25 episodes

As a member of the Audio Tidbits Network, How to Matter is committed to practical advice, useful tips, thoughtful opinion and occasional playful audio entertainment. Each episode leaves you with advice or suggestions you can use today to enhance your interpersonal skills and relationships, thoughtful opinion that will nudge you to ponder what's important in our lives, or a few minutes to relax and a smile to take along with you. Please give The Audio Tidbit Network's signature sound a listen.

How To Matter Gary Crow

    • Self-Improvement

As a member of the Audio Tidbits Network, How to Matter is committed to practical advice, useful tips, thoughtful opinion and occasional playful audio entertainment. Each episode leaves you with advice or suggestions you can use today to enhance your interpersonal skills and relationships, thoughtful opinion that will nudge you to ponder what's important in our lives, or a few minutes to relax and a smile to take along with you. Please give The Audio Tidbit Network's signature sound a listen.

    I Don’t Care

    I Don’t Care

    I don't care may be the cruelest words ever. The discussion focuses on a child, but adults can be equally cruel. -- Press play to listen.

    • 3 min
    Sexual Fidelity

    Sexual Fidelity

    Press play to listen.

    • 3 min
    Why Bother?

    Why Bother?

    In important relationships, the "Why" in "Why Bother" isn't always obvious. Press play and listen.

    • 3 min
    What Matters?

    What Matters?

    A pretty simple question with an equally simple answer. It awaits you here. Just press play.

    • 3 min
    True Enough?

    True Enough?

    "The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple." -- Oscar Wilde



    Suppose Wilde is right, pure and simple. It follows that his proposition is likely not pure and definitely not simple. Truth has many forms and many faces, some of which are persisting and some of which are temporary, some of which are obvious and some of which are subtle, some of which are certain and some of which only might be true, are probably true, or are (as the physicists like to say) "approximately true." Most of the time, one can comfortably deal with the world without thinking about the nature of truth or about the actual validity of most truths. It works out fine to proceed on a "true enough" basis.



    Ice is cold and fire is hot. Your car is still where you parked it. The directions you get from MapQuest.com will get you where you want to go. Eat too much and you will get fat. If you need help, you can count on your best friend. The important quandary usually isn't about truth or whether true enough is good enough. Rather, it's who can you believe; who speaks the truth?



    To answer the, "Who can you believe?" question, it's necessary to introduce "integrity" into the mix. The question is, "Who are people of integrity?" because they are the only people you can or should trust. Samuel Johnson said, "Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful." The take home point is to be sure you only seek truth from people who are clearly knowledgeable, people who know what they are talking about. For example, don't get legal advice from your brother-in-law, unless he happens to be an experienced attorney.



    Perhaps more critical than from whom you seek the truth is your capacity to evaluate the truth you receive. Know that it's seldom pure or simple. Deciding whether it's true enough is up to you. Key to this is correctly assessing the integrity of the person from whom you receive the truth. That to is neither pure nor simple; but there is one, essential prerequisite to assessing the integrity of others. You must yourself be a person of integrity.



    As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind." You are the final judge of the integrity of those from whom you seek the truth. John D. MacDonald likely hit the nail on the head when he said, "Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn't blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won't cheat, then you know he never will." MacDonald also could have said that if you look in there and see a man of integrity, you are looking at a man who probably knows integrity when he sees it, in himself or in those whose truth is true enough.



    Now you know so there you go.

    • 4 min
    Be the Change We Wish to See

    Be the Change We Wish to See

    The idea that excellence is a product of training isn't surprising. Athletes, musicians, and those who achieve preeminence in other areas requiring superior personal performance are well-aware of the necessity and value of continuous training. The point that may not be as obvious is that training and habituation are prerequisites for areas of excellence beyond developing physical skills and individual talents. They are necessary for emotional excellence, moral excellence, interpersonal excellence, as well as intellectual excellence. The point that may be even less obvious is as Aristotle said, "Training and habituation are prerequisite to virtue. People have the capacity to be virtuous but become virtuous people only through training and habitually acting rightly. One becomes virtuous by acting virtuously."



    How does one act virtuously? Cicero advised, "It is our special duty, that if anyone needs our help, we should give him such help to the utmost of our power." Confucius said, "To be able to practice five things everywhere under heaven constitutes perfect virtue… gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness." Although how one practices "gravity" is less than obvious, the other four requirements need no explanation. John Wesley was even clearer when he said, "Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can." Now that leaves little room for doubt or negotiation.



    The message has not changed over the millennia. Dante said, "He who sees a need and waits to be asked for help is as unkind as if he had refused it." Gandhi said, "We must be the change we wish to see in the world." Is virtue the path to personal joy and fulfillment? Probably not. George Bernard Shaw said, "Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness, but it is greatness." Why? As George Eliot put it, "Our deeds determine us as much as we determine our deeds." Remember Aristotle's message, "We are what we repeatedly do." The choice is to habitually act rightly or to act wrongly. At that level, it's not much of a choice. The key is remembering that acting virtuously is an essential part of one's ongoing excellence training.



    Now you know so there you go.

    • 3 min

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