Tuesday, August 4, 2015

JOURNAL HIGHLIGHTS...Roads I Have Traveled: Excerpt 2 from July, 1995

Founder, Project C.U.R.E.
Author, The Happiest Man in the World: Life Lessons from a Cultural Economist



India: July, 1995, (continued):  I had another instant flashback. I was in Kenya, on one of our safaris. The guide was pointing out how the cheetahs and female lions watched the eyes and behavior patterns of the gazelles or waterbucks. The ones they picked out to ultimately attack were those with a flaw, a weakness, or a lack of confidence that could be detected.

About that time in the midst of my flashback, a couple of desperate-looking, dark-skinned Indians with shabby clothes began looking at me and my luggage with a little more interest than was com­fortable. I thought, No way. If out of desperation you’re looking for panic or lack of direction in my eyes, you’ll have to find it in some of the other passengers’ eyes.I walked straight for an abandoned luggage cart in the street, placed my two bags on the cart, as if it had been planned for a year, and then turned the baggage cart back toward the terminal and the crowd. There was another entrance to the terminal, but it was blocked by Indian police. I pushed my way through the crowd, smiled, gave a hand gesture to the police, and walked past them back into the building. I wasn’t supposed to go back in there once I had left the security area, but I had to return to the beginning of the line of placard holders and start over again. 

By now a lot of people were coming out of customs. I searched the line again, but nothing. I backed my luggage cart up against a wall, put my foot on it, and nonchalantly studied the crowd. Over an hour passed. No one. So this was Madras, India, city of ten million? The only thing you can predict about desperate people is that they are unpredictable. I decided to stay in the building for the time being. Several other tattered folk came close, looked over my luggage, sized me up, and moved on. Where in the world was Browning? 

In the crowd, pushed up against the fence but with no placard, were a kindly appearing gentleman and his wife, both about sixty-five or seventy years old. They looked European or American enough. I pushed my cart again through the crowd, right up behind the couple. I reached over a row of short Indians and laid my hand on the old man’s shoulder. 

“You aren’t Mr. Browning, are you?”
“No, I’m Mr. Selz, from Utah, USA.”

“I’m Jackson from Colorado. We’re kind of neighbors when you consider that we are halfway around the world and in time zones they determine in thirty-minute intervals.”

We chatted awhile. He and his wife were Mormons from Salt Lake City and were just finishing their fifteenth month of an eighteen-month mission to Madras. They were at the airport to pick up another older couple needing to fulfill their missionary work for the LDS (Latter-day Saints).

I mentioned my predicament and asked for his advice on a good hotel near the airport, in case my situation came down to my needing a hotel.

He said, “I would definitely tell you the Trident Hotel. You could take a taxi from that stand over there. They will take American dollars for the fare.”
 
About that time, their anticipated couple arrived out of the customs area. We hollered at each other, and they disappeared into the crowd. Another twenty minutes went by. I looked back out the window onto the street. There was a bus just arriving that had Trident Hotel written on the side. I left my baggage cart and quickly went back out past the police and onto the street. I waved at the Trident driver. He stopped and got out of the bus. I told him my name was Jackson, and I needed a ride to the Trident. 

As he was putting my bags into the bus, a young Indian fellow called him over to the side, and my ears flapped when I heard the name Jackson. The young man came onto the bus where I was sitting, stuck out his hand, and said, “Jackson?”

I said, “Yes. Are you Mr. Browning?”

“No, my name is Benny. Mr. Browning could not make it, so Samuel asked if I would meet you. but I didn’t know how I was going to meet you.”

Then he went on to tell me, “I already made reservations for you at the Trident Hotel, and I knew if I waited for you to get on the Trident bus, I would be able to meet you.”

I didn’t even bother to ask him how he thought I was supposed to know that there ever existed a hotel by the name of Trident before I met Mr. Selz. It was impossible that Benny would have known that I would be getting on that bus!  But the next thing he said still had me wondering.

