To work, to excellence. Doing your job

Early in life, everything is possible–


It's a time to dream big dreams.


Stack the dreams like cord-wood; there are infinite possibilities: a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker.


There is the law,






Be a captain of industry,


work on the railroad,


or make Arcadian magic.


But as sand runs out of the glass, the possibilities dwindle.


The average American has a half dozen careers, a dozen employers. We weather investment bubbles, indebtedness, default, relocation. Nobody said it was going to be easy.


Did you wake up one day and ask, "Dear God, how did I get here?"


The bloom fades from the rose. Which career did you pursue? Did your job grow with you? Did it feed you– heart, mind, and soul?


In middle age, the time for reinvention is over. The inchoate idea has become a longing to climb the mountain.


But the mountaintop might not be Valhalla. Fame does not guarantee transcendence.


"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle


The global economy and Wal-Mart have redesigned the American workplace. Your job has been exported.


My daughters stand on the threshold of the working world.


What example have I provided? I orate to the rain and wind. I am not a businessman.


Music worried Plato. But there is strength and comfort in music.


Malcolm Holcombe is a musician about my age who lives in the mountains of North Carolina. I read in Rolling Stone that Malcolm is Lucinda Williams' favorite singer-songwriter, a strong recommendation in my book. Malcolm released a new CD March 28, 2005.


"Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys. Don't let 'em pick guitars or drive them old trucks. Let 'em be doctors and lawyers and such."–Waylon Jennings


Take some of that money you've saved with your George Forman grill and spend it on a content provider– invest in music. Make Waylon wrong.


To excellence! To another day! Do your job.