I graduated high school in the middle of the 1960’s, a time rife with cold war intrigue which often showed up in theatres and on the front page of newspapers. I know, because I folded those papers before delivering them, giving me a chance to read the news thoroughly each morning. No wonder I graded so well in Civics and History, but I digress. I was a young, distant, and casual observer of the geopolitical environment and have been ever since (except the young part). And that is why I have this list.
I enjoy my morning cup of coffee, maybe more than I should. By that, I mean that it is important to me, possibly beyond its true value. I still love it, however, and consider it a faithful friend. No matter how yesterday ended or today has begun, it is always there waiting for me. It warms me, starts my engine, and the routine is reassuring. Regardless of how the world changed overnight, my coffee remains the same. It is a point of stability in a crazy time.
The American work ethic appears to be in decline for a number of reasons, endangering the engines of effort, creativity, and achievement that have driven our success. The work ethic, however, isn’t the real problem. Like so much around us these days, it is merely a symptom.
As a senior in high school, I participated on the speech and debate team. I know, what were they thinking? At the time, it seemed a good way to escape Senior English, Shakespear being someone I felt no need to become acquainted with. So, I took the offer. I debated, did impromptu, and most enjoyed Oratorical Interpretation. In this, the speaker interprets a speech given by another, usually a famous person of some sort; a scientist, president, or such. As I read through hundreds of speeches to select the speech I would use to craft as my presentation at tournaments, I more or less stumbled across this one.
A couple of weeks ago I met a guy who shares my love for landscape photography. We got talking and discovered we have much in common and a natural friendship began to form. It was not long before we started talking about joining up on outings. This is something I’ve been hoping would happen for five years, since we moved to this small mountain town.
The old saying “practice makes perfect” is of course incorrect. We all know this through our multitude of experiences. If practice really made perfect then we would be in a much better place, personally and corporately. Doing something repetitively can be a trap, soothing our conscience because we are doing the work, but delivering no real benefit, and often worse.
With all that is going on in today’s world, you would think the Grand Old Game of Baseball would read the wind and do a sensible thing: resolve its labor dispute quickly and fairly. Doing so, of course, would mean putting the game and its fans first. Alas, when this much money, greed, avarice, and ego is at stake, the game and fans must come in last, and they have. Baseball is shut down, Spring Training is dark, and the start of the season delayed.