“You were the first person to come out of customs security, weren’t you? I saw you but did not expect you to come out first.  I just watched you. You were so confident, and it appeared that you knew what you were doing and where you were going. You looked like you had a plan, and I guess I was looking for someone lost and in a panic.”

I thought, Oh boy, maybe sometimes those gazelles and waterbucks need to be eaten!

Benny did not stay at the hotel. He was going to stay at his sister and brother-in-law’s place about an hour away from Madras. I didn’t know when Benny finally got to bed, but by the time I got checked into the hotel, it was about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. I went to my room, and there was fresh fruit and biscuits on a small table. So when the attendant came up with my bags, I ordered a pot of hot tea. Two o’clock in the morning or not, it was time to relax with a good cup of tea.

Next Week: India’s Creative Use of Dialysis Machines

© Dr. James W. Jackson   
Permissions granted by Winston-Crown Publishing House
  
www.jameswjackson.com   

Dr. James W. Jackson often describes himself as "The Happiest Man in the World." A successful businessman, award-winning author and humanitarian, Jackson is also a renowned Cultural Economist and international consultant, helping organizations and governments to apply sound economic principals to the transformation of culture so that everyone is "better off."

As the founder of Project C.U.R.E., Dr. Jackson traveled to more than one hundred fifty countries assessing healthcare facilities, meeting with government leaders and "delivering health and hope" in the form of medical supplies and equipment to the world's most needy people. Literally thousands of people are alive today as a direct result of the tireless efforts of Project C.U.R.E.'s staff, volunteers and Dr. Jackson. 

To contact Dr. Jackson, or to book him for an interview or speaking engagement: press@winstoncrown.com

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

JOURNAL HIGHLIGHTS... Roads I Have Traveled Excerpt # 1 from July 1995

Founder, Project C.U.R.E.
Author, The Happiest Man in the World: Life Lessons from a Cultural Economist


(I have been traveling extensively internationally since 1978. It is always dangerous. I was told one time that desperate people in foreign countries do not see you as black or white, but they see you as green; the color of money. You have what they desperately need and you are vulnerable. So many times I have had to depend on God to rescue me, although I did not always understand how he did it! I share this example of India with you.)

India: July, 1995: India’s population of one billion people amounts to about one-sixth of the world’s entire population. Yet it is only one-third the size of the United States. But why should Project C.U.R.E. get concerned about India? Good question! Perhaps it is because there are over four million people there with leprosy. Perhaps, it is because over one million Indian toddlers die yearly of malnutrition. Or maybe it’s because 80 percent of Indian new­borns are now expected to be HIV positive. How is that for justification?


About a year and a half ago my son, Dr. William Douglas Jackson, was introduced through his friend Dave Sattler to an energetic, young Indian man named Samuel Stevens. Doug was living in San Diego at the time, and Samuel, a long-time friend of Dave’s, had traveled to Califor­nia on a speaking tour. During Doug’s meeting with Samuel, Doug told him about Project C.U.R.E. and the exciting things that were happening with donated medical goods be­ing sent around the world. Samuel was overwhelmed. He was involved in trying desperately to refurbish two antiquated hospitals in India and build out of nothing one brand new hospital.

The trip to India was then planned and coordinated between Samuel and Project C.U.R.E. for July 9 through 21.

The first segment of the trip took me from Denver to San Francisco on United flight 405. At 2:05 a.m., I boarded Singapore Airlines flight 001 from San Francisco. My route would take me to Singapore via Hong Kong. The flight segment from San Francisco to Hong Kong was over fourteen hours, and then another three-plus hours from Hong Kong to Singapore. A same-seat trip in excess of seventeen hours gets to be kind of long. From Singapore I boarded Malaysia Airlines flight 622, which would take me to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, north of Singapore about one hour’s flight time. From Kuala Lumpur, I again changed planes to head for Madras, India.

An interesting thing happened just before takeoff. The captain of the flight came on the intercom and announced that flight time from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Madras would take just over three hours. Then he said something I had never heard before: “There is a two-and-a-half-hour time change from departure point to arrival.” It was now 9:40 p.m. The captain continued, “You may set your watches to 7:10 p.m. Madras, India, time.”

