For over 60 years, our family's been spending our summers at a lake house in New Hampshire and we've always taken a dog with us. The past few years, we've taken our favorite golden retriever named Murphy. Murphy's eight years old now - he's getting a little gray in the face.
His DNA, of course, gets him really excited about chasing ducks. He loves to see those green mallards go by. He used to jump off the dock and race after those ducks and swim as hard as he could with all his strength, but he never caught them.
This past Memorial Day, we took Murphy to New Hampshire again. As soon as he got out of the car, he ran to the edge of the dock and stopped. By experience, I guess, he's learned that he just can't catch those ducks. It's just not worth it to jump off that dock and chase something that he can't achieve.
You know, I've found that experience is a great teacher. We have pretty slow business times in America today. I've been through at least six downturns - I think this is my seventh - in my career. But I hope, like Murphy, I've developed the patience to work my way through these difficult times.
I've learned that impetuous actions are not always the best way to go. Murphy has acquired wisdom through the years - he no longer chases the ducks he can't catch. And I hope that, like Murphy, I've gained a little wisdom too.
This is Bill Marriott and thank you for helping me keep Marriott on the move.