Friday, November 14, 2008

The ways of looking at problems.

I just recently finished a merry little book by an English historian called John Hatcher. The book is titled "The Black Death: A Personal History".

As you may or may not know, the black death was a scourge like no other in the history of man. In fact it wiped out--depending on whose estimate you cotton to, between 30% and 70% of the population of Eurasia and Europe.

Hatcher's account studies records from one small town, Walsham, England. Walsham was a town of about 1500 people that was struck by the plague in the summer of 1349, back when I was just knee-high to a cockroach.

One of the interesting things about the plague was that people knew it was coming. Though there was no radio or television and most people couldn't read, news of disasters always travels in internet time--even 650 years before the internet. So people learned through sailors, traders and merchants of the plague's impending arrival and the devastation it caused in the regions it hit.

Here's what I find interesting--a glimpse at the character of the world, politics, our industry. By and large people responded to doom in one of two ways.

1.) They fornicated with everything they could. They spent every last coin they had. They lived like there was no tomorrow.
2.) They believed that despite the wrath of god, life will go on. These people helped others, prayed, helped their community.

I suppose I have a point buried in here somewhere. Maybe it's this. Crap happens at work. With your family. With your friends. In your country. Nothing is going to change that.

How you respond to crap is the measure of man.

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