »

 

ETHICS AND DUALISM

The American Institute of Ethics believes that dualism and dualistic thinking and behavior are what have our society log-jammed in futility. We cannot seem to make things better, we only seem to be able to argue and insult and put someone who does not agree with us down or destroyed.

It is most evident in our political discourse, but it has pervaded all of the institutions that we hold so dear and have worked so well for us over the decades. This is an “ism” that is right up there with individualism, materialism and secularism in eating at the roots, the foundations, the very essence of our wonderful structure.

We have lost the ability to disagree and to disagree in a friendly manner. It is “all or nothing” and this is a pathway to real disaster. Our Country is at a very critical moment in our history, it is going to take all of us pulling together, whether we agree completely or not, to solve this serious dilemma.

Contemplation and Meditation are one of the keys to overcoming dualism. We have to find and be our true self, we must be the person that we are and be proud of it and live that way. We can no longer afford to try to be who we think others want us to be.

Above all else, we must get along. We do not have to agree, but we can peacefully and sometimes pleasantly disagree, but find the places where we agree and work towards solution. The day of “just say NO is over.

John Sequeira, President

THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ETHICS

Tolerance, the key to being ethical.

By admin · February 23, 2010 · Filed in AIE Blog Posts · 5 Comments »

Tolerance is something that is becoming less visible and practiced more infrequently than in past times. In recent weeks, a 14 year old committed suiced who was a student at a very prestigious and faith bases college preparatory school. Within one week there was a posting on the internet and perhaps other places that this was the price that Gays and Lesbians must pay for their behavior. This is just one example of where we are experiencing today. The alleged writers of this atrociaty were other students at the same school. Where do teenagers learn this type of hate? Where do teenagers learn to spew this type of garbage and hateful thinking? Is it possible that this type of talk, this type of thinking and activity might have driven this person to such destructive behavior?

We need to becom more aware of these incidents. This is a great example of dualistic behavior. If we think someone or some group or somc behavior is not something we like or approve of, we have a need to destroy it. If we disagree with someone, we can not accept their position without destroying it and possibley them. Because we believe, when we are thinking dualistically, that for us to be right, others must be wrong and they must be the scapegoats and then eliminated. This is not the message of tolerance or that of an ethical thinking person. What can we do to stop thinking and acting dualistacally? We must enter and find our true self, our authentic self and perhaps the best way to do this is through contemplation and meditation.

There are many tools, one that I find helpful is the work of Richard Rohr, CFM. He has written books, “Everything Belongs”, “Adam’s Rerturn” and his latest book, “The Naked Now.” He is just one and ther are others, but we at The American Institute of Ethics believe it is time to find your true self and work to rid our world of dualism.

Fear and how it effects our lives.

By admin · January 19, 2010 · Filed in AIE Blog Posts · 5 Comments »

NONVIOLENCE

Question of the Day:
Do I allow hate or mean-spiritedness to control my life?

Fear is almost always behind hate. Sometimes it looks like taking necessary control, but control freaks are usually afraid of losing something. It is almost always fear that justifies hatred, but a fear that is hardly ever recognized as such.

For fear to survive, it must look like reason, prudence, common sense, justice, or even religion. It always works. What better way to veil vengeance than to call it justice? What better way to cover greed than to call it responsible stewardship? What better way to cover arrogance than call it Biblical obedience? Only people who have moved beyond ego and controlling all outcomes, only those practiced at letting go, see fear for the impostor that it is. To be trapped inside of your small self is always to be afraid.

There is an intrinsic connection between fear, hatred and violence. Fear always needs a hiding place, and one of the best is supposed morality or truth-speaking. Then, you can hate with impunity, and even grandiosity, or validation from the Scriptures. Then you can be hateful and not feel the least guilty about it, but in fact feel morally superior.

Creating Olympic Games spirit in the workplace.

By admin · December 19, 2009 · Filed in AIE Blog Posts · No Comments »

In the Olympics, we see a lot of the same human issues that confront us at the workplace. What can we take from that international event to apply at work? If you look carefully, you will find that the ways world athletes behave before, during, and after the Olympics offer us a lot of lessons we can learn from to Iimprove people’s performance in the workplace. After all, sports have always offered us metaphors, models, and motivating examples to apply at work. Naturally, the Olympics offer us the ultimate best of these. Here are ways to create the Olympics’ spirit at work.