Perhaps my body could handle thirty-minute incremental time changes … or maybe not. I thought I was programmed for sixty-minute time-zone changes. I had been notified by letter prior to my leaving Colorado that a Mr. Browning would be meeting me in Madras. The letter stated that I would probably not like arriving in Ma­dras for the first time without being met by some friendly face. So I was anticipating walking out of the secured customs area and seeing a friendly person carrying a small placard saying, “Welcome to India, James Jackson.”

When the plane landed, I grabbed my two carry-on bags and headed for immigration control. I was second in line, not bad for a crowded flight on a huge extended Airbus model-400 aircraft. Oh yes, and there was another advantage of not checking in luggage. After leaving immigration I did not have to wait for the luggage to be unloaded from the plane but went straight to the customs line, where they looked at my honest counte­nance and waved me right through without checking anything.

Well, I was at least five to ten minutes outside the customs door before anyone else from the flight even appeared. I entered the unsecured area where the disembarkers (I would use the word debarkers, but it sounds so K-9) were separated from the eager throng of excited family members and friends. As was almost always the case, there was a fence separating the crowd from the arriving passengers. Pressed up against the fence and hanging over the fence were the people carrying the signs welcoming those who were arriving.

I was the first through the line. My eyes raced over the crowd and along the fence now to spot my name and the friendly face. Then I had an instant flashback. About two weeks earlier, Anna Marie asked just what I would do if I went to some country, and no one knew about my arrival and things grew hostile? I remembered tell­ing her with a smile, “No worry, baby. If I have a return ticket and a credit card, I’ll make it home just fine.” Dummy! Now I was thinking about that and not smiling.

The waiting crowd with signs extended out through the doors and the airport lobby and into the street area outside. It was past midnight. Ours was the last flight. I was quickly outside, into the street, and no sign, no Mr. Browning, no smiling face. Now I was out where the beggars and lepers lined the concrete, and lots of people were sleeping on the sidewalks and streets. I had another instant flashback. I was in Kenya, on one of our safaris. The guide was pointing out how the cheetahs and female lions watched the eyes and behavior patterns of the gazelles or waterbucks. The ones they picked out to ultimately attack were those with a flaw, a weakness, or a lack of confidence that could be detected.

About that time in the midst of my flashback, a couple of desperate-looking, dark-skinned Indians with shabby clothes began looking at me and my luggage with a little more interest than was com­fortable.

Next Week: Where is Mr. Browning?


© Dr. James W. Jackson   
Permissions granted by Winston-Crown Publishing House

 
Dr. James W. Jackson often describes himself as "The Happiest Man in the World." A successful businessman, award-winning author and humanitarian, Jackson is also a renowned Cultural Economist and international consultant, helping organizations and governments to apply sound economic principals to the transformation of culture so that everyone is "better off."

As the founder of Project C.U.R.E., Dr. Jackson traveled to more than one hundred fifty countries assessing healthcare facilities, meeting with government leaders and "delivering health and hope" in the form of medical supplies and equipment to the world's most needy people. Literally thousands of people are alive today as a direct result of the tireless efforts of Project C.U.R.E.'s staff, volunteers and Dr. Jackson. 

To contact Dr. Jackson, or to book him for an interview or speaking engagement: press@winstoncrown.com

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

JOURNAL HIGHLIGHTS: Roads I Have Traveled... Excerpt # 4 from March, 1995

Founder, Project C.U.R.E.
Author, The Happiest Man in the World: Life Lessons from a Cultural Economist


Israel: March, 1995, (continued): About midway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem was an Israeli Armored Corps museum. Shaul, having spent over thirty years in the national army or reserves, insisted that we visit the museum. Actually, it was extremely interesting. They had collected an example of almost all of the different types of armored tanks that they had used defensively or that had been used against them in war. They started out with samples of the war chariots of Joshua and the kings of Judah, the chariots of the Egyptian pharaohs, and the chariots of the Romans. Then, in the historic progression, they had displayed a working model of Leonardo da Vinci’s tank plans designed over five hundred years ago. Physically lined up in rows were over 120 actual armored tanks, including the French Hotchkiss, the US Sherman tank, the Russian T-72 battle tank, and the highest-tech tank of all, the Israeli Merkava tank, affectionately called the Israeli Chariot tank. Other tanks came from Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Italy, and various allied forces. 


