Archive for the ‘Blood in the water’ Category

“How dare you?”, meet “Dare I not?”.


People complain. That is a fact of life. People make mistakes. That is another fact of life. Sometimes, mistakes take on the form of fatal errors, and that is a hard reality.

Without getting into the details, we all likely know of Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno and his living legend status, and most of us have likely heard of the recent sad allegations toward his program and his presumed knowledge and complicit failure to act in doing the right thing, albeit the hard thing.

“No one person is bigger than the institution”. I have heard that repeated many times, and I believe it. But, when you feel like you are above reproach or questioning, then you may have a problem. People change. Life changes. Environments generate stresses, and stresses generate responses. The only constant in that, I might suggest, is character, and character dictates/mandates proper responses and openness even when the exercise is difficult or painful.

People complain. My job requires that I listen. How you do that, both well and appropriately, is a constant challenge. Some complaints are silly. Some complaints are vindictive. Others have merit, and merit response. How you sift through those is cumbersome, and at times unpleasant. But sift, you must. If you ever believe you have risen above that, you are in danger of falling. I think that’s what humility is all about.

People have complained about me before, and at times it has really made me angry, but it should not define me or change me in ways that are not for the best.

Joe P has been criticized in recent years for staying in the job too long, and having his effectiveness level pass him by. That may be true, or it may not. That assertion is likely subject to interpretation. What is not is that “something bad was happening in Oz; under the surface, behind the scenes”, and that Joe P turned a blind eye.

I have two mentors, legendary icons of an institution’s history, who were not afraid to take on hard things, but were also not afraid to change their roles over time and “surrender the high ground” to those better able to scale rocky heights and have the stamina to do hard things. I appreciate their legacy and example, and hope and plan to have the courage and fortitude to do the same when the time is right. In the mean time, I wish to continue to climb the rocks, and should be accepting of the bruises that come with it.

“The wise man built his house upon the rock”…”the foolish man built his house upon the sand”…”and the rains came falling down”. Sometimes, we have to be willing to step off the field of play and climb up on the Rock, even when it hurts.



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Circa 2007: “All is well; buy our stuff”.

Circa 2008: “Dumb question: that won’t happen”. (new BearS chairman speaking to yours truly, 2 months before their doom).

It’s Friday the 13th. The CNBC prognosticators are talking about the Fed, inflation, the SEC, and “the reason it’s different”. And, of course, Goldman is always in the background: the circa 2011 version of Bear, I would contend.

I’m beginning to think the whole lot of them is corrupt with self interest.

Cynicism expressed, I’m cheering for my retirement account. Go baby, go….


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I cut myself shaving this morning.   It was a brand new blade, so I never actually felt the cut, but afterwards I could smell the blood.    They say that sharks can smell blood in the water from miles away and travel towards their prey.   It is a powerful aroma, indeed.

We are not big TV watchers in our home, but the wife and I love to watch NCIS.    There’s something about the Gibbs character, and the mystery plots, that draws us in despite sometimes weak and repetitive plots.   He sacrifices for his people.   He is always loyal.    And Gibbs has his “rules”, like “Never apologize; it’s a sign of weakness”.    I disagree.    Additionally, it seems that those people closest to Gibbs often end up dead.   Not a guy you necessarily want to hang around with, it would seem.

Disagreements can be mysterious things.    Anger can be a dangerous thing, as can be apologizing to others.    The “sharks” in your midst may smell blood in the water, but you have to venture out there regardless.    When I got in the car this morning, the old 80’s Asia tune “The Heat of the Moment” was playing on the car radio.     “It was the heat of the moment: telling me what your heart felt.   It was the heat of the moment.   It showed in your eyes.”

On this April 19 OKC Bombing Anniversary, we need to remember that bad blood, left to fester, can result in even worse decisions.    That is true in relationships, as well, no matter how small the issue may seem.

Someone of stronger character than the fictitious Gibbs has a few pointers for us, and his “blood and water moment” has saved us.

Luke 6:28-30  bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.  Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

 So, never be afraid to apologize.     And more importantly, never be afraid to forgive.    It’s a sign of true strength, and you may need it to fight off the sharks.

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