In a hand-written, very personal and heart-wrenching letter to fans last month, singer-songwriter Fiona Apple canceled the South American portion of her current tour, a total of 12 concerts. Her 13-year-old dog, Janet, has Addison’s disease and a chest tumor.
Many times in life, in business, in politics, we have to make difficult decisions. Many times the issue involves money, and we have been imbued with the idea that almost anything can be put aside for its pursuit. As this case of Ms. Apple and her dog Janet illustrates, some folks have that clear-headed drive to do the right thing, financial consideration be damned. Now, Fiona Apple has a lucrative – although not by any means prolific – career as a singer-songwriter, and the option to forgo income would be easier for her than for someone who would be at risk of losing a job – not an option in the current economy.
My wife and I are on our third generation of dogs now, and can fully attest that each dog has been a family member and best friend. They are missed as family members when they are gone, and their pictures are displayed in our home along with their human counterparts. Like Ms. Apple baking Tilapia for Janet, my wife made scrambled eggs for our first dog, August, who had developed a large abdominal tumor.
But returning to politics and reason: the current debate over the so-called “Fiscal cliff” requires difficult decisions, but no one is willing to make them. Some people are going to pay more in taxes, and some are going to have to wait longer to enroll in Medicare. Each party accuses the other of not bargaining in good faith. But the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (Simpson-Bowles commission) and the Gang of Six (now Eight) have approached the problem in a bipartisan manner. We have seen some encouraging signs of reason: Republicans Saxby Chambliss, Lindsey Graham, and Eric Cantor have showed a willingness to consider revenues. Perhaps these legislators will, like Fiona Apple, risk their future viability for the good of the country.
You can read excellent accounts of Fiona Apple’s story here:
From The Atlantic: http://bit.ly/S7MXYW
From the Daily Mail Online: http://bit.ly/WjY9Bx