Friday, December 20, 2013

It's a Beautiful Morning

This is my last blog post for 2013 - time for me to sleep in a little longer than my normal 3 a.m. PT wake up time, and let my brain take in all that has gone on this past year.

I was tempted to do a summary of 2013, but that's not really necessary - all one need do is review the Blog Archive in the column to the right to get a sense of the various topics I have covered.

So no need to go through what has happened.

Besides that, I am generally an optimist. Optimists look forward. They may examine the past so as to not repeat mistakes, but there's no dwelling on the past.

But let me leave the year with some generalization.

I don't think there is any argument about what the workers' compensation industry is all about: people. Workers' compensation main mission is to take care of people. Sometimes we do a good job, sometimes we don't - but the mission doesn't change.

The only thing that changes is how we accomplish that mission.

Workers' compensation is a people business.

And it takes a lot of people with a lot of different skills, knowledge and traits to get the job done.

We require people with insurance and actuary skills; people with data analysis skills, legal skills, medical skills, and numerous other subspecialties to accomplish the main mission of making sure that when someone incurs a work injury that they are not left out in the cold.

Which brings me to my dad.

Dad hasn't died yet. I thought he would some weeks ago, but he is hanging in there. He is where I get my hyperactivity, so I understand that for him to be bed-ridden is a major life change.

Sometimes he complains, and sometimes he smiles. He is weak, he doesn't eat much, and the morphine clouds his brain. He is miserable for sure.

Most of all, though, he is grateful for the people around him: his professional caretakers, the hospice nurses and social workers, his wife...
Dad - It's a beautiful morning
I've learned a lot from my old man, that's for sure. But there is one thing that, above all else, stands out as the premium lesson from him and it is summarized in his favorite song, a song he used to sing to my brother and me when we were children in waking us every morning:

It's a beautiful morning
It's a beautiful day
The sun is shining
Everything's okay

Hear the bluebird singing
A song so true
That bluebird's singing
Good luck to you

All your troubles
Just like bubbles
Will fade away
So don't regret them
Just forget them
Today's another day!

It's a beautiful morning
It's a beautiful day
The sun is shining
Everything's okay!

This song always makes Dad smile. Still does.

And it's all about looking forward, making sure that you keep in perspective what's really important in your world.

Sure, workers' compensation plays an important role in the modern economy and society, but that role isn't really THAT important.

We argue about treatment, utilization review, indemnity, rates, premiums, medicine, law, etc.

None of that really matters.

What matters is the people. Those who call upon us to make sure their lives aren't entirely ruined by an unfortunate work event. Those who really do care about their employees and want to make sure that the system does the best it can within the confines of the law.

And those of us within the system to whom it really matters that these missions are accomplished.

I know there are bad actors out there. We deal with them as we deal with bad actors in any system. For the most part, though, we are all committed professionals dedicated to ensuring that the system that was created to protect those less fortunate than we works as well as it can.

We're not perfect. The system isn't perfect. Everyone has their own idea of how it should work, when it should work and why it should work.

But it all comes down to people.

We are a people industry with the responsibility to do well to other people.

Keep that in mind over the holidays and your 2014 will start with a beautiful morning and a beautiful day.

I'll return January 6, 2014. Happy Holidays.


  1. Dave, you mentioned that your dad still smiles at the song. I bet a BIG part of that smile is hearing his son, the little guy he sang the song to, now sings it and believes in its message. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, your family and especially to your Pop.

  2. Merry Christmas David, thank you for sharing your Dad with us and for the special little song.

    I also want to take this time to thank you with heartfelt gratitude for all that you have done for me over the last 12 months, having you write my work up opened doors where there once was only walls, I have "met" people in this industry we call workers compensation who I would otherwise not have crossed paths with.

    You are correct David this industry is about people, it is about ensuring that the best outcome for each person can be achieved and that no injured worker is over looked or left behind.

    I spent Friday packing "Bags of Love" food hampers and wrapping Christmas gifts for children who otherwise would have been without a special gift from Santa on Christmas morning.
    Each gift and hamper was packed with love and hope and prayers for a wonderful 2014.

    Again thank you David for including me into your writings.
    May you and your family have a Blessed Christmas.
    And please if I may please thank your Dad for me just for being who he is, I lost my parents many years back, I would love to hug my Dad once more on Christmas Day.

  3. Heartwarming post! Merry Christmas to you, your family, and especially your dad.