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A time for new beginnings and positivity

I can still remember a high school soccer playoff game we lost, over 10 years ago. It was a hard- fought close game. One leadership key we teach our seniors is to take responsibility. Our team didn’t like some of the referee’s calls. I don’t believe in yelling at officials. They have a tough job. I’m glad we have them. If necessary, I talk to them at an appropriate time. The boys were changing their shoes when one of the underclassmen commented, “The refs stole this one from us.” Before I could say a word one of our senior captains said, “No. It wasn’t the refs. We didn’t play good enough to win.” I smiled. Our captain understood a very important life lesson about taking responsibility. We still see each other periodically. He is a very successful businessman today.

A life lesson learned on the athletic field is more important than wins or losses. Our captain understood blaming the ref would not turn the loss into a win. He learned when we take responsibility we take control. If our failures are someone else’s fault we are powerless to fix them. If we blame our boss, spouse, the dog or the government for a being in a bad mood, we have given them control over our lives. If they are the problem, only they can fix it. Taking responsibility allows us to take control of our life. My captain understood he had little control of how the ref called the game. He had control over his actions and responses. He could help his team to play better. We have 100% control over our responses.

We had no control over the Corona virus coming to the USA. If you had been in China, got infected with the virus and brought it here then you would be responsible. I don’t know anyone who did that. I do know business people in New York who met with Chinese visitors back in November and December and learned about the virus. They were concerned and reduced their trips to cities like New York. They knew they could be on a subway packed with strangers or jammed into an elevator. Surely there were media people who also crossed paths with the same information. Unfortunately, no investigative reporter looked into the virus and was able to convince their editor or manager that the Corona virus was more of a threat to Americans than President Trump’s impeachment.

We can blame the Chinese for being complacent or for lying to us about details of the virus. We can blame the major media for not learning about the virus and not giving it a higher priority than they did. Impeachment of the President was the hot topic. If some Americans were hearing about the virus in December, surely someone from the media heard about it. Why didn’t we learn about it? However, blaming doesn’t change anything. We can’t control what people did and didn’t do. What are we going to do now? We can take responsibility of our own actions. We have 100% control of them. We can choose how we respond to this situation.

We can’t control what got reported in December. We can question what we hear in the major media now. We can never just assume they have it right. They have been caught them in numerous lies and half-truths about topics I have personal experience with. I have attended events in Charleston. When I read the story the next day in the local paper, I wondered if the writer was at the same event as me. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice or more shame on me. We should never take anything at face value. Ask questions. We need to stay informed. Do we really need to have the news on all day? I find, watching all of that negative stuff for any length of time brings me down. It depresses me. If we aren’t careful we can pass on negative bringing others down. We need hope in the future to have the power to act in the present.

We couldn’t control the virus coming here. We can control its spread by following the CDC and our government’s guidelines. We can stay physically separate from people. We can wash our hands. We can encourage others to do the same.

I just listened to a Facebook post from one of my speaker friends in Cleveland. She was talking about all of the things we have to be grateful for. Years ago, I began starting each day by finding at least three things to be grateful for. I challenge you to think of three things right now, in your own life you are grateful for. I encourage you to do that for just one week. It will change your attitude.

I began to question the source of the medications my wife and I take. It is time to quit having 80% of them come from China. I wonder if that includes opioids We can put pressure on American companies and our elected officials to change this. With abundant energy, petrochemical feedstocks and advanced manufacturing in Shale Crescent USA, companies will find the most economical place to manufacture products like pharmaceuticals for the USA market is here in our region.

We can’t change the past. We have a responsibility to our children and grandchildren to change the future. Someday there will likely be another virus. We can learn from today and make sure our medications, medical equipment and personal protective equipment are made in the USA where we have control.

Spring and Easter are a time for new beginnings. Make it a positive week!

Kozera, gkozera@shalecrescentusa.com, is the director of marketing and sales for Shale Crescent USA. He is an engineer and the author of four books and numerous published articles.

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