Reflections on 9/11

I’ll wrap up my outdoor lighting series tomorrow, but this morning I have a few thoughts related to 9/11 that I wanted to process.

The other day I was listening to a podcast where the hosts were discussing the impact of major world events.

One suggested that 9/11, coupled with the growth of the Internet, gave rise to conspiracy theory culture. Sounds plausible.

While I’m not qualified to unpack that idea, I do see an increase in skepticism, cynicism and defensiveness. I see that because I’ve seen that in myself.

It’s easy to be a critic, isn’t it?

We’ll see a decent amount of 9/11 coverage today, but do you know what will consume airwaves and Internet chatter?

Football. True. It was an amazing weekend of football.

Football has birthed a whole industry based on the idea of being a critic. We have a great name for it …

Monday Morning Quarterback.

We have become experts at being fake experts. If you switched back and forth between sports radio stations in Dallas and New York this morning, you would hear more “expert analysis” than you’d know how to process.

I’m not trying to be mean. I just think it’s funny. Maybe a little sad.

Let me shift this back to a more personal idea.

I was with someone recently who has decades of experience in his field. He was ranting about the ignorance and ineptitude he’s witnessed. He prides himself in learning and growing and understanding core issues. That’s great.

But he said something that made me cringe. Of his colleagues he said, “I could embarrass any one of them.” He meant in an argument or debate.

That hit me. Because I realized how often I can treat a conversation like it’s a win/lose. And I like to win.

As I learn and grow in my craft as contractor and builder, I feel the temptation to get cynical and critical of others in my industry. Multiple times a week, I’m scratching my head saying, “Why are we doing it this way?” or “Why don’t we do it that way?”

The more I learn about building science and high performance construction, I am shocked by the low standards in my industry. I regularly see what should qualify as malpractice.

I place a high value on curiosity. I’m constantly learning. I want to grow, get better, do things “right.”

But curiosity isn’t a license for arrogance.

Curiosity needs to be bundled with humility and generosity.

I’ve learned better ways to do things. But it is humbling to think about the ways I’ve done it wrong. I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

I’m willing to be generous towards myself. I want to — need to — extend that generosity to others.

I’m here to be a voice for good. To influence positive change. That’s why I write this email every day.

Remember the Dos Equis guy and his, “Stay thirsty my friends.”? Indulge me and imagine him wrapping this up for me:

Stay curious.

Stay humble.

Stay generous my friends.



Posted in
Scroll to Top