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Bernie Ziebart

The Engineering Perspective

The blog is a view of life, science, politics and education from an engineering perspective. As engineers, we are taught to view the world objectively. We can hope, believe and calculate a particular outcome, but natural laws are inflexible and pay no heed to who we are or what we believe. We must approach the objective dispassionately, while compensating for our own distorted perceptions. Balance is also a key element; balancing between the ideal and the pragmatic, balancing cost and functionality, balancing analysis with action, etc.

Scheduling routine critical self-analysis is the foundation to objectivity. If we do not fully understand and compensate for our own failures, tendencies, habits and skewed thought processes, we will not see the world as it is. Without a regular critical self-analysis we will see the world as we are and then fall prey to self-delusion.

Failure is a great teacher. When failure is coupled with perseverance, it produces the fruit of patience and humility. An engineer, fresh out of engineering school is typically set up for failure early and often. The failure breaks the new engineer of any ideas of self-importance, arrogance and book smarts. Only then can the new engineer be formed and molded into a productive element in the industry.


My priorities

The shooting has forced me to develop a list of priorities. At the top of the list is faith, then love, then freedom, then honor and duty. Way down on my list is life.  If I have lived a life of faith and love in a free manner; and if my life is one characterized with courage, convictions and character, then I am ready to go at any time.   I will die some day; one out of one people will die. The probability of me meeting my end is quite high…as it is with my children. It is not a matter of if I will die, it is when.  I can't give something a high priority when that something is inevitable.

For me, this isn’t just talk. Since the death of my brother, I have learned to live everyday as if it was my last. Every morning that I wake, I give thanks to God, “Lord, it appears that you have given me the privilege and opportunity to see the dawn of another day. In this new day, help me to find another area of my life to surrender to your will and your ways. Show me another person to love today and lead me in your Truth. (For this is only one Truth, one Way and one life; and it is only found in Jesus) And if you take me out of this world today, let me go with a clear conscience, a pure heart and a genuine faith.”

I have repaired the broken areas in my life. I have gained a clear conscience with acquaintances and family.  I have forgiven all those who have wounded me. And I am at peace with God. I am ready.

If I have left this life in a gruesome manner at the hands of a criminal, don’t grieve for me. I am in a better place. Instead grieve for the person who took my life; that person is living in torment, unable to see the life, love and freedom that Jesus has to offer. But forgive that person, because I already have.

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