three disasters

After 9-11, it appeared we would wisely execute a war against the terrorists. We went into Afghanistan. We were focused on doing what needed to be done. Then, for some unknown reason, we lost our focus and invaded Iraq. The war against terrorists became a murky and undefined conflict.
Several years later, hurricane Katrina rolled into the gulf coast and devastated Alabama. Mississippi, and Louisiana. We all watched in horror as hour after agonizing hour the people of New Orleans begged and pleaded for help. They stood on rooftops waving sheets. They crowded into large buildings seeking rescue. In the face of this disaster, we saw indecision and hesitation rule the day. When it was obvious action was required, nothing happened.
And now, as we stand on the edge of an economic cliff, teetering dangerously, we wait for a solution. We all know hard decisions must be made. No one is going to be comfortable making them. If the politicians have the guts to do what needs to be done there will be painful cuts in programs and there will be more taxes.
I find in these tragedies an all too familiar pattern in life. We can start out focused and driven, yet end up sidetracked. We can hesitate and fail to make decisions when they need to be made. Instead of doing what needs to be done, we can endlessly discuss what could be done. Instead of making the hard choices that will help us succeed in the future, we can do whatever is more convenient in the present.
We fact is we are all susceptible to bad decision-making. Distractions, hesitations, and shrinking back from difficult decisions are waiting for us with every choice. We have to be wise enough as a country and as individuals to fight through the things that give rise to bad decisions. If we don’t both our personal lives and our country will be in jeopardy.

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