Sunday, November 25, 2007

Reputation is oft got without merit and lost without crime

Reputation is oft got without merit and lost without crime.

The latest air-head pop star shoots to fame on a lucky-break record and sustains their place in the media spotlight with moronic, outrageous behaviour. A passably attractive girl becomes the girlfriend of a successful star and achieves celebrity status by association. A military commander achieves a victory because his even more incompetent opponent was having a worse than usual off day. Second-rate politicians win elections simply because the public are totally disillusioned with their opponents. These people will often rationalise their success and believe it was due to their inner greatness. When their balloons finally pop they disappear into media oblivion.

People of genuine ability can remain unknown and be "born to bloom and waste their sweetness on the desert air". Those who do gain recognition for their genuine ability are always at the mercy of the undeserved smear or dictates of fashion. Having built someone up the media grow bored and then, like schoolboys who have patiently constructed a sandcastle, take fiendish delight in demolition.

"Life", as they say, "is nine parts cards one part skill".

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Too much consulting confounds

Too much consulting confounds.

"Take good advice" is good advice... isn't it?

The trouble is when your ears and eyes are overflowing with information how do you decide what is good and what goes out with the garbage? After all, they also say: "A little learning is a dangerous thing, drink deep or touch not the Pieran spring".

If we assume that there are many roads to Rome and indeed the saying is: "All roads lead to Rome" perhaps we need to find one main source of advice or guidance where the guru has a proven track record, and follow that path.

Good decision makers are people who can cut, like Alexander, "through the Gordian knot", avoid all the irrelevant "noise", "cut to the chase" and "home in" on the essentials. They make it sound so easy but one suspects that long experience or luck plays its part. When it all gets a bit too much for you and the head buzzes with input just remember to KISS:

Keep it Simple Stupid.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Service without reward is punishment

Service without reward is punishment

Service is given and received by many people and varies from the selfless devotion of a mother to the latest slick marketing of something you neither need nor want, with much in-between.

Today, Remembrance Sunday, we remember the armed services and the sacrifices they make in times of trouble. We seek to show our appreciation and offer thanks to all those who gave their lives or suffered dreadful injuries in the pursuit of their duties, not forgetting their loved ones who had to continue alone or under a heavy burden.

For most of us the horrors of war are only in our imaginations and we look upon those brave souls who have been tested in the extremes of conflict as heroes. It is not enough just to admire - we need to show our appreciation in practical ways. Through contributing time, effort and money to appropriate organizations we can demonstrate that we truly do remember them and all the suffering and pain they have endured on our behalf.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Vows made in a storm are forgotten in the calm

Vows made in a storm are forgotten in the calm.

When the pressure is on our desire to be, and to be seen to be, virtuous is great. Most religions teach that there are consequences for wrong doing and that our difficulties and disasters can be seen as a punishment for sins.

In the halcyon days of good times we tend to let our guards down and start indulging in selfish behavior. When hard times come round again we are forced to consider our life styles and accept that perhaps our own actions have contributed to the situation. Our desire to be worthy and good is intensified.

There is a parallel here with politicians who are full of noble ideals and grand intentions in the hard times of opposition but when they finally move into the sunny uplands of government all that gold plating of goodness and virtue starts to wear thin. Eventually the people lose patience and throw them out into the darkness again. And so the cycle goes on.