In recent years, schoolteachers, particularly public schoolteachers, have gotten a bad rap.
There have been cheating scandals on standardized tests in Georgia. U.S. students have fallen behind students in other developed countries. Some schools are failing their students because of either funding shortfalls, unsafe conditions etc.
Some say that the methods used to evaluate teachers’ performance are inadequate or obsolete. As a result, poor teachers keep their jobs and good teachers get laid off. In fact, state and municipal funding shortfalls have made many teachers expendable.
Certainly, all of this is occurring.
But the December 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary Scholl in Newtown, Conn., and the devastating tornado that hammered schools in Moore, Okla., in May 2013 have shown that teachers are real heroes. What they do every day is heroic, but the tragedies illustrate their intrinsic motivation.
Teachers in those two schools have shown how much they love their students. They love them so much that they would risk their own lives to save them. Those teachers did what they felt they had to do to save as many students as they could.
Does this sound like the dependent, government employees some commentators have made them out to be? Are the public schools just a bastion of taxpayer-funded workers who get summers off and don’t do much for the children? Are teachers just in it for the paycheck, pension, and generous government benefits the taxpayers reluctantly dole out? Are they, and their unions, just working to keep the cushy deal they have?
A fan Tweeted to Diane Sawyer, anchor of ABC’s World News on May 21, 2013, that this might be the year of the teacher because of Sandy Hook and Moore. The teachers showed their true character in time of tragedy. They weren’t looking out for themselves in those instances.
Government workers in general get bad press because most of us hate paying taxes. Some view government spending as one of two things: waste and free stuff for the undeserving. But if you ask anyone whether the teachers at Sandy Hook and Moore were worth whatever they were getting paid, few would say no.
Government provides essential services. Many individuals who work in government are dedicated to what they do. They are not there just for the generous benefit package. In fact, many in government, including teachers, get paid very little in relative terms. Frequently, folks who make a lot more than they do are the biggest complainers about schools, and government in general, because they don’t want to pay the taxes it takes to take care of those dedicated folks.
Sure, as in anything, there are abusers. There are teachers and government employees who are in their jobs for self-serving reasons. But in most cases, those who work for the people are motivated by something other than pay and benefits. The teachers of Sandy Hook and Moore proved that.
If you are a teacher or other government employee , who sees a lack of appreciation for your hard work and dedication, visit It may be just the thing to allow you to leave with a smile on your face when you are hit with the next layoff or budget cut. You may not be motivated by money for yourself, but this could give a great ability to help others not only with your time and skill, but also with your money.
Don’t let them call spending on your salary and benefits a “waste.” Don’t let them tell you that you don’t deserve what you get from the taxpayers. If you hear such a thing, just mention the behavior of teachers at Sandy Hook and Moore. They weren’t doing what they do just for the money.


We’ve seen the corporate world evolve over time.
Years ago, making money was all that mattered.
Then, as the labor movement took hold, being a good employer was important.
Today, being a good corporate citizen has become critical to one’s reputation.
Business authors Archie Carroll and Ann Buckholtz define “corporate social responsibility” as “economic , legal, ethical and discretionary expectations that society has of organizations.”
As David Bohan, founder of Advertising, wrote in the Tennessean newspaper in May 2013, CSR must become part of a business plan, no matter the size of the business.
Companies must have a strong bottom line, but cannot get greedy. They must treat their employees, shareholders and customers well. They must show their communities at large that they are givers. They must act responsibly in everything they do.
To paraphrase S. Truett Cathy, founder of the Chik-fil-A sandwich chain: earn your money honestly, spend it wisely and give the rest of it away.
You earn your money honestly not just by avoiding illegal activity, but also by treating others as you would want to be treated. If someone works for you, help them be successful and pay them what they deserve. Don’t just pay them as little as you can get away with. If someone buys from you, bend over backward to make sure they are satisfied. In fact, give them more than they pay for. Don’t try to deceive them with inferior products.
If someone invests with you, make sure you do everything in your power to make that investment pay off. Don’t “cook the books” to make the company look better than it is. Don’t make money for yourself while your investors are losing money.
In short, make sure those around you are successful FIRST, then let success come to you.
If you operate in a community, be it a locale, a professional organization or a general citizenry, make sure you are making that community a better place. As a corporate citizen, you have the resources to give your community much of what it needs. You are also responsible to make sure your products are not damaging or polluting that community.
If you do the right things, and do things right, you will profit. If you focus on helping others, others will help you. If your bottom line is about helping others, you should see a nice bottom line for yourself.
Think of others first, and others will think of you. It’s not how much you get that is important, it’s how much you give.
If these ideas resonate with you, visit You will learn how to help others in a big way, and reap rewards for your good deeds. As a corporate citizen, companies learn that selfless behavior ultimately yields the best results.