In a display fashioned much like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., the Israelis had listed all the armored tank personnel who had been killed in battles. The time was well spent as an educational aid to better understand Israel’s war history, especially since 1948.

Another display that was designed to help the world better understand Israel and keep from forgetting Israel’s struggles was the Holocaust History Museum, located just outside Jerusalem. We spent the next two and a half hours visiting that facility. They had done such a great job of documenting the atrocities of the Holocaust that it really was a physically draining experience as we went through the facility. It documented the sequence of events beginning about 1931. I won’t try to describe here the events or my emotions in reaction to the displays, except to say that the memorial certainly underscored the extremes to which any civilization could go when it runs amuck of God’s eternal plan for humanity. What a frightening shame!

Even though our appetites were not exactly stimulated following the visit to the Holocaust museum, we did go to lunch. Shaul knew of a quaint Jewish restaurant in Jerusalem that served us a very delightful lunch.

Next on the agenda was a list of sites we had reviewed at lunch that I told Shaul I would like Jay to see. I absolutely wanted him to see the Mount of Olives, the chapel on the Mount of Olives, the garden of Gethsemane, the different stations on the Via Dolorosa (the “way of suffering”), the Dome of the Rock, the Wailing Wall, Calvary, the tomb, the different gates of Jerusalem, and anything else we could see in Jerusalem while the sun was shining. My report is that we got it all accomplished, plus a little more, but we certainly walked fast, listened quickly, and kept on movin’.  


All day I kicked myself for not taking a professional tour on Monday just for Jay’s sake. Shaul is such an old-line Hebrew that even though he could be credited for being a good sport and taking us to all the Christian spots of meaning and importance, we received no commentary and, in fact, had to search for all the locations because he was so unfamiliar with any of the Christian locations. I really appreciated his desire to help us even though he appeared to be very uncomfortable at some of the strictly Christian memorials. He was, however, very good at filling us in about Israel’s history from 1948 on. We never could have gotten the perspective any other way on the details of the 1967 war except from a commander who led his troops in through the gates to free Jerusalem.

March 22 is my birthday. Birthdays ought to be a little laid back. At breakfast Jay took my napkin and designed a birthday card for me incorporating the Grand Beach Hotel, Tel Aviv, Israel, logo into his card. He told me that he had waited nine years to be able to hand-design a birthday card and present it to me while we were in a foreign country.

He reminded me that I had taken him with me to London, where we were robbed of our passports, train tickets, airline tickets, credit cards, all our money, all our identification, all our everything, and we were left to our creativity and God’s grace to find our way back home. Actually, it was quite fortunate that we were not killed during the incident. But there we were in that stranded predicament … and it was Jay’s twentieth birthday. I could not even buy him a birthday card, so I took a paper napkin and designed a birthday card, told him what a great son he was, and wished him future happiness.

This time we were together not in London but in Tel Aviv, and it was my turn to receive the napkin birthday card. We laughed and reminisced and thanked God for all his traveling mercies.

At 10:00 a.m., Shaul arrived at the hotel. Today was to be our last day of scheduled meetings with health-care people and hospital administrators. At the hospital we toured the comprehensive Pediatric Services Building. Assaf Harofeh Medical Center provides a very unique program of medicine, special education, and rehabilitation for children with developmental problems and cerebral palsy. I was very impressed with the dedication and qualifications of the staff people. They are doing such a great job even though they are horribly overloaded with children and the facilities are housed in old buildings and are physically quite inadequate.

Next we assessed the hematology and oncology units that were housed in a separate multistory building and appeared to be less than ten years old. In our opinion, that department is doing quite well right now. Just down the road was the building that houses the emergency department. Approximately 116,000 patients were treated in that facility in 1994 alone. It needed help. It was probably the most overworked department we assessed, next to the laboratory department.

