Christmas 2006 Essay: Regrets of a Busy Man

New York, N.Y.  As much as I am committed to moving Orphans International forward at all costs – Quand Meme – it does take a toll on me and I must admit having regrets. I have never spent a Christmas without my son for over ten years until today – he is now in my house in Jakarta and I postponed my trip two weeks to push fundraising to close the year out as strongly as possible. I miss being with him today terribly, although I called him yesterday twice. He was excited to tell me of the massive police security in place in Jakarta’s churches Christmas Eve to thwart any possible anti-Christian violence on the part of Muslim extremists…


With son Mathew in Jakarta after the Tsunami when I was back-and-forth frequently to Aceh, Indonesia.

My father has Alzheimer’s and and this also concerns me greatly. I have been meaning to visit my father and step-mother in Oxford, Ohio since August. But I have not been able to free up a single weekend. In fact, my last days off were in August 2005…


With my father Stanford Leonard Luce, Sr. on a windy day at Miami University
in Ohio where he taught French my entire life.

And there is an old friend, Betty Millard, who I missed seeing for her birthday in October. She is in a hospital bed most of the time now and I don’t think she remembers me, but I remember well how much of an impact she made on my life when we had dinner once a week from 1987 to 1991.

I also get frustrated knowing how much I am not doing for Orphans International. Many people think that I have achieved so much, but all I can think of is how many things I have left undone. I lay awake last night – my first day off since August 2005 – thinking of all the things that need finishing before the end of he year.

There is a five-page unfinished letter to Leila Luce, widow of Hank Luce, which has been on my desk for ten weeks. There is a proposal for OI Romania written for the Duke of Bavaria who has already funded us to explore building a project in Transylvania which has gone unfinished for six months, partly because I am afraid of how much of a commitment a project in Romania would be for me at this time.

Then aides of Prince Albert have just instructed us to communicate with three foundations in Monaco, which I need to do as soon as possible. On my last trip to Haiti representatives from a Canadian organization requested that I submit a proposal for funding our educational programming in Gonaives that I have written and our interns have input, but which I need to fine-tune and submit.

Air France representatives asked me to send in a proposal to their Paris office three months ago that my staff has been sitting on. The New York Rotary Club has requested a proposal to continue funding for Rotary House at OI Sumatera for Tsunami Orphans in Indonesia by the end of the year. That gives me three more days…

About Jim Luce: Thought Leaders & Global Citizens

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Jim Luce: Thought Leaders & Global Citizens
Jim Luce (www.lucefoundation.org) writes and speaks on Thought Leaders and Global Citizens. Bringing 26 years management experience within both investment banking and the non-profit sector, Jim has worked for Daiwa Bank, Merrill Lynch, a spin-off of Lazard Freres, and two not-for profit organizations and a foundation he founded. As Founder & CEO of Orphans International Worldwide (www.oiww.org), he is working with a strong network of committed professionals to build interfaith, interracial, Internet-connected orphanages in Haiti and Indonesia, and creating a new, family-care model for orphans in Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

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