Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 - That's the way the old year passes...


January started off pretty well, at least for the first five days.  On day six, I popped all the tendons in my right knee.  As of today, they are still not totally healed.  My appointment the following day with the hip surgeon resulted in the determination that I had the left hip of a healthy 40-year old and the right hip of a badly deteriorated 97-year-old.  I left with the command to wear a brace on the knee, to walk with a cane, and not to fall before the first possible surgery date of March 6.
Hip surgery went extremely well.  Days after my surgery, however, my elderly mother’s health took a turn, and I spent much of my own recuperation time visiting her in hospital, rehab, and assisted living facilities.  I returned to work the first week of June, but my mother’s health issues have not ceased, so the visiting continues after work hours most days of the week and on weekends.
Since June, things at work have been unsettled.  I lost members of my staff, and those remaining have taken on much more work than can reasonably be done well by their dwindling number, even as the expectations of management increase.
To make things even more interesting, the country has endured a spate of freakish and destructive storms, children have been mass murdered in their classrooms, and billions of dollars were spent on political ads by both parties while people were starving, lacking in medical treatment, and were losing their savings as the deficit was rising.  This was made even more ironic when the incumbent won and the challenger was outed by his own son as never really wanting the presidency in the first place.  What an enormous waste of time and resources.  The negativism of the election served only to divide and polarize the population.  Now we have a government where our elected officials stubbornly refuse to compromise, rendering the entire political structure unable to function. 
I was taught that government was in place to serve the people…ALL the people.  Our elected officials are voted into office to serve US.  They are paid by US.  Good solid management requires that all options are weighed, and the options that accomplish the most good for the most people are the ones chosen.  This requires compromise on all sides.  Good management also requires housekeeping.  If an employee cannot or will not perform the tasks for which he or she was hired, they are fired from the position.  Congressmen and senators are OUR employees.  If they are not performing the function of governing, which requires intelligence and compromise, then they should be fired.  If they are basing political decisions that affect ALL the citizens of this country on their own narrow set of religious beliefs, then they should be fired.  Our forefathers created our constitution and our government with separation of church and state for a reason.  In religion, there is only right and wrong; there is only black and white.  Compromise requires gray.  If the mind sees only right or wrong, there is no ability to compromise.  If one lacks the ability to compromise, then one lacks the qualifications for governing.
What we need is to focus on the greater good…not the good for the rich, or the good for the poor, or the good for any particular race, religion, gender, age, or sexual preference.  We need to stop harping and blaming each other, or any group, and start working together for the greater good of our country, our economy, and our standing in the global view.  If we do not put aside our differences and work together to fix the real issues in this country, we may cease to exist.
How do I feel about the passing of 2012 into history?  2012 was such that I have ambivalent feelings about the inaccuracy of the Mayan prediction.  But perhaps the prediction was accurate.  Perhaps the prediction was a warning, not that the earth would end, but that our way of life would end if we didn’t learn to work together for the greater good.  Quite frankly, considering the behavior of many in this country and around the world in 2012, it would have served us right to be blown to bits in an earth-destroying cataclysm. 
2013 gives us one more chance to get it right.  I’m not sure how many chances we’re going to get.  Just remember, those who don’t learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them.  So my advice to everyone in the New Year is this:  You have a chance to do it right…don’t blow it.