Another Memorial Day is here although under somewhat strange circumstances. I hope your loved ones and you are safe and healthy. Thankfully, some things become clearer with aging. Maybe it’s because we start to realize our own mortality and vulnerability. You begin to appreciate more the sacrifice and courage of others. When I was younger, […]
As you raise your glass this weekend, please take a moment to reflect on what Monday truly means. There are currently several hundred thousand hundred troops stationed directly in harms way doing very dangerous often thankless work. We owe them and their predecessors a vast debt of gratitude.
It’s very easy to forget the significance of something the further you are removed from its reality. It used to be that war touched the majority of Americans directly, but now many of us only feel the consequences indirectly. Our nation has been at war for more than 10 years now and our troops (and those of our allies) continue to risk their life on a daily basis. Thankfully, we seem to be scaling back the required sacrifice, but the loss of even one soldier is a tragedy let alone the 4,977 that have given their life in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. This is a heavy emotional burden that will be felt by families for generations. We also shouldn’t also forget the life altering injuries that tens of thousand of our troops have suffered and the devastating psychological consequences of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I don’t remember growing up in a fearful society, but I feel like I live in one now. All you have to do is turn on the TV, listen to the radio, read the newspaper and eventually someone will be trying to scare you about something. We all seem so emotionally fragile and quick to identify an enemy or cause for our concern. The news media has perfected this art so well that they have helped to perpetuate a more neurotic generation in a time when just about every violent crime statistic is down significantly or at minimum on par with what existed when we were children (and our population has grown significantly during this time). As the saying goes, if it bleeds than it leads.”
Business is not war. As business leaders we aren’t engaged in a life or death struggle that requires us to win at all costs. We do a disservice to our fellow citizens who are actually engaged in multiple military conflicts to speak or think in this manner. Failure may be painful but it isn’t fatal for us or for our employees. What matters is that we do our best regardless of the circumstances and hold on to our integrity. Our competitors aren’t the enemy, but instead are other companies that exist to keep us honest and force us to keep delivering value to our customers and make wise financial decisions.