How I Found My Voice (and why I don’t care if you disagree)
First off, if you’re reading this, Thank You. Sincerely.
I spent years in fear of what others thought of me. Sometimes I sought my parents’ approval. Sometimes I wanted to be one of the cool kids. Sometimes I just felt ashamed for being me. Because “me” is different. I wasn’t OK with that until I was well into my thirties.
I don’t see the world the same way you do, and that terrified me for far longer than it should have. Anyone want to guess why?
BECAUSE NO ONE SEES THINGS THE SAME F^@#ING WAY!
As I began my safety “professional” career those thoughts of doubt shackled me. I didn’t believe all accidents were preventable. I didn’t subscribe to the theory that low accident rates = world-class safety performance. I was a black sheep. The problem was that I thought I was alone. I could not have been more wrong.
Relentless Safety was born of frustration. There’s no reason to deny that. I began writing posts on this site because I am tired of the status quo. I even wrote a book in the hope that I could help the next generation actually make a difference. While those things have been cathartic to be sure, I didn’t realize the gravity of what I have gotten into until today.
As I was reading responses to my Easter Sunday Post I was caught off guard by one comment in particular. The reader simply said, “I wish I could share this.” I probed to see if he would explain, but as you can imagine all I got in return was silence. That sent me into imagination spiral land.
If My Words Are Dangerous, Your Work Is Ineffective…
I can only imagine the reader who made that comment is somewhere in the throes of self-doubt that I was. It’s a heavy burden, so I’m not going to minimize it. Maybe sharing my post would put his job in jeopardy. Not many people are in a position to risk their employment for what they believe. Maybe he doesn’t want to be a black sheep. I don’t know but whatever the case it’s a sad statement about the way our society operates.
At the risk of bringing politics into this discussion, I’ll just say simply that people should be free to have open and honest discourse. Safety Professionals should talk and debate and challenge each other even if we never agree. But, I’m not naive enough to believe we all share that idea. Sadly, the fact that we don’t is a stark indication of why the profession of safety is stagnant.
The cold hard truth is this: people don’t want to improve because the status quo is pretty damn profitable. There are thousands of false safety prophets who would much rather cash their (hefty) paychecks than do something radical to prevent tragedy. That’s the state of industry today, like it or not.
It’s Time To Flip The Script
If this blog has taught me anything its that there are more out there who share my passion, drive, and ambition to make things better. We just need to speak up. It’s time to stop worrying about what people think of us and do what matters to protect the lives of the workers who break their backs to earn a living every day. One voice can be squashed, but many can rise up and make a change we are proud of.
Are you ready to pursue Relentless Safety?
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