The intensive care unit was the last department we visited. It was housed in the large hospital center and was one of the finest I had visited.

With our Needs Assessment Study completed, it was time for our luncheon meeting at the director’s office. The meeting included Shaul, Jay, me, Dr. Yigal Halperin, and Dr. Mordechai Waron, the hospital’s director. Dr. Mordechai Waron has served at the hospital for nearly thirty-five years. He was the doctor who had taken over the military facility from the British and started the fourteen-bed hospital in an open army barracks building. The hospital today stands as a great testimony to the dedication and drive of Dr. Waron.

The meeting had some interesting twists. Where some of the middle-management people had been concerned about the age of equipment, expiration dates, and so forth, Dr. Waron brushed all that aside, and for about one hour pleaded with us to help him.

I began to see why the hospital had made such strides in the allotted time. He really has a passion for the mission of the hospital. He explained the precarious situation of the national health-care system that had absorbed over 750,000 Russian immigrants just since 1991. He talked about needing over two million dollars this year to maintain equipment status quo with the growth and patient overload and only $100,000 to cover the need. Dr. Waron was a great presenter of the big picture, and when we finished I could not help but feel compelled to come alongside his hospital and help him and our wonderful Israeli friends!

© Dr. James W. Jackson  
Permissions granted by Winston-Crown Publishing House
  


Dr. James W. Jackson often describes himself as "The Happiest Man in the World." A successful businessman, award-winning author and humanitarian, Jackson is also a renowned Cultural Economist and international consultant, helping organizations and governments to apply sound economic principals to the transformation of culture so that everyone is "better off."

As the founder of Project C.U.R.E., Dr. Jackson traveled to more than one hundred fifty countries assessing healthcare facilities, meeting with government leaders and "delivering health and hope" in the form of medical supplies and equipment to the world's most needy people. Literally thousands of people are alive today as a direct result of the tireless efforts of Project C.U.R.E.'s staff, volunteers and Dr. Jackson. 

To contact Dr. Jackson, or to book him for an interview or speaking engagement: press@winstoncrown.com

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

JOURNAL HIGHLIGHTS: Roads I Have Traveled. . . Excerpt # 3 from March, 1995

Founder, Project C.U.R.E.
Author, The Happiest Man in the World: Life Lessons from a Cultural Economist


Israel: March, 1995, ( cont.) At 8:00 a.m., Shaul arrived at the hotel and assured us that he would find something at the hospital that would take care of Jay’s stomach problem. 

The hospital was about a half-hour drive from our hotel in Tel Aviv and was located just off the freeway to Jerusalem. It was situated on a sixty-acre parcel, and until as recently as 1989, the complex consisted primarily of Quonset huts and army barracks built in the 1930s. Some of the departments still functioned in the old buildings, like the radiology department, the geriatrics facilities, and all the labs. Recently, however, the hospital had raised enough money to construct very modern and superbly adequate facilities for their various departments, including surgical, pediatrics, dialysis, and urology. The only operations that were not now performed at the hospital were open-heart surgeries.

The name of the hospital was Assaf Harofeh Medical Center (pronounced “asof haro-fey”). Shaul informed us that for defensive reasons the hospital was spread out over sixty acres. One enemy Scud missile might take out one-fourth of the complex but was very unlikely to shut down the entire facility. Historically, the old Quonset huts and barracks hospital had been a military hospital, and now, even though it was run by the separate hospital administration, it still served over eighteen thousand Israel soldiers annually.

Shaul first drove us around the sixty acres, and then later we walked through most of the hospital complex. Of course, Project C.U.R.E.’s being there dictated that Shaul show us every bad situation that needed to be corrected and necessitated our meeting with every doctor and department that could use special help. The tour we got was very different, I’m sure, from the PR tour that most folks received.

Even though the older sections of the hospital reminded me of hundreds of other third-world hospitals we had visited, this eight-hundred-bed hospital definitely could not be considered a third-world facility. Most of the hospital was absolutely first-world class, and some departments were equipped as well as, or better than, some of the hospitals in Denver.

