Day One

My wife and I are not sick.  We fit into the age groups and categories that call for us to take precautions against the virus that is going around.  We need to avoid crowds and public gatherings as much as possible.  We need to stay at home as much as possible.

I am lucky in the fact that I can work from anywhere I can get to a Wi-Fi signal.  My wife is a homebody and does not get around very well.  We can survive this pretty well.

I am not going to drown you in a monotonous day-to-Day report as to what is going on. Yet if exciting things do happen, say in the spirit of Father Goose or The Odd Couple, I will keep you informed.  In the meantime, I plan to put out my same daily blogs on process improvement and positive change. 

Right now, I am working on when and how to go out to get some perishables, such as milk.  I have some great plans for the next two weeks and will even try sneaking out to the office. It is also private.  No people, just a change in scenery.

We hope everyone is safe and will remain so.  We are keeping you all in the positive thoughts.  Take care of yourselves, and we will all get through this.

Thank you for being with me today.  I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Is It really their fault?

Today I am writing my blog a half a day late.  I meant to be on time, only sometimes things happen that no one can control.  Earthquakes, tidal waves and even the generic band of thunderstorms, with hail and the occasional twister, are all things the average person cannot control. What happens is not what matters.  What we do about uncontrollable change is what matters.

We often, in a time of dealing with things beyond anyone’s control, focus our wrath upon the person that relays the information rather than taking a moment to think clearly. I wonder if this is how the phrase about not killing the messenger came to be?

If anyone hasn’t figured it out yet, the person relaying bad news has no control or power over the situation and no stature within their corporation to do anything. Why? Because if they had any of that, they probably would send someone below them out to relay the message. Again, why? Because it’s probably a guarantee that many receivers will take the information poorly and take their wrath out on the messenger.

If you want to stand out, thank the messenger and let them know you know the problem was not their fault. You know that they were only relaying information. In return, you may find employees who are more receptive to assisting you and solving the problem. Granted, it’s their job to do so anyway; however, feelings of mutual appreciation and understanding seem to rank higher and better solve problems when everyone works as a team.

I was told last night that my flight back to Colorado could not happen because the plane could not leave Chicago, the first thing I did was thank the ground personnel. I assured them that I knew this was not their fault and we work together to ensure that I would be back home before noon today. The bad news was not a failure, it was a chance for everyone to work together and make something good happen. Everyone I spoke to and worked with was sharp, on point, and never gave up.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

What We Do for Others

We do not live in a vacuum, at least not on this earth. And, what we do, either good or bad, puts out ripples which affect others. These others could be friends or family, people you’ve never met before, and sometimes, people who live in other countries halfway around the world. And no, the world is not shrinking, we are growing and becoming more integrated and technically savvy as a species.

It used to be that travel just crossing the United States could take months. Now the trip from New York to California is mere hours. Highly dangerous boat rides to other continents could take months and be fraught with peril. We can now fly those distances in about 12 hours. The World itself hasn’t changed. Yet our technology and our civilization and abilities have changed.

So now the question set before us is one of how we should change to meet our new opportunities and challenges. And, believe it or not, no one gets a pass on our changes. Because everyone in the world will find positives and negatives within the changes to come, and everyone will be affected.

Now, this does not happen overnight, this was going on for over 5000 years. This started when people set out to explore. This began when people realized they weren’t the only people. This happened when people knew they could trade and began to sell their commodities to others for the products that those others produced. And say what you will, it was the trade that brought us to civilization. Civilization was caused by realizing there were others and learning to live with them. Our ancestors learned to do so, and though it was sometimes messy, and quite often one group wanted to dominate another, in the long run, wisdom prevailed, and we learned to get along.

We must remember our lessons of old because those who forget those lessons are doomed to repeat them. This is dangerous. Although our ability to connect electronically and physically with others has shortened by months and years around the world, we still need to have the time to think and consider. To think and consider logically and correctly, we need to understand that we are all in this world together, and whatever happens, the actions and the ramifications affect everyone.

We must think before we act. When we act, we must do so wisely. And we must always remember that whatever we do we are all on this planet together. Wise actions and understanding to take care of molehills before they become mountains are essential. Negotiation seems to take forever, yet I don’t want anything fast happening if it’s going to land right outside my front door.

Good thoughts and cool heads need to prevail. There’s too much at stake for us to go off half-cocked and misunderstood. Besides, as a species, we are better than that.  After all, what we do for others, we actually do for ourselves.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Twenty-Five Feet of Sidewalk

I would like to start this day by thanking my fellow veterans and all those who serve. To all those who voluntarily stand to protect our country and to serve our nation, I thank you. We know not where each of you lay your heads tonight, yet we know where you live. You live within our hearts.

It’s a cold day here. It has snowed since yesterday morning, and our temperature is about 19. They predict we will probably get to 27 today. My advice, hot chocolate with marshmallows consumed by a window while enjoying the scenery. In an hour I’m going to go out and shovel the sidewalk because it looks like the kids will go to school today with only a two-hour delay.

I could stay inside and stay warm. But there’s a sense of duty to others within our community. I live a half a block from an elementary school. Many kids in the neighborhood will be walking on my sidewalk on their way to that school this morning. And, getting little ones where they’re going safely is an obligation to all of our futures.

What we do, we do for common good. And, whatever we do, will come back to us in time. We don’t do it for some future glory, we work towards the betterment of all. And what we do, we do because we know it’s the best we have to offer.

Who knows, the sidewalk shoveled allows a second grader to get safely to school. The second grader learns and shares ideas that other students and a teacher pick up. Somebody finds an interest in math or science or art. They discover a niche that they can work with and learn from and continue to work with it as they grow and learn more. Give it 15 or 20 years, and we may have an entrepreneur, or scientist, or an architect whose new creations inspire the world, work that may save lives, or solve mysteries of the universe or does something else marvelous and moves all of us forward.

I find it amazing what a tremendous effect shoveling 25 feet of sidewalk can produce.

Thank you for being with me today, I hope to be with you again tomorrow.