Friday, February 27, 2009

A Remarkable Week

Every week has its own flavor of remarkable events, whether political or otherwise.
This week has been no exception, with 2 major speeches from our new President.

The address to a joint session of Congress was an unqualified success that served to inspire, define policy and set new goals and directions.
Of special note is that for the first time, the costs of war in Iraq and Afghanistan were actually included in the budget!
That is a very good start, because if we can't even understand our obligations, how can we possibly gain control over them?

On such a difficult and daunting subject, that President Obama was able to show such leadership bodes well for our country.
But, this is just the beginning and many battles remain to get from where we are to where we want to be.
Not the least of these battles will be over spending priorities, and resistance from Democrats will likely be every bit as strong as that coming from the Republicans.
I wish the President well in exerting more discipline in federal spending, because that is an area that legislators, bureaucrats and other power brokers will not easily give up control.

The President's address about the Iraq war at Camp LeJeune was yet another unqualified success that seemed to rally our troops in a way they must have been hungry to hear.
It seems that most Americans are quite willing to let our volunteer military personnel bear the complete brunt of brutal conflict and tough assignments.
Meantime, we take it for granted that all we need to do is let others do this hard job, while we continue to live lives of ease and pursuit of comfort.

Time will tell how these twin speeches become manifest in our national policy and influence our financial recovery, but they are a good start in the right direction.
Suffice to say, I took great pleasure in hearing our President's well-considered new direction, which most assuredly are ambitious but necessary.

A few years ago, the City sponsored a training course designed to help focus on and achieve worthwhile goals.
It was called the 'Systematic Development of Informed Consent', a course developed and taught by an older couple named Bleiker.
The lessons of this methodology are valuable, based as they are on real life examples.
Without going into too much detail, a simple, 4-step 'Bleiker Life Preserver' summarizes the essential parts of the method;

1. A serious problem exists which requires immediate action to address it.

2. It is our job to address this problem and bring it to satisfactory resolution as soon as practicable.

3. Our plans will be developed carefully and reasonably and then be presented clearly before implementation.

4. In developing these plans, we will listen to people's concerns, because we do care and value their input.

Pretty simple, huh?
Not necessarily, because no problem is ever easy to solve.
But, at least this method is an honest and inclusive one that enhances the chances of success to stated goals.

I think this is similar to the process being proposed by our President on matters of great national concern.
Let's all wish him well, whether we agree with every detail or not.
That is what it will take to extract ourselves from the gridlock we are in now.
There is only one way we can go from here, and that is up, so why not climb as high as possible?