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Dear Reader,

It occurred to me last night that we tend to think ‘our’ ways, ‘our’ organization and ‘our’standards are the correct paths for what we do. This in and of itself is understandable  even admirable – for all of the usual reasons. It gives us pride, a sense of common goals and a reason to stay focused on being the best we can be.

It also occurred to me that in our island culture, humans have been both targeted and (mostly)tolerant of religious organizations for many of the same perceptions. How has that worked out for us, anyway? Are we better off with the Protestant missionaries? The Fundamentalists? Some of us will say yes and others will say no, right?

Tolerance and a healthy dose of respect are the keys to our coexistence. The notion that there are others with more knowledge, skill and insight has been my mantra and how I manage to remain inspired to grow. It’s how I’ve found my center and is a large part of who I am. There-fore, when I read that we are ‘weak’ to coexist with others, I don’t necessarily agree.When I hear that the goal is to convert ‘everyone’ to ‘our’ ways, I can’t get entirely inspired to do so.

My methodical mind and my inspiration is to be the best at what we do, not the most threatening; it tells me to offer inclusion, not demand it. We coexist here with so many cultural differences and economic disparities, right? We live and learn and share and teach and embrace our differences in order to stay healthy, wealthy (hopefully) and wise (even more hopefully). This should not be a difficult conversation but it recurs over and over and over again. We get angry that others are getting work when we struggle to make ends meet. We sometimes perceive every job filled elsewhere as a job lost. We only need to realize that we each have control over our future.

Our work requires a skillset that can often be a challenge, right? It’s one thing to stretch out an extension cord, paint a wall, move a potted plant or wrestle a sandbag. It’s quite another to calculate wind loads, voltage drops, trucking logistics, pruning techniques, electrical grounding theory, chemical ‘aging’ compounds and bridle lengths.

We can’t wait for others to make us better technicians and craftspeople; this is a personal decision that, once made, can open wide doors to opportunity.

We can offer others a window into what might be positive, life-altering alternatives that we have come to embrace as our own. Inclusion is the key: Attitude. Knowledge and Skill. Compassion. That’s where I find inspiration.

As a direct example of this, I’m very happy to thank so many of you for your interest this month in the training that Irish & I presented with my colleague Richard Cadena. The turnout was excellent, surpassing my expectations. Sorry about the oh-by-the-way football game in the mix. We will continue to offer this stuff as time and money and interest allows. Let us know how we can help you reach your goals.

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