Carpe diem

September 11 2005

In remembering 9/11 this year, I'll depart from the memorial-oriented postings I've done on this date for the last two years.  Instead, I'd like to summarize in two words what 9/11 means for me -- carpe diem, Latin for "Seize the day".

There is nothing like catastrophe to offer reminder of the frailty of the human condition.  9/11 maybe the first time that such an event pierced my conscience and became part of my being.  Some of the events since -- Spain and London bombings, tsunami, hurricane, and more -- now hit me as not just tragedy, but reinforcing events.  The world is out there to be experienced, to savor and enjoy, to explore, to cherish.  If it -- or I -- might not be here tomorrow, then I want to live richly through my days here.  However, I've increased my desire to help, too -- through charity during times of crisis, and through encouragement and support for friends and others.  I hope that my daughter will share some of these beliefs over time as well.

So if blog readers have occasionally wondered what brought me to the Great Wall of China at 7 AM on a snowy day, or why I'll get up at 4 in the morning to catch a flight such that I can be somewhere else the night before, or why I blog (FAQ: "Where do you get the time?"), or why I'll stop in Paris next week just to enjoy a party, perhaps this posting explains some of my attitude.

I noticed today that Todd Beamer, he of the famous UA flight 93 uprising, was a sales manager for Oracle.  I never knew that before.  I didn't know Todd, but Todd believed in carpe diem.  I think a lot of us in this industry do.

It can't be coincidence that while I've been penning this blog entry, I've received an e-mail where my notion of carpe diem has been challenged.  The human condition sometimes faces struggles between wants and needs, hopes and challenges, desires and beliefs.  This calendar year has been one of tremendous change for me personally.  Many of you have supported me through it in ways I would never have dreamed of.  Today seems like the appropriate day to publicly acknowledge and thank, for love and support.  And leave you with song lyrics that just won't leave my head on 9/11...U2's Walk On.  Peace.

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