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Herb Was Right

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The SEAoC Listserv has hosted numerous threads discussing the
frustrations of our profession.  Darts have frequently been thrown at
other engineers, bottom-feeders, architects, contractors, developers,
manufacturers and materials suppliers, software developers, building
officials, lawmakers, government officials and agencies, code officials
and agencies, SEAoC, ASCE, CELSOC, BORPELS, anyone outside of
California, and the ever-popular "them" and "they".  I have thrown my
share of darts from time to time.  Recently, however, I came upon the
following quotation which helps to put structural engineering in a
proper perspective: 
>"Ours is a great profession. There is the fascination of watching a figment
>of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper. Then
>it moves to realization in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings jobs and
>homes to men. Then it elevates the standards of living and adds to the
>comforts of life. That is the engineer's high privilege.
>"The great liability of the engineer compared to ? other professions is that
>his works are out in the open where all can see them. His acts, step by step,
>are in hard substance. He cannot bury his mistakes in the grave like doctors.
>He cannot argue them into thin air or blame the judge like the lawyers. He
>cannot, like the architects, cover his failures with trees and vines. He
>cannot, like the politicians, screen his shortcoming by blaming his opponents
>and hoping that the people will forget.
"On the other hand, unlike the doctor, his is not a life among the weak.
> Unlike the soldier, destruction is not his purpose. Unlike the lawyer,
>quarrels are not his daily bread. To the engineer falls the job of clothing
>the bare bones of science with life, comfort and hope. No doubt, as years go
>by, people forget which engineer did it, even if they ever knew ? But the
>engineer himself looks back at the unending stream of goodness which flows
>from his successes with satisfaction that few professionals may know."

... Herbert C. Hoover, Engineer and 31st U.S. President

Isn't it a shame that we don't have a President with this sort of wisdom
and integrity today.  Oops, I guess that was yet another dart! {;^>

Stan R. Caldwell, P.E.
Dallas, Texas