December 31, 2005
More Lessons in Charleston
This is my fourth Renaissance Weekend since being invited in 2003. Ego suppression and exchanging ideas is the order of each day. I really like the fact that the participants are expected to wear nametags with your first name written large, and your last name underneath written smaller along with where you live. Everyone has to wear them. Superlawyers like Richard Thornburgh, Theodore Sorensen and Alan Dershowitz appear at 100 paces as "Dick", "Ted", and "Alan". Apollo 13 astronaut CDR James A. Lovell is "Jim". And Dr. Ruth is just "Ruth Westheimer - New York, New York." Also, a guy named "Bill" from Chappaqua, New York finally showed up. He talked to small groups of people for hours about new projects he's working on--notably a global initiative on reducing costs of medical treatment for AIDS. The guy's a rock star with a nearly religious following here. Even the Republicans here like him.
There seem to be 3 rules at Renaissance: (1) you can talk about anything--but you can't yell, or attack personalities, (2) discussion is non-partisan, and (3) "no selling" (although a little hustling's been known to happen). If you are a lawyer, or you are competitive, non-ego driven discussions of "light--not heat" are a refreshing change. I will try to remember that in 2006. The vast majority of these folks at this gathering are genuinely accomplished. Liberal or conservative (both are strongly represented), famous or not (and most like yours truly are not), they set an example of overall professionalism and civility I have not seen in a long time. It's a pleasure to be here.
Happy New Year.
Posted by JD Hull at December 31, 2005 12:31 PM