Rest in Peace Holden Caufield and J.D. Salinger – You made us forget the recession for a few minutes

“I will work for only $10 a day to pay for gas or will consider working for free to gain experience in medical office field. Would also consider a chiropractor assistant. I ran an office for 8 years where I did customer service, AP, AR, payroll, scheduling, and ordering supplied. Some companies need that little extra help but can’t afford to hire another employee because that would require putting another on payroll. This would be ideal. If you would like I could send you personal and professional references”

– Craigslist Charlotte – Resumes

For a few hours today as RIP J.D. Salinger filled the Twitter Cyber airwaves, we reflected on the man that created a generational persona and one of the most gifted fictional literary characters of the 20th Century. Catcher in the Rye reminded us of the loss of innocence and how maturity, the pitfalls of life and the pressures we face every day are entrenched in our minds and emotions. If we can help the children hold on a little longer to the dreams and simplicities of innocence, we have succeeded.

I want to join Holden at the bottom of the hill catching the children as they fall and helping them stay on that mountain a little longer.

Seeing that ad today timed very well with the passing of such a profound author and thinker.

Some analysts believe that this recession may be the great equalizer. The time in our lives where we are forced to walk away from gluttony and greed and rely on the relationships and moral framework that followed us throughout our lives.

Holden was an observer much like Salinger, who took in his surroundings and with his emotions internalized walked through life with a pattern of uncertainty and delusional optimism.

That is an interesting phrase, “delusional optimism”. He wanted to believe in the goodness of others but others were forced to determine their lifestyle of money, greed, gluttony and societies impression of their live of value. Value is not based on wealth. I could fight that argument until all the children fall. Value is based on the number of smiles in a day, the feeling of being completely content, the warmth of a hug, the sound of a voice or the sound of nothing but a single bird in a windowsill.

To me value is the moments that make we feel alive.

Tomorrow the recession will continue, the wars will still be fought, natural disasters will tear families apart and prejudice and bias will be seen all over the world but for me, I will wake up to the sound of the bird and smile.

Whose Life Will You Touch?

In light of the global outpouring of financial, spiritual, and unbiased support to rebuild the lives of those affected by the Earthquakes in Haiti, it is a prevalent time to take a step back and ask ourselves the question: Whose Life Will You Touch?

This is the message that is spearheading the campaign launch of the new Hewitt Associates Career Website release (http://www.hewittcareers.com/).

A career is not about personal gratification and lifestyle accomodations but the value you bring to an organizational structure and ultimately the impact you have on other lives. Hewitt has a commitment to excellence in customer satisfaction, community involvement, quality of life and passion for meeting the needs of all the individuals whoses lives they affect. This is not a catch line but a morale framework for adhering to the bettering of society.

Over the last 18 to 24 months, families, communities, neighborhoods, states, countries and continents have been adversely altered due to the global recession. During that time, millions of people in ways small and large have done all they can to help others in an showering of support.

In life, as we grow and mature we tend to see the world in a much more complicated way. It seems almost critical to simply our surrounded and place value on morales and shared values.

The challenge I have today is to look in the mirror and ask yourself: Whose Life Will You Touch?

Hewitt Associates, Chicago Media Community and the Chicago Chapter of American Red Cross Bond Together to Help Victims of the Haiti Earthquake – January 21st Telethon

The Chicago broadcasting and print media community is joining the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago and Hewitt Associates in a united effort to help those facing the devastating aftermath of the Haitian earthquake. The CHICAGO HELPS HAITI relief drive will take place Thursday, January 21st from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Television and radio stations throughout the Chicago area will air a blitz of public service announcements encouraging people to call 1-877-565-5000 starting at 5:00 a.m. on January 21st to contribute to the American Red Cross Haitian relief effort. These public service announcements will begin airing early next week and will continue throughout the relief drive event on the 21st. Stations participating include: WBBM-TV, WCIU-TV, WFLD-TV, WGN-AM, WGN-TV, WLS-TV, WMAQ-TV, WPWR-TV, WSNS-TV, WTTW-TV, CLTV, Me-TV. CBS Radio stations, WFMT-FM, The Clear Channel network of stations, WVON, WGN-AM, the Univision stations including WOJO, WPPN,WVIV, WRJO as well as WTMX, WDRV, WILV, WGCI-FM, WLIT-FM, WLUP, WKQX, WKKC, NextMedia radio stations and virtually all radio stations in the area will participate. Crain’s Chicago Business and The Daily Herald will also be supporting these efforts. More media partners are expected to be added in the coming days.

