Hard choices come down to values…

I was supposed to be leaving this evening for Northern Voice 2006 in Vancouver, but I have finally succumbed to the fact that I should not go. Yesterday evening, the occasional hacking cough went deeper and now today I am running a slight fever with body aches and general tiredness.

The importance of this great blogging conference is high for me – not only is it a chance to see friends I have not connected with personally for many months, but I was also planning on debuting a very early release of our BrainJams Unconference Community during my talk at MooseCamp tomorrow morning. On both a personal and professional level, I can not begin to tell you how disappointed I am that I will not be there. One of the worst things at the moment is that my head keeps telling me I am good enough to go, and I do indeed feel better at the moment, but my heart says I should stay home…

Normally, like many others I know, I would still go to this conference. However, I have made a commitment to myself to live from principle centered leadership – and stopping the spread of germs is a principle that has begun to mean a lot to me as I see more and more people playing the role of martyr in the work place, riding public transportation and going into work, spreading their illness to countless others. In this age of potential flu pandemics, in a world that is wired as it is, there is no reason, however compelling, to put myself on an airplane and attend a conference, further spreading the germs that inhabit my body – especially with the chance of getting my friends sick.

I respect them and myself too much to let this spread further – so off to bed I go, for rest and recovery, even though choosing not to go means I am also pissing away several hundred dollars (US) for the hotel and airfare costs.

I don’t hold any bad feelings for anyone (especially friends) who may have done this recently themselves – I just wish more people would make the hard choice and stay home, despite the perceived social/business value of going out into the world while sick. Personally, I feel bad enough about having gone out yesterday not realizing I was actually sick – so to the friends I saw yesterday down in Palo Alto, my sincerest apologies to you, I hope you have good health and avoid this nasty bug.

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