Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Chrismas Eve Thoughts

A number of musings on this Christmas Eve afternoon.

  • The Economy remains in a very uncertain state. Durable goods orders, reported this morning, are down. Some local indicators seem bullish. If there was a question about it, it shows further that the future is both uncertain and unknowable. A lean system that can continuously improve and renew itself is key.
  • Peace on Earth remains elusive. Despite huge gains in productivity (the kinds of gains that lean systems develop), the world's haves and have nots seem to have a bigger gap than ever. I, as part of the "haves" and part of the West, cannot remain indifferent to that growing chasm.
  • It ain't about technology, it's about character. It is ultimately who we are, who I am, that makes a difference. Marvelous concepts, applied poorly, only deepen hostility and cynicism, both locally and globally.
  • My sons each reside in a tenuous spot in their lives. David, age 24, enlisted in the US Army and heads for boot camp on January 6 to be a field medic in an airborne division. Nathan, age 22, looks hard for a solid job with his undergraduate liberal arts degree in hand but finds it hard going. Matt, age 14, shaved for the first time last night. My head spins to be a friend, Dad and confidant to each of them.
  • My dad died nine years ago today, after a marvelous 78 years of life and a one-year battle with colon cancer. Hard to believe it has been nine years. I learned most of what I know about the crucial parts of life from him. He was a massive gift to me and I still wish I could pick up the phone and gab with him.
  • Christmas offers hope in each of these areas. The humble birth of a baby that we Christians call the King of Kings, who served with humility and tenacity, brings me to learn what I can from him. Psalm 115:13 captures it well "He will bless those who fear the Lord-- small and great alike."

I hope you have a most Merry Christmas.

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