Business Technology: Time To Give Thanks For Many Things
Like so many others in this marvelous country of ours, I have many things for which to be thankful. Below is my list--please send me your lists as well, and we'll post them on InformationWeek.com.
In 1864, a coal miner, Elias Williams, lit the fuse to a blasting cap and was hoisted to the top of the shaft. Just as he reached light, the bucket he was in broke. He fell back to the bottom of the shaft hard, breaking bones and knocking away his breath. With just enough presence of mind remaining, he grasped a handful of dust to smother the sputtering fuse, inches from the dynamite. He was hauled out to his pregnant wife, who gave birth that same cold Pittsburgh November. Elias's healing took 18 months. There they were, as the Welsh say, "in a fix." Yet they made it, or I would not be here. They had come from Wales in 1861--apparently, an America suffering a Civil War looked better than home as it was then. They were the parents of my mother's mother. My mother's father was just three when his father was killed while working on the installation of the New York City subway electrical system in 1905. The widowed Mother Marsh raised him and his four brothers and two sisters, fatherless, to pull themselves up to found businesses that provided jobs for hundreds--and to grow families of their own, his with a daughter, Victoria, so important to me. And it is surely certain that in your past, someone, somewhere, endured sacrifice, pain, and risk with the courage to make a better life for themselves, directly leading to your well-being this very day. On Thanksgiving tomorrow, I will think of those people who came before me. I am, because they were. May we all have a blessed Thanksgiving Day, fully aware of what we have and more deeply aware of how it came to be.
--Letter to the editor of The Wall Street Journal from Red Warner of New York, Wed., Nov. 22, 2000
To be living in a country that has in the past two years led the fight to bring freedom to 48 million Afghans and Iraqis by overthrowing murderous regimes.
That the United States affords its citizens the unfettered right to vigorously protest against and criticize those noble actions and policies.
For the men and women of this country's armed forces, who through their extraordinary courage and commitment willingly put themselves in harm's way so the rest of us can enjoy the freedoms we sometimes take for granted.
For Visa International and other companies that are using their technology expertise and infrastructure to help stop the spread of child pornography and identify the animals engaged in its production and distribution.
For our own children and all young people everywhere, whose innocence and potential help all of us keep in mind our overarching priorities and responsibilities.
For the courageous, resilient spirit of tens of thousands of IT workers who have seen their positions or departments eliminated and who have responded valiantly by continuing to remake themselves with greater relevance and value in today's rapidly changing--and often cruelly challenging--job market.
For Moore's Law and the staggering potential it continues to unleash.
For the entrepreneurial spirit that harnesses that potential and transforms it into products and services that can improve our professional and personal lives.
For the pursuit, development, and deployment of new types of transformative technologies like RFID that trigger innovation and job creation.
For the emergence of less-romantic attitudes toward hackers and computer sabotage that will force those who perpetrate such attacks to bear full responsibility for their malicious and destructive actions.
For my colleagues, who daily inspire me with their talent, professionalism, and relentless commitment to our readers.
For having the opportunity to work in a business where the brilliant technology, crazy adventures, and remarkable companies all underscore that none of that matters without vibrant, creative, and dedicated people: from developers to CFOs, from venture capitalists to help-desk managers, from chief security officers to database administrators, from CIOs overseeing billion-dollar budgets to starry-eyed entrepreneurs pursuing The Next Big Thing.
And for you, those readers whose passion for innovation, customer value, and corporate and individual success make it sheer joy to be a part of this remarkable business. A blessed and peaceful Thanksgiving to you all.
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