In one of my presentations, I ask the question, "What is the opposite of love?" One of the most common answers is, "Hate." While that is not wrong, I think the real opposite of love is "apathy." If love is caring about someone else the opposite is clearly the total lack of caring.
What makes apathy worse is when we are working around others there is an unconscious sense of security -- if I don't see a hazard then someone else will point it out to me. If I think they care and in fact, they don't, and I am left without that level of protection.
As safety professionals and team members, we know many injuries happen every day because someone saw an unsafe condition or behavior and failed to take action. Sometimes it makes you wonder if people actually care about others.
I believe the challenge is people who care only take action when they know how to express that caring.
When people see someone near a hazard they feel uncomfortable saying something because they want to avoid confrontation or they don't want the other person to feel bad. Because of these concerns and lacking a method or technique for sharing safety with the other person, they instead do nothing.
People take action when certain elements are present
People take action when they have special knowledge, have a system, or an organization that allows them to help others.
For example, people can give to a food bank and provide for those in need in the community. The organization makes it possible for them to take action on their caring. As a member of the local Rotary club, I am able to help provide food baskets at Christmas time because the organization's community of contacts, which helps find the people in need. Without them, I wouldn't have the resources to find who was in need.
You and employees you know can provide emergency first aid if they have been trained. In fact, one of my clients gave recognition to a couple of their employees who saved someone's life in town, off the job, using their first aid skills they learned on the job. Other people who clearly cared stood by and didn't take action because they didn't know what to do.
How often do caring people fail to point out an unsafe condition or behavior because they didn't have the knowledge or a system to make it easier?
© John Drebinger Presentations
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If you would like to give your people the skills to put their caring into action, give Diane Weiss a call at +1 209-745-9419 so she can arrange for John to train your people. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org