At 11:30 our meeting took place in Shaul’s office. He had arranged for three of the hospital’s decision makers to be present. First was Gaon Chai. He was the chief engineer and had been at the hospital for eighteen years, which placed him there for many years while it was still solely a military hospital. He knew the hospital and the equipment inside out. Then there were two men who were in charge of the ordering and handling of the medical goods used by the hospital. Their names were Semion Shamir and Arik Zipori. Just as Jay and I had been prewarned, all three men were defensive about the Americans coming and dumping old and inferior medical goods on them.

After our introductions, Shaul asked me to tell them about Project C.U.R.E. and how it came about that we were in Israel. I started out by telling them that we had come to make personal inspections of the facilities so that we would know firsthand the condition and needs of the hospital. I told them that I personally did not see many things they had need of, so we would continue to send our warehouse inventories where there was true desperation. I let them know how much I respected them individually and what they had done to build their fine hospital in the recent past.

With that approach I could feel them start to relax. They appreciated it when I told them that they could rest assured that Project C.U.R.E. would never send them anything that they could not use and would end up storing down at the end of some hallway, when there were at least ten other hospitals that could truly put it to use.

That approach seemed to put the shoe on the other foot, and now they began selling me on what they needed and how badly they needed it. I later agreed that perhaps Project C.U.R.E. might have some things in the future that their hospital might use. But totally missing from the conversation were the feelings of gratitude and relief and hope expressed so many times by the doctors in Africa, South America, and Russia who really, truly had nothing.

About two-thirds of the way through our meeting, I introduced the idea that if Project C.U.R.E. brought updated equipment to them, then they would donate their replaced equipment to us to take elsewhere to some needy hospital or clinic. To my surprise, they were very resistant to that idea of giving their old equipment away to someone less fortunate. Their answer was, “Oh no, we couldn’t just give those to you.”

Our meeting adjourned, to be taken back up at lunch, which was to be served in the hospital’s private dining room. We were joined there by our friend Dr. Yigal Halperin, the associate director of the hospital, and Dr. Waron (pronounced “varon”), one of the other administrators.

Our conversation continued, and the engineer, Gaon Chai, looked at me and asked me, “Why are you doing this?”

I had a ten-minute, undisturbed opportunity to tell him about who I used to be, and because of a changed heart and head, I had vowed to spend the rest of my life helping people in need rather than pursuing a greedy life of personal accumulation. I felt like Jesus was right next to me helping me to say the right things in a manner Gaon could understand. Before we left the lunch table, we reviewed and summarized our discussion for the benefit of Dr. Yigal and Dr. Waron. 

It was good to have Jay on the trip with me. We were able to discuss and reflect on the meetings we had and the things we had seen. Quite frankly, for me the jury is still out on what course of action Project C.U.R.E. should follow. I did not see desperate need in Israel, and Project C.U.R.E., I believe, has been raised up to help meet desperate need. However, these are God’s chosen people, and if God is engineering the association with the people from Assaf Harofeh hospital, then I certainly want to be sensitive to how all those details might fit together.

Next Week: Understanding Israel

© Dr. James W. Jackson  
Permissions granted by Winston-Crown Publishing House
  

Dr. James W. Jackson often describes himself as "The Happiest Man in the World." A successful businessman, award-winning author and humanitarian, Jackson is also a renowned Cultural Economist and international consultant, helping organizations and governments to apply sound economic principals to the transformation of culture so that everyone is "better off."

As the founder of Project C.U.R.E., Dr. Jackson traveled to more than one hundred fifty countries assessing healthcare facilities, meeting with government leaders and "delivering health and hope" in the form of medical supplies and equipment to the world's most needy people. Literally thousands of people are alive today as a direct result of the tireless efforts of Project C.U.R.E.'s staff, volunteers and Dr. Jackson. 

To contact Dr. Jackson, or to book him for an interview or speaking engagement: press@winstoncrown.com