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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Why is Ed worried?

I spent the month of December in Boston and went to my first Hanukkah celebration. I notice that all religions teach you the value of family, love, and compassion. At the human level, the Hanukkah celebration was similar to many other holiday celebrations; such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. These celebrations bring families together to share food, drink wine, enjoy laughs, play games, and exchange gifts. It is good to see the compassion come alive and visible during the holiday season.

At the Hanukkah party, I met a wonderful, old and wise man, Ed. He has lived in more countries than most of us and understands human behavior exceptionally well. One of my highlights of staying in Boston was meeting Ed. We talked about various things for hours. Ed is worried! He is worried about the lack of evolution in democracy. The decision-making process in the US democracy has not changed in 200+ years. All major decisions are still made in DC which is a centralized decision making approach. And, we have seen the results-Iraq, Afghanistan, Hurricane Katrina, Financial Crises, Environment, etc. And, there is no recognition of interdependence i.e. you try to solve one problem without considering how the solution will create other problems.

Ed is worried that the responsibility of raising the kids is moving to the institution (schools, day-care, etc.) from the parents and the institutions are not doing a very good job. Kids are not learning the values that made America. And, the moral fiber of the country is weakening. Self-interest is the most practiced value now.

Despite the worries, Ed is hopeful that 2009 will be a year of change.