Chairman's Message: Nothing is Perfect, but Compromise Has to be Done

Words: Paul Oldham

Paul Oldham, MCAA Chairman

  So I was at the end of my day the other day and finishing up my “kid-Uber” routes for the day, and the news on the radio was talking about the supply chain issues and how that was going to affect Christmas gifts availability. My youngest Parker was my last “Uber” fare for the night, and he was listening like he normally does. It amazes me how much he picks up and analyzes at the age of twelve. He said, “Dad, why do people need to buy Christmas gifts so early? It’s only the first of November?” I told him Christmas and the holiday season, in general, is different from the other holidays during the year.   He noted that stores have already had Christmas trees that have been up for weeks before Halloween. I told him that the idea of Christmas and Thanksgiving in the United States brings cheer and positive thoughts to us for most people. The feeling that we get with the stories, music, and the act of giving. Most people like that feeling and try to grab onto it as soon as they can. It is a warming feeling and, for most people, a time to reflect on being thankful for what we have. We are being thankful for what we have. As Parker and I discussed this topic further, we both commented on how great it would be with as much decisiveness, anger, and disagreement that exists today. Hopefully, we can all come together this holiday season and be thankful and respectful to each other. Understand and respect that we will have differences of opinion, find common ground, and admit that we have a great way of living here in the United States of America. Is it perfect? No, but nothing is perfect.  We can always improve and look at ways to improve, but compromise has to be done.  Our founding fathers came to this land to create something different, and they all compromised on what that looked like with creating the Constitution. I’m not sure where that has gotten lost over the years. We, as contractors, compromise all the time. Every contract that we sign and perform is shaped by compromise. I have yet to see a project that is not full of grey. We compromise with our clients and suppliers every day. We compromise with the employees of our companies on an hourly basis.   Compromise is the reason that the infrastructure of our country gets built. We would know that we are the boots on the ground, the essential workers, and part of the backbone of this country. I heard Newt Gingrich talk about when he was Speaker of the House, and on the first day of each new session, both sides' leadership would sit around a table and make a list of subjects each wanted to work on. Then they would go line by line and decide which ones they felt they could both compromise on and focus on, knowing that it had to be done with a compromise for anything to get done and done for the people. Hopefully, sooner than later, our elected officials can return to the understanding that we can start electing those who do. The results of the CMU Check-Off program should be known by the time this edition of the magazine is published.  No matter the outcome, I/ Mason Contractors across the country hope that if it does pass that all of our industry will accept and support that outcome, and if it does not pass that our industry comes back together and works on compromise, and finds a way to collectively move the needle for our Industry forward and get back to stronger, more sustainable buildings that we produce. Lisa and I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and look forward to seeing everyone in mid-January at the Convention.
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