Jeffrey Saltzman's Blog

Enhancing Organizational Performance

Speaking up

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Note to Staff: As the CEO of a company, one choice I make, nearly every day, is when do I speak up or speak out, and when do I keep quiet and let others follow the paths and actions they think best, or take the lead in putting out messages to staff, to clients or others. I am not a fan of micro-managing, but neither am I a fan of chaos, where people might be pulling in different directions. We must all pull together. And while this note is not about specific client related issues, after yesterday, once again I feel the need to speak to you. Forgive me if you feel I am being intrusive into your personal life.

Over the past few weeks we have seen abhorrent actions and one tragic event after another unfold across our nation or influenced by our nation’s current actions/policy on a  global basis. Perhaps this should have been expected in the run up to an election that many view as the most consequential in recent times, and I am worried that more stupidity might be foisted upon us before that election. Children, some extremely young, are still held in detention camps, separated from their parents. Any psychologist worth their salt can describe to you the lasting damage this will have on these children and I simply can’t describe to you how abhorrent I find this. Children, some younger than 5 are appearing before immigration judges, without representation,  to “plead their case” to determine whether they should be allowed to stay in this country. A 5-year old, of course, has absolutely no clue what is going on.  Last Wednesday, in Kentucky, a gunman tried to enter a black church and when thwarted, went to a Kroger supermarket and killed two, a likely hate crime. Pipe bombs were sent to outspoken critics of the current incumbent of the White House or those who practice journalism, a foundational bedrock which makes our democracy possible. In the Saudi embassy in Turkey, a journalist, who was viewed as a threat to the rulers of Saudi Arabia, was dismembered while alive and the audio recordings seem to indicate that he lived for 7 minutes while various parts of his body where cut off. In Yemen, a proxy war between Iran and Saudi is being fought, with USA supplied weapons. A few weeks ago, one USA missile killed a bus load of school children and today it is estimated that up to 13 million people are about to starve to death. Yesterday, in Pittsburgh, 11 people where killed while simply celebrating their faith. The list of tragedies can go on and on and they are in fact connected. They are connected or rather I should say enabled by the words and actions that are coming from this current administration. While we have seen tragic events before, events triggered by hate, racism, xenophobia, misogyny, the lust for power and wealth, and purposely fanned fears aimed at dividing us, we have never before seen the leadership of the USA openly promote such viewpoints (of course there have been racist presidents before). This current president as well as his enablers within the White House, within congress and within the judiciary have put this nation on a terribly dangerous path, one that serves their personal interests, or their personal beliefs, but not the interests of the nation itself or the principles upon which this nation was founded.

 

There are two phrases that I simply can’t get out of my head the last couple of days. One is “it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness” and the other is “a million candles burning for the help that never came”. I am unsure about the origins of the first, but the second is a line from a Leonard Cohen song. And while these two phrases might seem somewhat contradictory, the first suggesting a course of action, while the second suggests the hopelessness of that action, I am not about to give up for there is simply too much at stake. Last night at a memorial service that thousands attended in Pittsburgh for the slain congregants, a chant was taken up. It was one word, “Vote”.  It is not too late, light a candle, Vote.

Written by Jeffrey M. Saltzman

October 28, 2018 at 9:01 am

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