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As I look into my dirty coffee cup, I see a changing world ahead. The familiar quote, “Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather,” reminds your resident image-smasher of one of his columns a few decades ago when he compared professionals to the buzzards that gather at Ohio’s Hinckley Lake each spring. According to the legend, there was once a great Indian massacre there. Each year, the buzzards would return to see if any new massacres had occurred to provide dinner.

Professionals tend to live off the problems of others. We don’t tend to go to a surgeon unless we have a serious medical problem. We don’t consult a lawyer unless we’re in trouble. We entrust accountants to keep us out of trouble. Social workers generally don’t spend much time with happy families, only those in turmoil. Adjusters would be out of work were it not for injuries, thefts, the destruction of homes arising from natural catastrophes, or lawsuits against people for allegedly causing calamities. We deal with the corpses of catastrophes, large and small.

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