An anniversary is to
celebrate, certainly. Itís also a good time to check
vital signs, especially pulse and perspective.
Vic and I celebrate two
anniversaries in July. Our wedding and our
yacht-charter firm, Southwest Florida Yachts. Number
26 for both. Silver-plus.
Iím happy to report our
vitals are within normal limits. However, on the
business side, our pulse is up a bit. I attribute it
to uncertainties of the oil leak.
is as it is supposed to be. Age and anniversaries
give us perspective which, I think, is the best
vital sign of all for gauging the health of an
enterprise, marriage or business.
Being a boater adds a
dose of perspective, too. The sea, like life, is not
predictable. We may plan a cruise but big seas or
threat of a storm will change our minds.
The oil has not reached our near-shore waters or our
beaches in Southwest Florida and I donít think it
will. No guarantees, of course.
But it is a huge challenge for those in Louisiana,
Mississippi, and Alabama with tar balls on their
marshes and beaches.
The oil situation is a
biggie, no doubt about it. But 26 years of operating
a charter boat business and a marriage have taught
us to take the long view.
Iíve told this story
before but in 1984, the year we got married and the
year we opened the business nuclear arms controls
with the USSR were falling apart and many thought --
I thought -- we were close to having a nuclear war.
It didn't happen. I gained a bit of perspective on
Remember 9/11? More than
3,000 people died. Business stopped all over the
U.S., not just in the Gulf region. And, as with the
spill, there was uncertainty. We wondered how bad
would terrorism get? Will they poison our water
supply? Blow up a nuclear power station? So far; so
good. More perspective.
The 2010 earthquake in Haiti killed 230,000 people.
Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was no slouch, killing
1800 people and causing $84 billion in damages.
As of this date the BP
oil leak, I have read, is not even the biggest oil
spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In 1979 an oil well in
Mexico blew out and spewed something like 140
million gallons of oil before it was capped. Oil
washed up on the shores of Mexico and the U.S.
It was bad but,
ultimately, the sea won that one. There are living
microbes in the water that consume oil, some of
which leaks naturally from the floor of the Gulf.
Disasters are killers.
They cause damage. And when we donít know how bad
one is going to get, the natural reaction is fear.
Perspective helps us manage that fear.
We canít give in to fear
or we would become paralyzed. We wouldnít go out of
our house, or drive a car, or get in a boat if we
let what ifs rule. We simply canít dwell on the what
ifs in life if we really want to live without fear
The BP oil leak is a
toughie as disasters go but we will get through it
like we do all other challenges. Thatís my