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The Power of a Parent

From time to time, I get messages from people to let me know of situations where someone did -- or did not -- show courage and intervene in a problem situation. Well, I just got a message from a friend letting me know this:

A mother (this person's sister) was recently at a parent/teacher conference when the teacher shared with her that her son is part of a group of athletes at the school who is known for bullying others. The teacher proceeds to tell the mom that her son does not participate in this behavior. At this time, the mom lets the teacher know that she will be talking to her son about this when she gets home and the teacher replies, "Oh no, I was telling you that as a compliment to your son -- he doesn't participate in the bullying!"

The mother's reply:

He's been taught better -- if he doesn't stop it, he's participating. We teach our kids to treat others as you'd like to be treated and to stand for the oppressed. This is not acceptable in our home!

This is truly the power...

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What is integrity...really?

Integrity.

As you just read that word, what is your relationship to it? To you, what is integrity…really?

I assert that you have integrity as some form of being honest, telling the truth — not doing the bad and doing the good, knowing what you should and should not do. To a certain extent, this is all true. However, I take a different, and much deeper, approach to this strength.  In my model, I say that we all must have, and practice, integrity to not only have power and have our life work, but also show courage.

In my work, I distinguish the six core commitments each of us needs to be able to show courage: integrity, generosity, curiosity, equality, vulnerability, and bravery.

As you notice, integrity is the first of these commitments and I boldly declare this: none of the other five commitments will make any difference without integrity. From this, I will also take a stand for integrity being the foundation for courage. Without integrity,...

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From Passive to Powerful

(This post was originally written in March of 2015 following the incident at the University of Oklahoma that got national attention.)

Like many of you, I have been paying close attention to all the news regarding the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter at the University of Oklahoma. As someone who visits campuses and speaks to tens of thousands of college students each year, I often think I have heard it all. However, I wasn’t prepared for this. Maybe it was because I had just seen the inspiring footage over the weekend of the tens of thousands of people marching in Selma, Alabama. Maybe it was because of the tears I shed as I listened to our president’s remarks in front of that bridge. Maybe it’s because the actions were just outright abhorrent and, as OU President Boren swiftly and powerfully said, “disgraceful."

Even amidst all of my personal feelings, I know this is not who we are. I know this is not what Sigma Alpha Epsilon is truly about. I know this is not...

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