I once worked for a boss who was an amazing visionary and action-driven leader. The thing that impressed me the most about her was a simple phrase she would use when any of the staff would stress about not meeting a deadline or not able to accomplish what was before them. Her simple phrase was; “No small children will die”. That’s all it was. She would listen to the complaints and excuses and quietly say, “Well, no small children will die if we do/don’t [insert issue here].” It gave the proper tone and perspective. Always. Obviously, if small children were, in fact, involved, she would make whatever it was happen to avoid that extreme tragedy but how often is that really a factor? Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in achieving a goal that we can’t see the proper perspective; the right thing to do. Sometimes, we just have to let it go.
December 1st is Portland Book Review’s two-year anniversary! It’s something I am extremely proud of and excited that we’re still going strong and moving in a positive direction with more viewers, publishing companies and authors to work with and support. Having said that, we are no longer able to print our quarterly paper. The cost is just too prohibitive. This was a decision that pained me and I kept hoping for some miraculous thing to happen, a long lost uncle to die and leave me a huge inheritance or something. Then, as I was sitting in traffic while delivering our last publication papers, it dawned on me; no small children will die if we don’t print! We’ll still survive. We can do more in other ways. We’ll be able to keep moving forward.
And speaking of small children… December 2012 has been deemed by Proclamation through Governor Kitzhaber’s office as Oregon Health Care Donation Appeal Month! What this means is that authors and all those who support authors are asked to donate to health organizations so that no small children will die; ever! That’s what truly is important.
So, my plea to you is twofold. First, donate to Doernbecher’s Children Hospital or Seattle Children’s Hospital. Donate in a loved one’s name as a gift for Christmas or, cut back on the amount you spend on Christmas and give to charities that do all they can to stop small children from dying. Second, take a break from the stresses of the holidays. Pick up a good book, find your comfy spot and just read because, let’s face it, no small children will die if you do!
M. Chris Johnson
M. Chris Johnson is the Editor in Chief at Portland Book Review.