January, 2002

Just when we thought everything was going to be OK, we’ve been hit by another tragic death.  Losing Mike, so soon after Ron (Kawakami, HEG’s late COO) makes me realize that it is even more important that we stick to our principals and our hopes and dreams.  When I think of the joy that Mike and Maria shared in the short time they had, I am thankful to have had a small part in bringing them together – for the true tragedy would have been for them to never have experienced that love, and to never have brought their beautiful daughter Ella into the world.  Mike has left an enduring legacy that will forever honor his memory and his life.

One morning not so long ago I heard a great noise outside my window.  In my innocence I thought it came from a construction site nearby… but somehow it seemed too huge – too violent for that.  Over the next few hours the world as we knew it changed, leaving behind a planet that was more understanding of the fragility of life.

So many have lost so much in the last few months that two deaths might seem trivial, but perhaps the passing of people close to us can help us learn to be more understanding and less angry.  To empathize with those who have lost their loved ones.  And finally to remind us that all life is sacred – that all those that have passed leave a legacy not just of sorrow, but of joy and of pain and of all the things which make us all human.



August, 2002

Faith.  Trust.  Hope.  All are basic elements of humanity.  Without them we are lessened to the level of animals — never looking ahead to foresee the consequences of our efforts and actions, or the effect they have on those around us.  While it might be temporarily rewarding to live in the present, unhampered by thoughts of the future, it is ultimately a denial of ourselves and our potential.

But are they enough, these three muses of the human condition?  For what is faith but to believe in that which is intangible?  What is trust but to put faith in others?  And what is hope but the fervent desire that that in which we have faith — that what or whom we trust — are not only ethical, but are somehow able to alter or improve our lives?

The greatest ideas throughout history have their foundations here.  But they only became great once they were acted upon, proving that faith, trust and hope provide the necessary beginning, but must be followed by action — by hard work and sacrifice.  With this combination, even the smallest of convictions has the power to change, whether that means changing a way of life, a pattern of behavior, or the way that we communicate with one another.  There is power in change, and as with any power, it must be wielded responsibly.

Our world is changing; should it surprise any of us that our industry is changing, as well? This is inevitable, as is the fear that massive change often inspires.  But I would recommend that we go back to those three fundamental necessities.  Have faith that change can be guided responsibly, and take an active part in that guidance.  Trust in the basic goodness of humanity and take the time to build that trust through communication.  Hope that where we ultimately wind up is where we want to be — and if it isn’t, have faith.  Things will always change.

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