The announcements were overflowing with praise. We had reached a major milestone! Everything was looking good. Success was here. Our goal secured.
From the perspective of the trenches where hard work is a norm, the view was quite different. Far more computer terminals were not working than were. Communication lines were intermittent. Instructions, specifically to customers and support units on the edges, were sketchy. It was hard to see the positive. Chaos was in charge at the moment. It would take time, sweat, and more than one late night to get through this.
I can, weeks later, see the light in this tunnel. Terminals are usually working. While communication lines fail more than they should, they are available on most days. Chaos has been transformed into an order of sorts. While there is room to grow, actions have stemmed the metaphoric bleeding.
I still wonder why good news needs to dominate our thought process. The natural tension between constant improvement and arriving at a destination is one that individuals and organizations struggle with. Some have a positive attitude, balancing good news with bad. In contrast, others exclusively emphasize the good, ignoring the bad. Messengers with bad news are reluctantly heard. The idea that I should never discuss what I am looking to improve is an odd way of making progress.
American blues music suggests that we should assess the present with honest bluntness. A candid assessment would come along the following lines; “If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense.” (1 John 1.8)
What follows is the expression of hope. Things can be improved. Here is what I am going to do about it.
Looking back, I still feel a need to describe the present in candid terms. Yes, I can eliminate the extra commentary. A factual account is a collaboration call to others.
Yesterday’s claim gave false hope. Today’s claim is different. I can turn to community. I can reach out to others for help. I can take steps towards making a positive difference.