It was a conference/trade-show week like many others in that the schedule of events was planned and predictable. It was also like many others in that the particular happenings (such as connections made and technologies unveiled) were unique. The 2017 BICSI Fall Conference, held at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, was productive and enjoyable for many. On Monday, September 25 we at Cabling Installation & Maintenance honored dozens of people and organizations for the innovations they have brought to the industry. The article that begins on the next page details those honorees and theiraccomplishments.
On Thursday, September 28, the conference wrapped up with a sizable charitable donation from BICSI Cares to Room for Joy, which provides chronically ill children with fun, positive bedroom environments. As is the case every time BICSI Cares helps a charity, this presentation demonstrated the best of what our industry has to offer, and the best of what humanity has to offer.
That same day, September 28, as nearly everyone who had gathered for the conference checked out of Mandalay Bay, evil checked in to the property. Just a few days later, the world learned of the horror that rained down upon concertgoers from the 32nd floor of that hotel, demonstrating the worst of what humanity has to offer.
As details of the rampage were revealed, it dawned on me that one week to the minute before the shooting began, I had just checked in to that hotel and was walking through the property in search of a meal. Had the conference been scheduled to take place one week later than it did, or had the music festival been planned for one week earlier than it was, thousands of professionals from our industry would have been in and around the property at the time. And plenty likely would have attended the concert.
Some information about the shooting, and little information about the shooter, have been made public. Even if detail about motive is released, we will never really know the answer to the deeper question of why. Why was that group of people subjected to such pain and horror? Whether the view is religious ("There but for the grace of God go I,") or secular (random chance, wrong place/wrong time), we are reminded that we're subject to forces beyond our control. Those forces can manifest in something as savage as a mass shooting or as patently unfair as children with serious chronic illnesses.
Organizations like Room for Joy, and the heroic efforts of concertgoers and first responders, remind us that there is still plenty that is within our control. They also remind us to do what we can, when we can, for whom we can.