Yup, I fell back to sleep and didn’t order my watch until 4:15. So my ship date is next week at the earliest. My wife has hers and I am glad for her, but a little jealous.

I wonder at some point when this mind set will stop: when I get this one thing, it will have such a huge impact on my productivity that …. that what? That I will just think something and it will be done? Unlikely. That I will work less? Well, since for the most part, we get paid by the hour, that is not a real starter either. That I will be happy for ever and ever? Seems a little immature. The fact is that this will be like everything else, cool for a while and then assimilated into the daily routine. I will probably be more and less productive because of it. It will make me more happy briefly because it will have all sorts of cool possibilities to eliminate small annoyances. But, in the end, it is a thing.

So, speaking of happiness and unhappiness, we are seeing a lot of that in inner cities lately, based mostly on who has been killed by cops and what the justice system is doing about it. What a complicated problem. Here in Cleveland, we have two events – the Tamir Rice shooting and the Michael Brelo trial. Each could be a flash point. And by flash point, I mean a chance for irresponsible people to whip ignorant people into an emotional frenzy that accomplishes nothing but burned buildings and theft. Burning the neighborhood does not train the police better; it does not make police hiring better, and it does nothing to sift police defending themselves from police shooting boys playing with toy guns.

Protest is good. Protest makes voices heard. Protest wakes up the rest of us. Protest should be loud, sometimes raucous, and inconvenient. Shutting down streets and highways is to be expected. After Tamir Rice’s shooting, we had protests. They were all of those things. No liquor stores were looted and no drug or convenience stores were burned.

I can only conclude that this is about leadership of the protesters. It is about leadership in an aggrieved, frustrated community with little to lose. It is about some leadership that is looking for fame and glory for itself.

If you turn the protests over to those who only inflame and do not lead, you are bound for trouble. There is a large base of poor and uneducated people who have little to do and no tools to decide on an effective path to share their sense of frustration. And they are frustrated. Lousy streets, lousy stores, no opportunities, lousy schools, no safety, little to satisfy them. The reasons for this state and the solutions are large and complicated.
Are any of these folks in Baltimore better off today than a week ago? Has the rioting done anything except convince a prosecutor to charge 6 cops with crimes. And what if no cops are convicted, what then? I have not seen any “Michael Brelo” moments. Maybe there are some.

We need to do better. Cops need to be trained better. Hiring needs to be done properly. Opportunity needs to mean something more than a government check. None of that happens because the CVS is on fire. It is like going on a bender after a big disappointment. You wake up in the same place, but you just feel worse. Leadership points that out and provides a constructive path. Leadership is the head that guides the heart.