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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  1. #1 by Dane - February 9th, 2006 at 14:46

    Sorry to hear you’re feeling under the weather. I was looking forward to your Moosecamp presentation. No worries, there’s always next year.

  2. #2 by Roland Tanglao - February 9th, 2006 at 16:18

    health is most important

    we will miss you

    see you next year!

  3. #3 by Darren - February 9th, 2006 at 21:41

    Sorry you’re ailing. Take it easy.

  4. #4 by Eric Eggertson - February 10th, 2006 at 00:08

    Chris: We’ve never met, but my immune system thanks you! I posted something about your choice on my blog.

  5. #5 by dustin - February 10th, 2006 at 10:17

    Too bad, your talk was tops on my list to check out. Ah well, such is life…

  6. #6 by Kristie Wells - February 16th, 2006 at 11:41

    Yes honey – thank you for saving 100’s from your germs. I am glad I could have them all to myself. Ahhhhchew!

  7. #7 by Chris Heuer - February 22nd, 2006 at 08:38

    It just really irks me when I keep seeing sick people at conferences spreading their germs. Trouble is that it is often people I respect and like as an individual so I don’t feel comfortable saying anything about it.

    So I launched a new web site/wiki last night with the hope of spreading the message. http://www.dontspreadgerms.org/

    Maybe we can come up with a viral message to stop the spread of viral biology…

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