March 28 , 2020 /


“The success equation is the combination of common vision, common values, and common purpose.”  Preface, p. ix in “Seven Decades: A Learning Memoir”  (River House Press, 2013)

During World War II, I saw that a fusion of vision, values and purpose provided a united front in order to defeat destructive forces in two different parts of the world – Europe and in the Pacific.  As a result of that experience, along with family values and an education, I spent my working life helping people discover passion and purpose beyond themselves.

“Think of the far-reaching effects of a large group of people mobilized by common purpose and passion….The revolutions of oppressed people in many countries stand as both testimony to the possibility of change and its enormous cost that often includes the loss of many lives.”

While many people today seem immune from the devastating effects of war on a global scale, those individuals and families in the U.S. who experienced WW II, Korea, Viet Nam, the Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan know first-hand the physical and emotional wreckage left behind.  Other countries have experienced their own conflicts externally and internally.  (My previous blog of Mar 17 illustrates some of the effects of World War II. }

The point to all of this is illustrated in Pete Seeger’s song, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”   The rejoinders are in these lines. “Long time passing,” and “When will they ever learn…”. Looking back over 75 years, I wonder.

In the face of a pandemic, people are not immune, at least not yet.   it’s easy to blame others, to point a finger and say, “If only you had done this or that……then it wouldn’t have to be like this.”  That is a waste of energy and emotion.   There may be a desire to hold people accountable for their behavior and it needs to go beyond a desire to specific, concrete and positive steps for a course correction.

Whatever it takes, it’s time to do whatever is necessary to contain and then defeat.  (Read into that whatever you want.) That’s a proven strategy that works.  That is something we learned, although sometimes failed to practice, in the past 75 years. No time like the present and no present like time.
Make of it what you will.

Please share your thoughts and opinions