TRAGEDY IS PERSONAL

I may be the only person in America who feels sorry for BP CEO Tony Hayward. He made the unfortunate remark, “No one wants this over more than I do… I want my life back.” I commented previously on mass deaths being no more a tragedy for the individuals involved than a single death would have been. And this is somewhat similar. Sure, every person on the planet is affected by this. We are watching an ecological disaster to our planet of a magnitude such as we have never seen before. But let’s be honest. Say you are sitting in RI or MA or ME or NY or CA, you are horrified with every image and news report you see. You feel empathy for those who lost family members or whose family members were injured. But all day? You go about your business and worry about your life, your family, your job, your problems. But say you are a shrimper in Louisiana. Sure, you are worried about the big picture. But all day? What are you thinking? Probably some variation of, “No one wants this over more than I do… I want my life back.” You want this over. You wish it had never happened. Sure, sure, for the planet and all that. But mostly for yourself, for your family. How will you support yourself, them? Sure, you can say that the poor shrimper is a poor shrimper and Tony Hayward makes $10,000 a day. But don’t you think he is worried about his job? I am sure he worked hard to get there. And what happens to a CEO after a disaster like this? New CEO, that’s what. There has to be a scapegoat. And this is the kind of thing where the scapegoat isn’t one of the little guys, it’s the guy at the top. Tony Hayward started with BP as a geologist. And worked his way up. If this had not happened, no doubt, seven years from now when he reaches sixty (mandatory retirement age for BP executives) there would have been all sorts of praise for him at a lavish retirement party. Talk of his hard work and how he had worked his way up the ladder. One disaster and life as he has known it is over. So just try to cut him the tiniest little bit of slack. Because, always remember, one of these days, out of the blue, you may wake up and find you are the guy behind the eight ball.

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