The most significant lessons we can take from the Olympics to the workplace are:

Every Four Years, Not Every Quarter: Most American organizations put too much focus on the quarterly reporting of results. Real change in human performance requires a longer view of things.
Coaching for Performance: To perform at their peak, people need to be coached, not managed. The Coaching process of tough yet friendly feedback, modeling of desired behavior, constant guidance and continuance, incremental improvement is a model that works well at work too.
Practice Makes Perfect: No athlete will think to perform in the actual competition without rigorous practicing for years before the event. At work, people cannot suspend work to practice. They must work and practice at the same time.
Build Teams, Not Individuals: Even competitions that do not involve a team require effective teamwork between the coach and the athlete, and perhaps other people as well such as the managers, administrators, and the medical team. No Basketball team or Soccer team can achieve much without effective teamwork. How much training on team building have you participated in at work lately?
Motivation and Rewards: The motivation for the Olympic athletes is never money. It’s the global recognition of being the best. It’s the satisfaction of beating the previous world record, and going just a notch beyond what was previously possible. That’s the kind of culture you need to create at work. Monetary rewards are necessary to prevent good people from seeking work somewhere else, but it’s never the main motivator for achieving truly great things at work. Recognition, of both team and individual performance excellence, is the greatest motivator.
Failure Is The Beginning, Not the End: No athlete will strive to participate in the Olympics just once in a lifetime. Most keep going back and trying more. If they fail, they strive harder to win. If they win, they try harder to break their own record and win even bigger.

Definition of The American Institute of Ethics

By admin · October 30, 2009 · Filed in AIE Blog Posts · 1 Comment »

What might best define The American Institute of Ethics?

It has become quite apparent that many of the systems and institutions that we have treasured and followed so faithfully have failed in recent times. Why is this? It would seem that the following reflection by Richard Rohr the Franciscan writer and speaker it’s the nail on the head. Our society has been directed by men from almost all time. In recent years, women have become much more involved including leadership roles. Why is it not working any better? Most women as they assume leadership have tended to act just like the men and use the same tactics and tools that men have used. They need to be just who they are – Women! We need this change and Ref. Rohr says it most beautifully.

SUBERTING THE HONOR/SHAME SYSTER

Question: Who am I – really?

“The male psyche is normally fragile and insecure because it is based on overwhelmingly external and transitory criteria a game which almost all men eventually lose. The poor male has to look good and he has to defend the honor of his bank account, his family, his race, his country, but all in reference to himself! His question is not allowed to be ‘Who am I – really?’, but only ‘How do I look?’

This is precisely the opposite path from any authentic spirituality. Thus it was males who alone needed ‘initiation’ in most indigenous cultures, and it was males like Jesus Christ and the other great religious figures of all time, who walked in the exact opposite direction.

Significance of Organizational/Corporate Culture

By admin · October 21, 2009 · Filed in AIE Blog Posts · 1 Comment »

The Significance of Organizational / Corporate Culture
Background Research

Why should we pay attention to such a ‘fuzzy’ concept as ‘Corporate Culture’?

In a landmark study by Terrence Deal and Allan Kennedy, published in their pioneering book, “Corporate Culture: the Rites and Rituals of Corporate Life (Addison-Wesley) the authors found that – among nearly 80 companies, the consistently high performers were “strong culture” organizations. They proved that a correlation exists between a strong corporate culture and a healthy bottom-line.

Other studies have produced similar results. A study of 34 corporations, done by Daniel R. Denison, project director of the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, has shown that ‘The cultural and behavioral characteristics of organizations have a measurable effect on a company’s performance.” The study’s results were later published by the American Management Association in its ‘Organization Dynamics’ publication under the title,” Bringing Corporate Culture to the Bottom Line.”

An intensive five year long research effort involving more than 100 companies done by noted consultant Rosabeth Moss Kanter, and presented in her pioneering book, “The Change Masters (Simon & Schuster) was described by Industry Week as follows, “None has gone this far in presenting evidence that companies characterized by an open culture…are successful in both human and business terms.”

The conclusion we can arrive at from these studies is that attention to the organization’s culture is as important a matter as attention to other corporate indicators, such as finances, production, marketing, information technologies or human resources. A strong, positive and innovative corporate culture has proved to be one of the strategic prerequisites for successful organizational performance.