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Model Cars And More
||Round 2 ERTL Authentics - Ford Thunderbird Convertible w/ Removable Bonnet (1957, 1:18, Gunmetal Gray) AMM926
||Round 2 Auto World Authentics - NHRA DSR Valvoline / MTS Funny Car Jack Beckman (2009, 1:24) CP5670
||Jada Toys Toon Garage - Lincoln Navigator SUV (3.5", Asstd.) 92365
||Jada Toys Toon Garage - Lincoln Navigator Police Car (3.5", Black) 92365P
||Castline M2 Machines - Detroit Muscle Cars Release 7 (1:64, Asstd.) 31600/07
||Castline M2 Machines - Detroit Muscle 1st Shot Replica Dodge Daytona Hard Top (1969, 1:64, Unpainted Raw Steel Color) 31600/FS01
||Castline M2 Machines Auto-Drags - Ford Mustang Boss 302 Hard Top & Chevy Belair Hard Top (1970/ 1957, 1:24, Red/ White) 40200/07
||Castline M2 Machines Chase Car - Detroit-Muscle 1st Shot Replica Dodge Charger Daytona Hard Top (1969, 1:64, Unpainted Raw Steel Color) CCFS01D
||Construction Trucks (4", Asstd.) 9531/4
||Tour Bus (5", Asstd.) 9808D
||Fire Engine (5", Asstd.) 9923/4D
||Power Steam Locomotive (5", Asstd.) 9931D
||Police Car Series 9985/8D
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Toy Wonders, Inc.
God and the Art of Toy and Diecast Marketing
Where are your Qwerty Morals? (part 2 of 2)
By Lu Su
Way back, when I was a much younger man than I am now, I sat listening to a lecture on some topic related to our world's natural resources, the growing human population, and the collision that is to come. Suddenly a hand shot up in the first row. I'm sure you witnessed this before. 70% of the questions asked in a class come from one single student, who tends to always come early, stay late, and is far too organized for my comfort level. The question this student asked was based on a concept that the professor had assumed his students already knew and understood. "What is exponential growth?" asked the student.
It's interesting what information we choose to store. I have forgotten the professors name. I have forgotten the name of the course. I don't even remember the student's name who asked the question. But I have not forgotten the question: "What is exponential growth!?!?", I think I remember the question so well because I was shocked and speechless at the same time. How is it possible that a person can graduate high school, receive a bachelors degree, take and pass a minimum of two semesters of calculus, take and pass the GMAT with some proficiency, get accepted to a graduate business school and still not know what exponential growth is? The topic of exponential growth MUST have been impressed on this individual several times before getting to this stage in life. How is it possible that it never entered that persons consciousness? But have you ever noticed.............. we seem to ask the very SAME question when individuals commits a very egregious crime. "How can this person live with himself?" Notice I assume it's a male. Also notice that question assumes that all people possess a certain level of morals.
It might seem strange to some, but when I was in business school, there was not a single course offered on morality or ethics. Now these two words morals and ethics are closely tied to each other and we tend to use the words interchangeable, but there is a difference; but this will be a subject to discuss when we get further downstream. During my stint in graduate school, if you wanted a course on morals and ethics, you would have to take classes in another set of buildings called the School of Liberal Arts. Or perhaps go to another building called a temple, church, mosque or synagogue. Like the professor's assumption, I think business schools also assumed that their students already possessed a decent set of morals.
Right about the time when I was in business school, the movie Wall Street hit the theaters. So although we were not directly taught ethics in business school, we did get to embed into our consciousness Michael Douglas (playing Gordon Gekko) famous words of "Greed, for a lack of a better word, is Good." Isn't that a great line to impress onto aspiring men and women who want to enter the work force? This famous line was actually said first by a real live business man, Ivan Boesky, who was convicted of several counts of insider trading.
