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They asked us questions. How much is two and one? How much is two and two? But the next young girl also from our city, went and they asked her, How do you wash stairs, from the top or from the bottom? She says, I don’t go to America to wash stairs.

– Pauline Notkoff, a Polish Jewish immigrant in 1917, interviewed in 1985. (From my summer trip to the Ellis Island Museum)

I don’t go to America to wash stairs.

Imagine the joyful audacity of this reply. A seemingly endless journey of faith followed by a constant barrage of questions from big, burly, flame tongued men. There you stand – hungry, your dreams in the balance as you smell of days long gone, and your response cracks their ale flushed cheeks like a whip.

That level of conviction demands attention. Is this not the passion and commitment clients and customers want from us?

Let’s hope we all speak with the same certainty as that young girl who crossed an ocean to meet her destiny. I simply don’t see where there is room for anything else.



  1. Kathy Murphy  August 7, 2012

    Beautifully said.

  2. David Diana  August 11, 2012

    Thank you Kathy!

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