Sunday, January 1, 2017


This series is inspired by the "Words From
Unity" public service announcements
that ran on television (particularly in
Kansas City) in the 1970's and 80's.
Woody Allen once said, "Showing up is 80 percent of life." Jean-Paul Sartre said, "To do is to be." A former boss of mine said about coming in on off hours, "Sometimes, I just have to be here."

Some people think their presence is increasingly unnecessary or negotiable. In a former newsroom job, a producer managed to slip away from showing up when a major hurricane hit, thus increasing the workload on others during a hectic and stressful times. I doubt this person suffered any meaningful consequences.

My Queen Mother has dealt with parents who have no discernable presence in their children's educational life. These people never show up for parent-teacher conferences. Many who do openly display incompetence and cluelessness about their role in making sure their offspring do not contribute to the dumbing-down of a nation. But we don't grade parents in school.

Just being there doesn't guarantee you success, but it does wonders to prevent failure. I've known at least one boss to say, when it comes an unfortunate time of layoffs, they're hard-pressed to cut somebody who's always there working their tails off -- even if there's other issues -- because those people have invested themselves in the operation. Elsewhere in the time-space continuum, we know people who simply occupy mass in our lives with little benefit. Showing up is part of it, but so is showing our work and showing we care.

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