Hewitt Associates will be providing the phone bank staffed by 1,500 employee volunteers to take donations from their Lincolnshire headquarters with support from their other call centers in Orlando, FL, Charlotte, NC and The Woodlands, TX. TV and radio stations will be broadcasting live from the CHICAGO HELPS HAITI phone bank with updates on relief efforts and donation totals.

The last time the Red Cross partnered with Chicago media and Hewitt was in 2004 for a one-day telethon to aid victims of the Asian tsunami. The result of that effort was extraordinary. The broadcasters in this city have a keen understanding of the difference they can make when they join forces to get the word out when a major disaster strikes, and we know this will be the case with our effort to help the people of Haiti,” said Jackie Mitchell, Director of Marketing and Communications, The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago.

On Tuesday, January 12, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti near the capital of Port Au Prince, causing catastrophic damage and loss of life. Initial estimates are that up to 3 million people may be affected.

Chicagoans can also make a donation to the American Red Cross International Response Fund at http://www.chicagoredcross.org/haiti. $10.00 donations can be made to the American Red Cross efforts in Haiti by texting “Haiti” to 90999.

Chicagoans may also follow the event on the Chicago Red Cross Facebook and Twitter sites during the drive.

The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago serves more than 8.6 million people in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties through the support and generous contributions of individuals, corporations, foundations, and the United Way. For more information, call 312-729-6100 or visit http://www.chicagoredcross.org.

Do Pro Life Activists Eat Eggs?

Life is full of hypocrisy. We state an interest, belief or preference and turn around and contradict the very statement we made earlier.

Winston Churchill once stated “If you aren’t a liberal in your twenties, you have no heart. If you aren’t a conservative in your forties, you have no brain”

Time does ultimately change our perception on life and in many respects the reality of death.

When is the proper time to forgive? More importantly, who dictates moral behavior.

I witness my first commercial for the Masters and there was one key element missing. Every one of you knew where I was going with this. No Tiger Woods. No mention, no picture, no thought. A clean morally ethical series of scenes of golfers without published infidelity.

Look at our habits of watching sports. We may route for one team but then turn around and bet against them the next week because the odds are so right.

I think Web 2.0 has taught a valuable lesson. Aside from all of us getting cancer due to the extended hours of computer use. It has desensitized us to human interaction and human contact. We have the ability to create a persona on the internet and become whomever we want to be. We have Sims to blame for that.

We have hundreds upon thousands of friends, connections, followers, colleagues, fans. When does it stop. Do we risk too much to reach out and spend time with these internet friends or have we become so global that this is the only way to form communities of our own.

Maybe we are getting lonelier and we just don’t know it.
Knowing we can always find someone to email or IM is the answer that so many lonely people are looking for instead of taking a risk and being a part of a real connection.

I suppose this makes me a hypocrite since I am writing a blog instead of spending time with someone I care about. Maybe I don’t have anyone or I prefer to be alone in silence and express my views in solitude.

Those are interesting thoughts that I believe I will ponder over shortly.

Until the next time, make a connection, tell someone you love them and always smile.

New Year, New Day, New Outlook…

It’s over.
We lost loved ones
We gained new friends
We re-evaluated our lives
We took a new look at the world
We challenged ourselves to become someone different
We looked technology in the face and took the helm

Now what?

Monday starts a new day. For many of us we took time off to be with our families, friends or just relax away from the stresses of our work environment. Philosophically, we can all open our eyes in the morning and feel that the world is back to normal. The threat of job loses is gone, wages will rise once again, pension and 401K funds will hit all time highs and we an all sit back on the comfort of job security.

Ok, Lewis Carroll has left the building.

There is no truth in those statements. Tomorrow will not change. A New Year does not erase all the negative surrounding many of us. Unemployment is still high, we are faced with economic challenges that do not have an end of the rainbow in sight.

Let me ask you this: Is there any reason we cannot perceive that tomorrow is a better day. Perhaps if the collective sum of all of us has a positive attitude it will create a level of energy that will carry us to new heights. Belief in something big is half the battle of victory.

We chose fear many times over optimism because we do not want to be let know. If we expect the worst then the news is easier to take.

I feel we need to embrace the unknown. Take each others hands in the literal or figurative way and express yourself with a smile and a positive attitude. I think together, we can see the New Year as a new world of promise and fulfillment.

Embrace tomorrow and share it with me.