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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Indecision 09


Fourteen years ago when I was starting out my career as an engineer and working on my first project, one of the things I remember was four years of college was not offering me any comfort as I tried to solve problems. The obstacles I was trying to surmount on the job did not look anything like the problems I was presented with on a test. The way I dealt with my inexperience was to befriend the wisest engineer I could find. His name was Paul Growth, and he was the kind of person who was designed by God to solve engineering problems. Paul Growth was a natural leader and a no-nonsense man. He was 67 years old when I met him, and he had the ability to bring calm into any chaotic situation. Our clients loved him too; because they knew their money would be well spent. I miss Paul and wish he were still alive so that I could thank him for teaching me a very valuable lesson.

After working as an intern under Paul for a while, something was happening to me that I didn’t realize at the time. I was stagnating and I wasn’t learning how to stand on my own two feet. I would run to Paul every time I was confronted with a difficult decision, because I was just too afraid to fail. Paul had recognized this shortcoming in my development and decided to confront me with it. By the way, Paul held the third highest position in this firm and so it was highly inappropriate for me to be using this very brilliant man as if he was my personal problem solver! Anyway, Mr. Growth called me into his office one day and gave me a dressing down like you would not believe. At the time I thought he was the biggest jerk in the world. Who was this man to tell me I needed to develop a spine and make decisions once in a while? Who was Paul to tell me that I needed to stop being such a sissy and stand on my own two feet--that it was ok to make a mistake, that I needed to take a stand and rely on the things I had learned.

In retrospect, I wish President Obama were standing next to me when I was receiving that dressing down. The president, in my opinion, needs someone like a Paul Growth to tell him, “Stand up on your own two feet.” I have noticed that whenever our president is faced with a tough decision, he surrounds himself with a committee or forms a new one. The media would have us believe that he is just being thoughtful; I think he is just being inexperienced, and dangerously so. About the only thing he has shown any backbone for is his opposition to his fellow Americans who happen to be conservative. Perhaps we should convince the president that the Taliban in Afghanistan are a bunch of Republicans, maybe then he would make up his mind to finally send our troops the reinforcements they so desperately need. And what about another tough issue of the day, unemployment? Well, you guessed it…he’s just announced a “summit” in December on Creating Jobs.

President Obama simply will not pull the trigger on making difficult decisions, and I suspect it is because he never had to do it before. Prior to becoming president, he didn’t have to go out on a limb or face the prospect of making a tough decision with far-reaching implications. At least with me (as a young engineer), I was able to acknowledge my own ignorance and find someone with the knowledge and experience to guide me through. Our president’s “committees, advisors and summits (most of which are staged political events)” have led him to ignore the will of the majority of the American people who he was elected to serve. Most Americans don’t support his healthcare reform plans, they don’t support his plans to deal with “climate change” and most Americans don’t like his decision to spend like there is no tomorrow.

The United States president should be a seasoned person with a core of experience that will guide him or her through the darkness; someone who is consulted rather than someone who consults. May our president find within himself some testicular fortitude and the humility to listen to those who can guide him; we the American people.


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4 Comments:

Blogger Steven said...

Danian, you are absolutely right. Great post. This President reminds me of the story of Rehoboam - the less famous son and successor of Solomon. He surrounded himself with young and inexperienced counsellors who gave him advice that literally tore the kingdom apart. I am seeing some of those same dynamics.

By the way, was this Paul Growth in your blog the same guy who did liquid lunches each Friday and came back to the office with rather strange smelling "perfume"?

November 13, 2009 at 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Smile said...

OMGoodness! Spot on! Out of the ball park awesome article!

Thank you!

November 13, 2009 at 7:25 PM  
Blogger Danian Michael said...

Smile,

So good to hear from you again. And I do appreciate your very kind words.

Thank you.

November 16, 2009 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger Danian Michael said...

Steven,

This is the same Paul Growth. That's right, you and I share that history. Paul did know how to have fun - especially at lunch.

Leave it to an Old Testament specialist to draw that analogy, which by the way is perfect. I think Obama's humility or his lack thereof, prevented him from realizing that he was not ready to be president.

Moreover, Obama at some point during his campaign started to believe that the presidency was his right.

November 16, 2009 at 10:36 AM  

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