Character

But What of Texas

This is a subject that is so serious, so tragic, it’s difficult to sit down in front of a computer screen to “get started”. I will say that “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I wandered, weak and weary…..” doesn’t even come close to a beginning statement. You can’t have missed the news reports on TV and radio, newspaper front pages, the streaming on computers, the constant coverage on cable channel TV – and if you’re anything like me, the images are so stark and devastating to watch, the television at my house doesn’t stay on very long after days 1 through 4….. Full disclosure time: I am a native Texan, born in HOUSTON, my parents lived in a tiny post-WWII house on Tangley Street, a few steps from Rice University. I was a “student” at the Tiny Tot Kindergarten, attended Condit Elementary ...

Nix the Cliques!

Let’s make a pact – a contract.  Yes, you and me.  This story is about trying to prevent one of the most difficult situations a young person can face.  Peer pressure is one thing.  And wanting to be accepted is another.  But a clique, in its worse sense of the word, can be devastating for some child or youth who feels they don’t fit in – anywhere!  Let’s break it down…..and then try to do something that will help our young understand and decide for themselves what’s right and what’s not. First of all, we must realize that cliques start early.  I’m not talking about high school, or junior high, or even elementary school.  I’m talking really young.  If you’re around very small children, you will have noticed the tendency for 2 or 3 of them to constantly gather together, wanting to be with on...

Choosing Character

Have you ever caught yourself thinking or even saying to someone, “Yes, it was definitely out of character for me.” Hopefully, what you truly meant was that a specific decision or action (choosing a color you don’t usually wear, trying a new trend, or a different technique, etc.) resulted in your stepping “out of your comfort zone” and actually had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with your core values or character. While taking the initiative and courage to step out of our comfort zone often serves as a favorable personal and professional course of action; abandoning our true character for even an instant can be catastrophic for us personally as well as for the many others in our lives. Why? Because it betrays who we are born to be, pulls us ‘off course’ and prevents us from shar...

Children are Watching

When the daughter of a tenant farmer becomes vice chairman of the real estate company that has attracted more agents than any other in the world, the emotions run both deep and wide, and another look at the how this journey began seems in order. Let there be no doubt, the world looks and feels a lot different at this end of the spectrum than it did from the dirt farm in Oklahoma where I grew up, but as I take stock on a life of untold blessings, dreams-come-true, and a good share of struggles, there’s no question that my childhood was a tremendous gift. We should all be so fortunate as to have parents who believe in us with all their heart and who assure us that we can become and achieve whatever we dream of, if we are willing to work for it. I so wish that more children today had the adva...

Faithful Mentors

By Jim Riley My wife Robin and I have had the blessing and privilege to consider Mo Anderson among our dearest of friends for many years. I can wholeheartedly say that she is the embodiment of what faith, generosity, hard work and vision can accomplish. To those who are blessed by Mo’s presence in their lives, she, along with her husband Richard, has inspired faith, purpose and direction. This has been accomplished through skilled mentorship. For Robin and me, that mentorship has broadened our culture, stimulated our political awareness, motivated our passions and created many, many fond memories along the way. Mo Anderson has demonstrated by the way she lives that mentoring has always been the signature of her life’s journey.   Robin and I were introduced to the Andersons at a time w...

GIVE WHEN IT COUNTS

  by Mo Anderson   For most of us, giving is easy. Most of us give often to the people, organizations, or causes that we care about. We give of our time, energy, support, and sometimes our money. But, are we really giving when it counts?   I heard a story a few years ago, that has stuck with me. I remember it often, especially on the days that giving feels like a stretch to me.   There was a woman who worked as volunteer at a hospital in the pediatrics department. She had the opportunity to be the caretaker to a young girl named Liz who was suffering from rare and serious disease. The only chance for Liz’s recovery was a blood transfusion from her five year old brother who miraculously survived this same disease.   Her little brother had developed antibodies and Li...

