Entries from February 2009 ↓



A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced
altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended a bit
more and shouted, ‘Excuse me, can you help me? I
promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I
don’t know where I am.’

The woman below replied, ‘You’re in a hot air
balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground.
You’re between
40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60
degrees west longitude.’

‘You must be in Information Technology,’ said the

‘I am,’ replied the woman, ‘How did you

‘Well,’ answered the balloonist, everything you
told me is technically correct, but I’ve no idea what to
make of your information and the fact is I’m still
lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all. If
anything, you’ve delayed my trip.’

The woman below responded, ‘You must be in

‘I am,’ replied the balloonist, ‘but how did
you know?’

‘Well,’ said the woman, ‘you don’t know
where you are or where you’re going. You have risen to
where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You
made a promise, which you’ve no idea how to keep, and
you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The
fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in
before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my fault.’

“The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple
of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the
ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the
extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere
monetary profit.

“Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in
the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The
joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in
the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be
worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is
not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our
fellow men.

“Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of
success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false
belief that public office and high political position are to be
valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal
profit; and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and in
business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness
of callous and selfish wrongdoing. Small wonder that confidence
languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the
sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, on unselfish
performance; without them it cannot live.”

- Franklin D. Roosevelt, U.S. President, from his first Inaugural
Address, 1933.