Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Second half of your life

One of the Facebook comments to my previous Lake Tapps post included this:

My wife Chelle, who took your class 15 years ago in Hawaii wanted me to share this with you. 

As an aside: She says she still remembers the class fondly, it was amazing and showed her that InfoSec was not a career path that she desired, she wasn't "anal" enough. 

In July, she was in Hilton Head SC visiting a girl friend she went to high school with. They were discussing the rules enforced by the HOA, and she was introduced to the concept of PIP. (Previously Important People.) Apparently, while they no longer have that role, PIPs still act and expect all the treatment, cow-towing, and benefits that go with being a VIP in that HOA. Suffice to say it is very interesting getting things approved or changed in that environment.

Acronym soup! Never did figure out what HOA stands for and am thankful that Lee explained what PIP stands for, (Previously Important People), and that is an interesting, perhaps scary, thought.

And it brought up a memory. On the bookshelves in my Hawaii office are some Peter Drucker books and in one of them there is a short discussion on the title of this post. I read that passage over five years before I semi-retired, and nothing else Mr. Drucker has written has stuck with me so well. I understood the importance to my psyche of having something else to do, something else that mattered. Yet whenever I considered finding my second half, I drew a blank. I even set a Google calendar recurring event quarterly to ponder this, no change, no insights.

While I was up on Facebook, I saw a post by one of the men that inspired me to really jump into security, Gene Spafford. I still remember a speech that he gave at the Boston Computer Museum. He said, "There are only going to be so many people that are successful in this industry and they will be the ones that apply an engineering approach to problems."

Anyway, the post on Facebook said:

When I was much younger, I'd watch the "In Memorium" on the Emmys and Oscars, and wonder who some of the people were. Now that I'm older, I feel pangs of sadness when I see so many familiar faces, representing so much talent and joy brought to so many. I guess there is something to being explictly[SIC] missed by so many for at least a few seconds, but to have their image in films and memories live on.

What legacy will each of us leave?

Whoa! This is clearly a night for self assessment. I wrote a book once on Ecclesiastes, and this legacy concept came up.

"A man might have a hundred children and live to be very old. But if he finds no satisfaction in life and in the end does not even get a decent burial, I say he would have been better off born dead. I realize that his birth would have been meaningless and ended in darkness. He wouldn't even have had a name, and he would never have seen the sun or known of its existence. Yet he would have had more peace than he has in growing up to be an unhappy man. Ecc 6:3 – 5 NLT

Here Solomon gives a significant warning. If you have 100 children and don't get a decent burial, what does that mean? It means you have alienated your children. We have got to invest in our children, in fact all of our family."

The world, it appears, is hard on PIPs. Here are two posts to spur us each on One, (be sure to read to the bottom, it is quite humorous), and Two.  Finally, there is a great post from the Drucker Society on the second half of your life, I read it before starting this post and will read it again when I am done. 

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