Author, The Happiest Man in the World: Life Lessons from a Cultural Economist
I remember being told when I was just a little kid that one of these days your whole life will suddenly flash before your eyes. I decided there and then that I was going to make sure that it was well worth watching!
I also recall from one of my classes at the university that in order for a happening or situation to become a living adventure you somewhere down the line have to recount it. Where I was born, where I lived, and where I have been is probably not too important. But what I have done with all the time and all the collected information of my lifetime probably should be of interest. Steve Jobs of Apple fame used to say that the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do it. I believe that Project C.U.R.E. has, indeed, changed its world.
From the very beginning of Project C.U.R.E., I felt impressed . . . almost like a thumb in my back . . . to try to capture the story and document the facts by keeping a careful and faithful journal of the endeavors of Project C.U.R.E. I felt compelled to write down the chronological flow of events while in motion so that the indisputable miracles would be substantiated by written narrative and photographic evidence of the times, and not reconstructed later by relying on lukewarm memory and salvaged bits of souvenirs.
I asked for help from God with the task and he has been faithful to me with the journal-keeping from the beginning until about 2008, when it was required of me to stop the pace of international travel. I have spent hundreds of hours on airplanes, boats, trains, helicopters, and in the strangest of places around the world, writing down words on computer keyboards and pads of paper. Those writings documented the names of places, people, and descriptions of events that permanently recorded the fascinating phenomenon of Project C.U.R.E. It became commonplace to find myself writing while stranded in a cheap hotel in Da Nang, Vietnam, with the ravaging flood waters preventing me from even leaving the building, or to still be writing down words in the darkest African night while sitting in my tent in the heart of Tanzania, a pen in one hand and a flickering oil lantern in the other hand.
Before the start of each trip, I would pray specifically that God would give me wisdom and favor: favor with the people where I would be working in the foreign locations, and wisdom from God to be at the right place at the right time saying the right things to the right people.
In places like North Korea, Cuba, northern Pakistan, Afghanistan, Beirut, or Iraq, I would have to be careful and hide my writings in my belongings so that my written observations would not be discovered during searches of my bags and held against me as spy material. I had to be equally careful with respect to the thousands of photographs which I have taken in my attempts to further substantiate my written findings.
It was my goal to have each journal entry finished in narrative form by the time the landing wheels of the passenger jet touched the tarmac of Denver’s airport. If I allowed one day lapse before I had written it all down, I would lose some of the sharp details of the trip. So, on long international flights, I would be the guy at night in the economy section with the cabin light on trying to finish my assignment.
Now we are preparing to publish all twenty-five years’ of narrative travel journals. It is going to be a huge endeavor, and will necessitate several volumes. This will be as close to the actual accounting of the history of Project C.U.R.E. available anywhere. Reading these original, un-cut journals will allow my friends to travel with me to thousands of locations worldwide and be a part of the philosophical and logistical development of the first quarter-century of the organization.
I have written books and articles based on stories from the travel journals, but none of those writings can give the progressive description of what was happening with Project C.U.R.E. on this side of the oceans as well as internationally. I can think of no better way to share so completely with my friends the thrill, heartbreak, frustration, and triumphs of the incredible global work of Project C.U.R.E. I’m delighted and honored that you’ve chosen to join me on this educational journey .
Next Week: An explanation as to how this journal introduction will work.
© 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.