Following a brief and successful hospitalization last week to deal with a decade+ old arrhythmia problem, I plan to take it easy over the next two weeks. (Healthcare criticisms aside, my minor procedure was a tribute to MedicineTech2005!! Of course—conundrum of the first order—I was lucky enough to have the best-of-the-best slicing & dicing.) The “event-with-happy-ending” makes me more aware than usual of my blessings as 25 December approaches. I’m healthy as a hound. My head is “in a good place” as our New Age pals would say. Susan, Max, and Ben are likewise skipping along with personal and professional success. I’m loving what I’m doing (!!!!), learning new stuff, enjoying blogging and our blogging community.
The world beyond the end of my Vermont farm’s snow-covered fields, of course, does not lack for major-flabbergasting problems. I was giving a speech to senior big-project managers a couple of weeks ago, and was questioned on off-shoring and its “devastating” impact on America (no, it was not Lou Dobbs); after giving my rather perfunctory “professional answer,” I actually exploded … mostly at myself. “We are spoiled brats,” I snapped, “300 million North Americans, 325M citizens of the EU, and 125M or so Japanese … out of a 6B global population. What right do we have to bitch & moan about a handful of jobs going to India & China?” (I apologized to the CEO for my rant—a few days later he emailed me to say it might have been the best/most important thing that happened to him this year.) I am not sure of my own direction. “You can do so much, Tom,” some of you will say. We’ll see.
I know action beats talk 1000:1, but at least this holiday season give a thought and prayer to, in particular, our neighbors in Africa, living daily with unimaginable burdens that the rich states are as usual mostly ignoring. (Yeah, yeah, a little debt relief, farm subsidies tagged to end in 2013—in France? Right.) How many Africans, other than the dictators, near-dictators and their cronies, could have had the procedure I had last week at Inova Fairfax in VA? Alas, many hundreds of millions will not see an age old enough to even develop the sort of problem-irritant I had.
Enjoy the season of rejoicing, and at least for the Christians among us, think long & hard about the beliefs concerning the needy that the guy whose birthday is coming up pronounced upon so passionately.
Be well. My best to you and your families and neighbors.
(I miss my Mom—AWOL after giving me 64 years of love and support. The best I can do is a red and green bouquet on her grave in Annapolis tomorrow. My heartfelt condolences to those of you who have lost close friends and relatives in 2005.)