February 9, 2011
In the current issue of Businessweek, Michael Forsythe reported that Jon Huntsman, the U.S. Ambassador to China, has a wall hanging in his office with the characters “hu xiang bang zhu, hu xiang xue xi.” It means “help each other, learn from each other.”
Two days ago, ESPN reported a remarkable story that unfortunately did not seem to get enough media exposure.
Kevin Jordan, a 19 year old freshman baseball player at Wake Forest University and 19th round draft pick of the New York Yankees, was diagnosed in April 2010 with a debilitating disease that attacks the kidney. Four months later, Kevin’s kidneys were functioning at 15-20% of normal levels. Kevin needed a kidney transplant, turned to his family, and found out that unfortunately, they were not compatible.
Last week, Kevin found out that his coach, Tom Walters was a match. And, Coach Walters stepped up. The 42 year old Coach donated his kidney to Kevin on Tuesday at the Emory Transplant Center in Atlanta.
Forget about records on the field. It’s off the field that really counts. One of the fellow team members said that Coach Walters is “a stand up guy.”
While I’m sure that they do not know each other, Coach Walters sure abides by the words on Jon Huntsman’s wall hanging. Do you know who else should know about those words? Every member of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives! With the 50th anniversary of John Kennedy’s inaugural speech in 1961 just passing, we all remember the well known sentence “Ask not what your country can do for you……” Coach Walters knows.
Yesterday, Dr. James Heintz, professor at the University of Massachusetts, published a report on infrastructure investments for air pollution facilities. He states that electric utilities that are being driven by proposed EPA rules “will bring economic benefits and jobs across much of the United States. Based on recent estimates that the power sector will invest almost $200 Billion in capital improvements over the next 5 years, total employment created by these capital investments is estimated at 1.46 million jobs, or about 290,000 jobs on average in each of the next five years.”
The report was sponsored by CERES, a leading coalition of investors and environmental groups that work to address sustainability. Click on link to see the complete report. http://www.ceres.org/epajobsreport
Jon Huntsman is leaving his post in China in April to possibly run for President against his current boss. He’s not afraid of uncertainty.
Coach Walters donated his kidney. He was not afraid of uncertainty. He said that donating the kidney was “a no-brainer.”
Kevin is recovering, and hopes to make it back to the baseball field, and I’m sure he has learned a lot about helping.
Now back to Capitol Hill. What have they learned? Why don’t they take a chance? Begin by starting to invest some funds in infrastructure! Imagine what it would happen if the capital investments really work? Imagine what would happen if the grid improved? There may even be improved air quality. Imagine what would happen if nearly 1 million, or 1.5 million, or even 2 million new jobs were created?
Remember: “Help each other, learn from each other.” We can all learn from Coach Walters.
Congress – let’s help each other too.