Saturday, November 22, 2008

STAND BY...!!!

I read Friday's NY Times Op Ed article by Nobel Prize winning Economist Paul Krugman entitled: The Lame-Duck Economy. He talked about the transition and how it related to the times of the New Deal. A lot had happened and there was a huge power vacuum at the height of the crisis. He stated that the outgoing administration had no credibility and the incoming one had no authority. And due to idealogical differences there was no concerted action. He said this is happening now.

Reading this took me back to a post Russ & I wrote sometime back: Standby for Heavy Rolls. We are definitely changing course. And the interim is likened to the rocky motion of the ship as it comes about. But I think that the most interesting thing about going back to this post, is that we are going to shake off the doubts in due time and we are going to head in a new direction. Even with the bad news in this article, I kept thinking: Stand By...!!!

I will post the relevant parts of the post. And I recommend reading Krugman's Op Ed piece to experience the contrast I did. I welcome your comments.

Standby for Heavy Rolls

"Standby for heavy rolls, as the ship comes about." This is the announcement I made over the ship's intercom so many times when changing course in choppy waters. The announcement is broken up with a pause (signified by the comma) so that it can be clearly understood. It is passed over the intercom to ensure the safety of the crew onboard the ship.

When the ship comes about or turns, it is in a state of transition that takes time; and along with the rough waters, can feel unsteady and shaky. During this time, the ship’s crew pauses to secure themselves and any loose items within their realm of control. As the ship shudders from the different forces acting on the ship’s bow – some trying to keep it back from turning and others aiding in its course change – the ship slowly but surely turns. It shudders and shakes off the inert forces trying to keep it back. It shudders and shakes off the rust that could threaten its integrity. It shudders and shakes off any doubts of heading on a new course. And it turns; but if you have ever seen the bow of a ship as it turned to a new heading (direction), you may understand the visceral power of seeing it set its sights on a new target course, bringing its strength of purpose to bear. Its mighty engines roaring toward a new horizon and beyond that horizon await a port of call that is exhilarating to the ship’s crew.

The crew describes the individuals or the stakeholders. And the ship described here can also describe households, communities, cities, counties, states, regions, and our nation. The choppy waters represent the waters or environment (economic, social, political, etc.) we will face, as the ship comes about. Be that as it may, we face some daunting challenges and our natural inclinations to resist change make it tougher. But in the end, that is not our true inclination. We will not be inert; we will be undaunted. We will not shirk our responsibilities; we will answer the call. We will not shun new ideas; we will ask how can it work? We will not be worthless; we will fight for something worthy! Let us rise to the challenge that will allow us to change course and see a new horizon.



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