“If you love what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life.”
This oft-quoted phrase hits home with a few.Those who have jobs they enjoy are truly blessed.
For most, though, a different, yet oft-quoted phrase is more applicable. “If it weren’t work, they wouldn’t pay you to do it.”
Rory Vaden, the New York Times best-selling author of “Take the Stairs,” talks about the “enjoyment requirement” many young folks have about work. They need a job they enjoy. They need work they are passionate about and wait — unemployed, living with mom and dad etc. — until it comes.
Often, they don’t know what it is they are passionate about. It’s, like, you know, they will know what it is when they find it.
As Vaden, who discussed this in a May 2013 column in The Tennessean newspaper of Nashville, says: “There is no perfect job. There is no perfect marriage, there is no perfect life that you find; there are only perfect ones that you create by working your butt off to make them that way.”
His point is that those who “find their passion” are willing to put in the time to be successful. Tiger Woods and other golf professionals are passionate about their sport, so they put in the time on the practice range so they can play successfully in tournaments. Passions, like anything good, need to be nurtured with hard, unglamorous work.
Some jobs are nothing but work. You have to find things about them that make it palatable, if not enjoyable, for you to keep doing them. Perhaps what you’ll find is that the job is good because it serves a temporary purpose — it gives you a paycheck while you await your passion.
Other jobs might require you to improve your skills to the point in which you are so good at them, you become passionate.
Others still may have fulfilling purpose for you, but barely make you a living. So, you have to do something a little less fulfilling to improve your financial situtionn.
“Don’t quit your day job” is yet another oft-quoted phrase. If you have a “day job” or a “night job” and are looking for your passion, you may find it by visiting If you like what you see, know that a potential fortune is there — if you work at it. But, you can work at it while you are working at something else.
Perhaps you’ll adopt the oft-paraphrased mantra: work full time at your job and part time on your fortune.
Don’t wait for the ideal, Work for it, to paraphrase Vaden. You don’t have to love what you do. You have to create a situation you love. Or, in another oft-quoted phrase, “life is what you make it.’


Cherries are sweet, but they have pits. You can just spit out the pits. or suck every last bit of flavor out of them.
Those who do the latter are looking for something that may or may not be there. The uncertainty doesn’t stop them from looking.
You see, some people presume the worst, and just spit out the pits.
Others wait to make sure they are not missing something good before they spit the pits.
You can look at your situation as a bowl of cherries, or just the pits.
Are you going to realize that there may be something good left in those pits, or just presume there is nothing there and just spit?
When you eat sweet cherries, you can’t help but encounter pits. So it’s not whether you’ll get pits, it’s how you deal with them that matters. Your circumstances are none of your business, to quote a wise philosopher. How you deal with them is completely within your control. You can enjoy good times and spit the pits, or you can see what the pits have left in them for you.
It’s been said that God doesn’t close a door without opening a window. Sometimes, that window is either hard to find, or may not be apparent to you immediately.
Sometimes, someone you least expect — or may not know yet — will show you where the window is. On the other side may be more sweet cherries, but you may have to endure a few pits to get the most out of them.
See who might be there for you. It’s OK not to know what you are looking for, but first know what you want from life. Don’t make life about money. But, rather, make it about what you could do if you didn’t have to worry about money.
Learn to be a better person by seeing what is possible, instead of dwelling on what you believe is not possible. Summon the spirit inside you to see what might be out there, even as you deal with the hand you’re dealt.
No life is without obstacles, and some obstacles are difficult to overcome. Try to overcome the difficulty by conquering despair, hopelessness and pessimism. It not easy to be successful, but it’s possible for everyone who wants it.
If you are such a person, visit You may find the last bit of flavor in a pit you are about to spit.
Life is a bowl of cherries, but the hidden flavor in some pits may lead you to more, and bigger bowls.