A survey of senior financial services executives in the United States and the United Kingdom indicated that 26 percent had observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace. Twenty-four percent thought that financial services professionals need to engage in unethical or illegal activity to be successful. Sixteen percent said they would engage in insider trading if they thought they could get away with it, while 30 percent said their compensation packages pressured them to engage in unethical or illegal behavior. “When misconduct is common and accepted by financial services professionals, the integrity of our entire financial system is at risk,” said an executive at a law firm that represents whistleblowers and that conducted the survey (Reuters).
Jul 19, 2012
Before Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the 1963 March on Washington, singer Mahalia Jackson gave a rousing rendition of the song “How I Got Over.” But Jackson did more than set the crowd up for Dr. King. When the beginning of his speech seemed rather flat, Jackson repeatedly said, “Martin, tell them about the dream.” Without Jackson’s prodding we might never have heard those now-famous lines (Anthony Heilbut, The Fan Who Knew Too Much, Knopf).
Jul 05, 2012
It is estimated by Pastoral Care Inc. that over 1,700 pastors leave the ministry each month. The reasons for this exodus are discouragement, failure, loneliness, moral failure, financial pressures, anger, burnout, health, marriage or family difficulties, and busyness or sense of being driven. Tim Peters says that pastors need to ask themselves in what areas they’re struggling. They should ask for help, find a group or person who can hold them accountable, and take ownership of their choices (churchleaders.com).
Jul 05, 2012
Bernie Farber, a longtime social justice advocate, is a volunteer at a L’Arche community. Farber, a Jew, learned of this network of Christian communities for the developmentally disabled through his friend Bob and Bob’s son Mark. Mark was born disabled and with sight impairment. After his mother died and Bob became too old to care for him, Mark moved into the L’Arche community. Mark had never had his bar mitzvah, which he still longed for. Aided by the L’Arche community and a local rabbi, Bernie helped Mark celebrate his bar mitzvah at age 60. Jean Vanier, founder of the L’Arche communities, has been nominated for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. Farber is pulling for him to win it (Huffington Post, June 29).
Jul 05, 2012
The affluent Chicago suburb of Lake Forest was stunned by the apparent suicides of three youths in succession in the first three months of this year. Each teen walked in front of a speeding commuter train near the same spot. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among Americans between the ages of ten and 24. About 5 percent of these deaths are cluster suicides. Experts disagree on whether media coverage of teen suicides can lead to copy-cat suicides. One study suggested that media coverage can deter such behavior, especially if there is a focus on the harsh realities of the incidents (Chicago, July).