Writing is one of the great joys in my life. Using words to portray thoughts is a truly challenging and stimulating undertaking. It allows a person to bring their very soul to life. Perhaps the primary reason that so much of my time is spent writing comes from the fact that sharing is a great part of my life.
As I was reading my horoscope this morning, I came to the conclusion that there was a meaning to my life. The horoscope said that I had many interesting stories to share about past losses and victories. You have all seen this on a number of past occasions. I try to share the hard lessons that life has provided me to this point in my life.
Normally, it is my desire to share the good things I have learned. On a number of other occasions, I have found the need to share my sad experiences with you. This week I want to share what turned out to be a very important lesson on dealing with people, or more precisely, how not to deal with people.
Unlike many of the things I have shared with you in the past, it was not a good experience. In fact, as you will see I did not requite myself well in the face of a relatively minor bit of adversity. I violated one of my primary precepts in life. I worried more about myself and my needs than about other people and my commitments to them. I might even have exposed a bad side of my personal ego, a darker side of my personality as it were.
Like I said, this has not been a good week for me. Many of my rules I have held sacred regarding personal conduct were violated. In the span of a few short days I managed to weave fatigue, sickness and stupidity into an interesting tapestry of bad manners, rude behavior and abject boorishness. Worst of all, I failed to honor a commitment. Not bad for just a few days in mid August.
Most of you would really never have had any reason to know of my actions during the week just past. Since it involved only one of our fifty states, those of you in the other 49 might never have known. You could have coasted along thinking that Harry was still a pretty good old boy. However, with practically no effort at all I managed to offend the fire service of an entire state. You must admit that when I make mistake, they are usually doozies.
Let me set the stage for you. My journeys have kept me on the road quite a bit over the past few weeks. Trips to Baltimore, Poughkeepsie, New York, Hancock, Maryland, Berkley Springs, West Virginia, and lastly New Orleans, Louisiana have kept me extremely busy. Maybe my battery was starting to run down and I just did not realize it. This is a lesson from which all of us can profit.
Something did not feel right within me on Monday night. I had to travel up into New York State to make an initial presentation for a possible consulting job. As I headed home late in the evening, I began to lose focus and had to stop a couple of times for coffee. I just did not feel well when I dragged my weary bones up stairs to get some sleep.
My morning began with me waking up to some really bad body vibes. I spent quite a bit of time on Tuesday alternating between my lazy boy recliner and the bathroom. At one point my temperature spiked at 101 degrees. An excellent indication of the seriousness of this for those of you who really know me comes from the fact that no food passed my lips for more than 24 hours. My wife suggested that I caught a bug on the flight back from the Crescent City.
One of my primary concerns on Tuesday involved the speaking engagement I had made with my friend Ed Carpenter, President of the Fireman