Saturday, October 31, 2009

c'est la vie

Well, yippee kai yay little doggies! I just had the good fortune of spending five days in France (mostly in Paris but 36 hours in Normandy as well)...and once again had a wonderful time...Paris is all at once wonderful and horrific...the food, landscape and setting is the former and the traffic, signage and expense the latter...but I for one want to go on record and give you my view of our dear French friends...

...I really don't know where the French and the American relationship went astray...because it really has been my experience in a few visits to France that we have more common interests than differences...and that we have many reasons to want to get along...OK now don't go getting your coullotes in a bunch...because I know there are some legitimate points of disagreement...but all in all I actually enjoy the French a great deal...and here are just a few reasons why:

1) They are really really smart. I have had the opportunity to speak to some French and let me just say that they are well educated, articulate, thoughtful and earnest. And I really enjoy being around smart people.

2) They enjoy a high quality of life. From their roads (sans litter!) to their cuisine to their bike share program to their monuments and common areas, they really have got it going on. Now, I know what is paying for all of this, but let me observe that the results are c'est magnifique.)

3) They know their history. I didn't say it was all worth knowing, but there is really an appreciation for the past in France, and how it has meaning (good and bad) for the present and the future. We could really use more of this attitude in the states.

4) They appreciate respect, civility and courtesy. There are times in France that I am really struck with how it reminds me of my grandparents treated conversations and discussions (albeit from Portugal and not France). But there was a level of honest inquiry, the process having value and not only the answers, a willingness to listen and to argue points fairly, and do this with a sense of dignity that I don't often see in America.

Now before you go getting all worried about me packing it in and moving to "gay Paree" there really are too many obstacles in life (way too many) to get me to ever consider such an action...but my trip there has once again left me with a deep personal impression that there is much we need to learn in the States...and yes, we do a great many things well but some things certainly need improvement...and it has been a good reminder to me of some quality of life issues I need to think deeply has been a good trip so far...and I look forward to a return in the next year or so...and a desire to travel to the country more beyond Paris...

...So what was I doing in Paris?...well, I was asked by some dear friends who have lived there for many years if I would come and speak on entrepreneurship...and they have formed a wonderful new association called Coherence...see so let me impress you now with the title of my remarks:

L’entrepreneur aujourd’hui :évolution, défis et opportunités

So I will be posting my lectures for you on this site...if you want to read more...but for now I will simply say au revoir!

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