Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Bob just wants to work

The familiar sights and sounds greet Bob, as he walks to the cafeteria for the big meeting. For twenty-seven years, he has walked this well-worn path. Past the time clock and rest rooms, past the parts storage racks and the maintenance cage, he walks. He was a young man when he took this walk for the first time. He had just finished high school. The plant paid good money at the time. He never thought about the future. He just kept going to work every day.

Things were different today. There was an air of unreality, like a dream, in each step. There were no smiles or laughter, no slaps on the back or horseplay from friends. This was a day he thought would never come. Today was the day; the company was closing the plant. They were moving to China.

All the rumors said that the meeting would help everyone, “transition”. Bob couldn’t imagine what this was about. Words like resume and cover letters were completely foreign to him. He had left his youth somewhere on that well-worn path to the cafeteria. Now at age 46, some college guy is telling him to “market himself”. Bob just wants to work and get paid. He wonders why something so simple is now suddenly so hard.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Cultivating Virtue

I have spent a number of years studying religious philosophies. I seem to always come back to the Tao Te Ching for inspiration. It seems that what we really lack as a people and a world is virtue. There simply not enough of us on this planet who are have enough goodness to do what is right and avoid doing what is wrong. The following passage sums up pretty well, what our path should be:

Cultivate Virtue in your self,
And Virtue will be real.
Cultivate it in your family,
And Virtue will abound.
Cultivate it in the village,
And the village will grow.
Cultivate it in the nation,
And Virtue will be abundant.
Cultivate it in the universe,
And Virtue will be everywhere.

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