COINS ON THE TABLE

  By Mo Anderson   In life, we cannot control the circumstances around us but, we can control our responses. Let me share a story I love that illustrates my point.   In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less than it does today, a ten year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat down at a table. As a waitress put a glass of water on the table in front of him, the boy asked her, “How much is an ice cream sundae?”   “Fifty cents”, replied the waitress.   The little boy pulled a handful of change out of his pocket and studied the coins in his palm. “Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?   By now, more customers were waiting to be seated at tables and the waitress was growing impatient. “Thirty-five cents,” she brusquely replied.   The lit...

The Character of Responsibility

  Character – this word has an old fashioned sound to it, like a faded relic of the Victorian era. Personal character seems unimportant in modern global society. Only a few select moral qualities are still prized: diversity, tolerance, broad-mindedness. Meanwhile, genuine individual virtue – the substance of true, timeless and praiseworthy character – has been forgotten and ignored.   Have you noticed the people who usually grace the covers of celebrity magazines? Do we want our children and grandchildren to emulate the lifestyles or embrace the values of these people? In our society, celebrity itself counts more than character because we have lost our moral anchor.   The greatest cultures throughout human history have always reserved the highest positions ...

A Gift of Friendship: Time to Be and Be With

By Krista Jones   “Time – to be, and be with” – is one of the greatest gifts of friendship the Mo Anderson has given to me. It is more precious than gold! While I could list countless examples that she has demonstrated over the years of our friendship, three specific memories come to mind.   We all know of Mo’s incredible faith and her passion for life; in 1995, after one of my medical mission trips to Israel, Mo wanted to discuss my trip. Of course she asked for endless details of the amazing holy sites, but she was also the political situation in that part of the world. While in Israel, I had the opportunity to work with Palestinian Christians in refugee camps; this was the story that Mo wanted to hear!   Mo and I share differing political viewpoints; however, we both resp...

Forgiveness For a Child

By Kellie Clark Kids do crazy things! Even now, in my mid-forties, I have very clear memories of really dumb things that I did at five years old that seemed so ingenious at the time! I also have vivid recollection of the trouble I got in when my parents did not perceive my antics as brilliant ideas. These memories are now a treasured gift in my own parenting. Recently, my sweet, kind-hearted and mischievous five-year old son, Justin, had the brilliant idea that it would be “fun” to use the towel bar in the “kids’ bathroom” as monkey bars! The obvious happened – all came crashing down – boy, bar, and large chunks of the bathroom wall! Justin timidly crept down the stairs into the kitchen, where I was cooking dinner. “Mom, an accident happened in the bathroom,” he stated quietly with his hea...

Being Nice: What You Focus on Expands

By Kellie Clark Life often proves that what you focus on, expands. The thoughts, ideas, feelings, and dreams that we infuse with our energy, tend to show up in the world around us as opportunities. This happened to me after watching the week-long video series on MoMentorship about Being Nice. Those messages deeply touched my heart and brought my attention to my own life – how am I nice to those I love and others in the world? Where are the opportunities to be nice that I am missing? Am I always nice when others are not? These were the questions on my mind when I walked into Kohl’s department store. I really did not need anything in the department store that day; I had a fist full of rewards points that were about to expire and I hated to see them wasted! I am very frugal and I was not abou...

Be Kinder than Necessary

By Mo Anderson This time of year, we are surrounded with images and expectations of abundance, health, happiness, and joyful gatherings family and friends. We’re out and about a little more than usual and as a matter of course, we tend to wish everyone a “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Hanukkah,” “Happy Holidays” or “Happy New Year.” How blessed we are to be living in a country and during a time when so many traditions are celebrated and to have this season for stepping back from our day-to-day lives. Of course, this season also presents challenges. For many years, I’ve kept in mind a quote that has been attributed to a few different sources – all the way back to the Greek philosopher, Plato: “Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle you may know nothing ab...