To Whom Much Has Been Given …
In my corporate days, as District Manager, I was responsible for southern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and western Virginia. I became good friends with Bill, the manager responsible for northern West Virginia and eastern Virginia. The District Manager is responsible for everything like, operations, sales, safety, profit and personnel. The manager had a lot of authority. As long as the numbers were good, upper management left you alone. Bill was in his early 60’s when he decided to retire. His kids were grown. He was in good financial shape. I asked Bill what he was going to do in retirement. His response, “Play golf.” I was surprised. “That’s all.” “Yep. Play golf every day.” Bill, was in good health for a man his age. Sadly in 6 months he was dead.
The official cause of death was cardiovascular related. I believe Bill died because he didn’t have a reason to live. Imagine having a position of power and importance. You are responsible for several hundred people. People come to you for permission or your opinion. The day Bill retired that ended. There was a new manager. No one needed or cared about his opinion. Even his wife had gotten used to him being away working long hours. She could handle the house on her own. His kids lived out of state. Golf and TV can get boring. Sadly, I have seen this happen a lot to people in positions like Bill’s if they haven’t planned ahead for retirement.
We all have been blessed. We have our talents, knowledge, wealth and time. We live in the USA the freest and wealthiest country in the world. Luke 12:48 states, “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” I believe we need to use our talents, knowledge, wealth, time and to benefit others. We can all do something. Before the pandemic our YMCA in Charleston had a man in a motorized wheel chair working for them. He would collect the dirty towels in the locker rooms and perform other tasks. His positive attitude was an inspiration to everyone and reminded us of our blessings. He used his time to encourage and change the lives of others.
Gary, who I talked about last week, is visually impaired. He doesn’t sit around and bemoan his bad fortune. He uses his time and talents to help others who are visually impaired or have social anxiety issues. What are you doing with your time, talents and treasure? What if Bill had used his new-found retirement time to find ways to share his knowledge and talent. Maybe things have been different? We learned from our Las Vegas conference there are still people hurting from the pandemic in many ways. Sometimes they just need a friend who will take the time to listen. Time is an important gift we all have to help others.
Since last spring, I am amazed at the creativity and results I see from industry creating a cleaner environment. This isn’t empty talk or promises. We are seeing many different ways to lower emissions and create a cleaner world. Companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin are using cleaner fuels than NASA and are reusing their launch rockets. Coal mines are capturing methane and using it for power generation. Companies are shortening their supply chains and finding regional instead of overseas vendors. One local company is sourcing a major component from North Carolina instead of Asia. Shale Crescent USA is connecting companies with potential vendors in the region to eliminate transportation costs and emissions from foreign or distant U.S. vendors. Companies like UBQ Materials are working with companies in our region to add recycled content to their products. People are using their talents and knowledge to create a cleaner world.
At a conference last week, we heard ocean shipping pollutes more than all nations except China. It pollutes more than all of the cars in the world combined. Ocean shipping is responsible for 13% of global SOx emissions, 15% of global NOx emissions and 3% of global CO2 emissions. If ocean shipping were a country it would be the world’s #6 carbon polluter between Germany and Japan. You can fact check this information through the site www.medium.com . Ocean vessels use primarily bunker fuel, a very cheap low-grade dirty oil for power. New fuels are being developed like LNG and adding methanol to current fuels to reduce pollutants. The USA has been gifted with the ability to produce methanol and LNG. We have many blessings and the responsibility to use them and our resources wisely to help the world. Keeping important resources in the ground is not an option.
A recent Shale Crescent USA study found another way to reduce ocean pollution. The USA buys over $500 billion in products annually from China alone. These products are manufactured using middle east oil as feedstock. (over 7,000 ocean miles to China) Then shipped to the USA. (another 10- 15,000 miles) Then shipped from the coasts to people around the country. (average of 2,000 miles)
Products made with U.S. energy and feedstock in the Shale Crescent USA and shipped to consumers in the Shale Crescent USA (50% of USA’s population) have less than 1,000 miles of transportation. Consumers have choices. We can choose to buy products made in the USA and our region creating a cleaner world by eliminating ocean transportation. These products are usually better made and less expensive. U.S. companies and their employees pay taxes in the USA.
As individuals and as a nation we have been blessed with much more than most of the world. “Much will be required of the person (country) entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” We can all use our time, talent, treasure and experience to make the world cleaner and people who live in it better off. Thoughts to ponder