Shortly after the movie made light of the fraud and corruption occurring down on Wall Street, I noticed a trend that business schools across the nation started introducing business ethics courses. With all the accounting fraud and scandals going on today and the havoc it causes in many people's lives, you would think business schools should teach nothing but ethics and shape their students sense of morality in a positive way -probably because the damage caused by the lack of knowledge on what exponential growth is doesn't come close to the amount of harm one morally deficient individual can do (unless you are working in a nuclear power plant, morally deficient, and your name rhymes with Homer)
So it seems that America's damage control includes efforts to implement more ethics courses in business school and even some courses after professionals have received their degree -like for my next door neighbor who is a a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). It seemed that after the accounting scandal that brought MCI Worldcom down, the accounting firm Arthur Anderson totally imploded. How many thousands of lives were wrecked by the acts of just a few? Like the qwerty keyboard, just a few individuals can have a profound effect on people throughout our nation and the world. So damage control seem to include making CPAs and lawyers pay large sums of money, force them to drive long distances, and sit through very long boring lectures.
Isn't this very late in life to teach morals? I would even be bold enough to say that at this stage in life, the morals that an individual possess are already fully formed. My neighbor is 60 years of age; how much effect do you think these ethic courses are going to have on him and the world?
New Jersey now has a new ethics committee whose goal I believe is to impress onto our statesmen what is morally correct. I feel at this stage in life, for these elected adult officials, all you can do is show them the stick that they will get hit with if they misbehaving. Basically scare them into doing what is morally right. If you study the past cases of fraud, the problem is NOT that the individual did not know right from wrong (or what the ethical thing to do was); many of these individuals know what right and wrong, because they went through extraordinary lengths to conceal their deceitful activity. It seems to me that we are making Herculean efforts to contain the damage evil can cause (i.e. airport security, FBI sting operations, homeland security, appointment of new committees). Much money and time (which I am not against by the way) is being poured into address the symptoms of evil, but very little seems to be placed in addressing the root cause of the problem. On most matters of physical and moral health, isn't an ounce of prevention far better than a pound of cure? Wouldn't it be far better to avoid acquiring diabetes than having the best treatment for it?
I don't blame our law makers for the new laws and committees they have formed in the effort to combat evil. But I feel that it stems from the fact that they have misdiagnosed the problem. So it's typical that if you misdiagnose the problem, your treatment will either be flawed or at best will only contain the symptoms. So what is the correct diagnosis of the problem?
While I find it very interesting that many people question the existence of God, we all seem to have common ground in accepting that evil exists. God basically groups all forms of evil like fraud, adultery, murder, gossip (and this is only the short list)) under one single category called "sin". But as societies become more secular in nature, the concept of sin disappears. In the US, we apparently don't do sin any more. In the spiritual books that jockey for space in the ever shrinking religion section in book stores, the concept of sin is totally absent in all these new age spirituality movements.
Americans are very good marketers. We re-brand things, slap a new label on it, and suddenly sin is hidden (out of sight out of mind). We re-label sin by calling it "fraud", "perversion", "corruption", "a mistake", "a momentary lapse of judgment", "pro-choice", or do a bait and switch by changing the subject by asking for a definition of what "is" is.
Sin is more than breaking the moral laws men have constructed to promote a better society. Sin is breaking God's laws. This then begs two questions. What is the penalty of breaking God's law? And what are God's laws? I'd like to address the first question at another point in our journey; but all of God's laws can be summarized into two rules and performed in this order: Love God. Love others. My foundation in making such a bold statements comes from Matthew 22: 36-40.
Now in order for us to love, we need to know something about what sin is all about. Sin at its very core is destructive in nature. When sin enters your marriage, your marriage falls apart. When sin enters your business practice, you lose clients or partners. The end result of sin is the destruction of relationship. If you are unsure on whether something is sinful (morally wrong) or not, here's a quick litmus test: Ascertain whether this particular activity that you do builds or destroys one's relationship with God or another individual.
So God's diagnosis of the root cause of the problem (like fraud) as sin. Sin specifically found in us. And God's treatment? Almost all of life's toughest questions are answered in the Holy Scriptures:
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
-Deuteronomy 11: 18-19
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Apparently God's prescription for the treatment of evil is to impress onto our children his God's ways and laws.