July 16th, 2020, 1:29pm
Let Us Not This Moment Waste
Fact: We all must acknowledge that the coronavirus is going to be with us for a long time and while we endure, we also need to plan to emerge from this crisis better than we were before.
We are like firefighters battling a blaze that is too big to contain - we extinguish parts, but embers remain, and flare-ups persist as we move to other hotspots. And until there is a vaccine, we will have to live with the reality of this virus. That does not mean we can be flippant, frivolous, dismissive; we must remain diligent and vigilant, while safely returning to work, to school, to our lives.
We are all adrift at sea in the same storm, but we all have different boats.
In combating this pandemic some of us are mildly inconvenienced (wearing a mask in the grocery store) while for others the impact is great, painful, life-threatening, often fatal. I grieve for the loss of life, but also for the loss of one’s business (their life savings, work and passion)…and for the single parent trying to work from home while caring for a teen, a toddler, a new born…or the unemployed who struggle to pay the bills, afford rent, buy food…for the doctors and nurses who have just seen another life extinguished, unable to save them from an incurable disease, and then moving on to try and save the next patient…the compassionate, professional, empathetic police officer committed to serve and protect charged with maintaining peace and order while facing sometimes-violent circumstances…and the marginalized and disordered immigrants, DACA children, foreign students, LGBTQ community, and people of color who remain confounded by whether this country embraces them or not.
The glass half-full folks are realizing and experiencing silver linings in the quarantining, isolation, and new pace and routines of our lives. Hard times bring out the best in all of us. As an optimist, I am hopeful we all surface the positives this pandemic brought - a renewed attention to family, nature, and the value and ephemerality of time. We’ve learned that working from home can be efficient and productive, as a short-term stopgap but also as a longer-term paradigm shift in the outmoded 5-day/9-to-5 work week. We see the wonders of spring’s rebirth minus the overwhelming footprint of mankind and our machines - more birds, stars, flora and fauna, peace and quiet.
Just as those post-9/11 weeks saw us New Yorkers displaying an improbable - and all too short-lived - empathy for our fellow man, I trust this pandemic will have a more permanent impact on our outlook on life and each other - for this city, our country and the world. A friend recently stated after seeing restaurants with outdoor dining on NYC streets and sidewalks, “Look, we’ve just turned the U.S. into Europe.” I think I’d like that. I hope we permanently apportion appropriate streets to businesses, pedestrians and bicycles. I hope we slow down our lives and appreciate not only each other but the short lives we all live. I hope we have a renewed gratitude for our essential healthcare workers, teachers, caregivers, scientists, police, experts, and honest leadership.
If we truly want to make America great again than let’s get back to:
- paying a living wage so McDonald’s and Walmart employees can afford a house
- supporting schools so teachers don’t buy basic supplies out of their own pockets
- millionaires and billionaires contributing their fair share to invest in our future and level the playing field
- ensuring our government responsibly pays its bills while maintaining the necessary services and securities we all can agree on - protecting the citizenry and building the infrastructure we need for the 21st century
- respecting and protecting our climate and natural resources
- educating our children and adults who need to learn new skills in a rapidly changing world
- funding our police at suitable levels while increasing expenditures on social safety net programs that can support and not punish our fellow man
- acknowledging that our penal system should not be a for-profit industry incarcerating those who struggle on the edge of society
- understanding our local businesses are owned by and employ our friends and neighbors and yes, we should make, grow, produce and manufacture more things locally
- recognizing that healthcare is a fundamental right not a privilege and certain not a profitability model
- demanding corporate leaders not pursue profits at the expense of people, safety, social responsibility, or the environment
- knowing that at the end of the day we all just want to be loved, supported, heard, healthy, safe, and fed with a roof over our heads and our loved ones nearby.
Our founding fathers were just as flawed as all of us (in many cases more so) but did proffer the Constitution - a noble piece of paper with free society and equality for all. May those words and these challenging times forge a newer, brighter day for every one of us.
June 27, 2020, 1:42pm: And once again, WOW...I really really haven't been here for a while. And in that time, it seems like the world has totally fallen apart - we are 3 1/2 yrs into an impeached Donald Trump presidency and everyday he seems to be increasingly unhinged; the global Covid-19 pandemic has been raging for 4 months killing 490k people (124k Americans) and while lockdowns are easing, U.S. cases are spiking; the pandemic-induced recession continues with over 30MM American workers losing their jobs, 100,000 small businesses closing, and I was laid off; this international economic disaster will likely continue well into 2021; awareness and protests around racial injustice is peaking and there are still weekly news stories of past police brutality and murder of our black and brown brothers; Confederate monuments are being razed and calls to defund the police are rampant and seriously considered; plus global warming, murder hornets...bring it on Mother Nature!
That said, nature seems to be the only one winning as human activity stalled due to the lockdowns; carbon emmissions decreased dramatically, nature and her creatures have re-emerged to take back their habitats; birds, insects, and local wildlife are prevailing. Amen for that!
8-18-18, 11:02am. (Wow....I really haven't been here in a while!) I learned that today is the most popular day of this year to get married. Cool, eh? Well, this summer has been wet. We haven't had a period of 5 days without rain all summer. And some of the storms have been huge with flash flooding here in NJ...even JazzFest was cancelled. And California is on fire and the UK is having a huge drought. My work is great, as OpenSlate continues an incredible run as the industry standard for brand safety and brand suitability on YouTube. It is so nice to have a great, rewarding job. (Thanks for asking.) Well, peace out for now...and maybe for a few years (based on my past track record).
Apr. 6, 2014, 7:04pm: Wow, I haven't been here in a while! Though I do make a concerted effort to update the home page of this site at least 2-3X/week. Well, it's springtime here in the Northern Hemisphere and I've finally got around to some exterior spring cleaning (i.e., putting the snow shovel, salt melt, snow blower away; and taking out the plants, the deck furniture, the wind chimes, the planters.) This past winter was a crazy one - massive snow and extreme cold seemed to be weekly occurences...but the spring has sprung!
Aug. 30, 2012, 8:56pm: Summer is winding down and while I love September - football, fall foliage, the impending ski season, sweater weather - it also signals back-to-school, and with that comes change. My oldest is off to college already, so we're down to three of us (half-empty nesters), and the whole house arising each morning at once. The slow pace of the summer quickens in fall like a squirrel gathering nuts for the winter. I will survive...I pray my Giants do.
Dec. 18, 2011, 11:56am: Penning my annual Christmas Letter and wrestling with how not to anger and alienate my friends, family and co-workers. You are all so guilty of so much humourous fodder that I have to bite my tongue...uh, tape my fingers!?!....to keep from incriminating the guilty!!!
Nov. 19, 2011, 1128am Going live to the world!
Nov. 12, 2011, 10:54pm: "If you build it they will come." I have spent the better part of this lazy Saturday watching college football by a fire and constructing this website; getting all the elements just right. I'm not quite sure exactly what I want this to become and I'm curious if anyone will come visit. All I know is that I have a lot of work to do, but hope this will turn into something fun, informative and useful! Peace!