The world is a better place because of those who refuse to believe they can't fly

This afternoon we continued our family tradition and attended a performance by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra who introduced a new show entitled the Lost Christmas Eve. The center piece of the performance was a story of a business man who years earlier had the unfortunate luck of losing his wife during child birth and having a supposedly disabled child who he essentially disowned. It was a fitting response to some of the feelings that I have undergone in the last 48 hours. Those feelings ranged from utter rage to utter respect. Forty three years ago I graduated with a BA in Education and spent 6 years in the classroom working with some of the age groups from Sandy Hook Elementary School. I can sympathize with the efforts sometimes to naught that these teachers went through. On the other side is the rage from understanding that these children are the ones who believe that they can fly, society has not molded their thinking to show them that this is probably not going to happen. I have the honor of being able to still stay in contact with a number of my former students today.

My wife and I are considering relocating to a town much like we grew up in which was molded much like Newtown. In a past life (LOL) we lived in New Fairfield, CT which is very similar in nature to Newtown and in fact is only minutes from there. So we can understand the violation the citizenry is feeling at the moment.

However there is another perspective we have to consider. Whether we are talking about your local school or our workplace, the implied environment speaks a bout providing a place that is safe and healthy in return for the use of our intelligence capabilities. But due to the work of one political faction we are striving away from that expectation. We live in a world that due to certain efforts has become a world centered around violence or the potential for violence. Consider that here in Florida the 2010 Census tells us that there are 19,057,542 residents and 1,000,000 of them have concealed weapons permits. This same political faction takes what ever steps they need to in order to pass a plethora of regulations across the country that tells our schools and businesses that even though you are responsible for delivering a safe workplace, you can't stoop your employees from being a weapon to the workplace.

It is time we change that environment. I have an extended family member who hunts to put food on the table. When I lived in Iowa I owned both a rifle and a hand gun and went hunting. So I do not object to the concepts in the 2nd amendment. I do however have a serious problem with open markets for weapons that have no useful purpose other than to maim and kill humans. I do have a problem with policies in the workplace which increase the potential for us to provide our human capital with a non-safe environment. We lower the productivity of the human capital assets when part of their concentration at work is on whether someone, no matter what the reason, decides the solution to their arguments with society is to start shooting. This is true whether we are talking about a movie theater in Aurora, a college in Virginia or a small elementary school where parents sent their kids because they believed the violence would not make its face known there.

We are a human resource strategist and it is our mission to show organizations of all sizes how to run a more productive work environment. Part of that discussions, based on Sandy Hook, has to be changing the philosophy of the workplace. We need to tell the political factions that our mission is enable corporate policies which protect our asset -our business as well as our human capital assets. As managers we need to let the officeholders that represent us that enough is enough. If you can prove that you need a weapon for a reasonable response to your environment, fine. But that does not include weapons which are designed to kill other than hunting.  As managers we need to stop bucking under the pressure from factions which understand only verbatim response to writings from decades ago. Consider the several hundred survivors of the Sandy Hook episode and  tell me how we explain to them the rationale from allowing the prevalence of weapons to increase with out boundaries. How do you explain to the parents that just lost 20 children that the government policies within this area are fine and it is just a freak occurrence by someone who may have had mental problems and it is not representative of society as a whole?

To my fellow members of management and Human Resource in particular, stop for a moment and think about whether your professional responsibility allows you to sleep at night when we fall short on providing that safe workplace that our students and fellow workers not only expect but demand.

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