This post is part of a series in the March 30th Carnival of HR that is being hosted by Dwane Lay over at his Lean HR blog. I highly encourage you to check out the other posts from some great bloggers. Dwane provided a single title for this series of posts, and challenged all takers to put their own spin on what it means to them. My head hurt for several days as I tried to come up with a post, but then I finally threw reason out and went with heart.
The healthcare HR guy in me considered this post an opportunity to discuss employee and resident safety in nursing homes; the ex-cop thought about domestic violence and abuse prevention (another passion of mine from my law enforcement days); and, the husband asked his wife for her ideas. Her response was a laundry list of potential safety hazards in our home that are coincidentally connected to the unfinished remodeling projects I’ve started, and the To-Do List items I’ve allegedly neglected.
I ended up doing what any lover of literature would do. I searched for a nugget of literary insight to provide an experiential context to the title. Thorton Wilder wrote,
“It’s when you’re safe at home that you wish you were having an adventure. When you’re having an adventure you wish you were safe at home.”
Conflict is inherent to the human condition. What we think we want, and what we have in the moment are infrequently the same. We are influenced to believe that things can and should always be better. This often comes at the expense of appreciating what we have. If I only had another boss, my work would be so much more enjoyable. If I could only lose those extra 25 pounds, I would feel so much better about myself. According to a Manpower Study cited by CNN, 84% of employees plan to look for a new job in 2011.
Sadly, there are many talented people right now who are experiencing a long and unplanned adventure. They are meandering through the tumult of unemployment and uncertainty, and dream of getting back to the safety of steady work.
I graduated from college at another time when the economy was less than impressive, and jobs were scarce. Despite the love and support of family and friends, it was discouraging. The poet in me wrote,
Life for life, and troll with ambitious whole
In the word, mark whatever you shall see.
Promising cast lashes flesh till it bleeds,
Lures my future on the passions extolled.
Forwarned all anglers presented false fate
Dancing the nymph of the translucent goal
For the fish has learned, taken what it stole,
Await no more a strike on lying bait.
Shallow pools synthesized so clear and pure,
The waters will run for eternity
Flowing, flowing out to the farthest seas;
I won’t bite; damn all those dreams you procure.
The floating fly on the surface appears
With no strikes, no hits, and no wasted tears.
Make It Safe
For those who are fortunate to be Safe At Home, pause long enough to be truly thankful for what you have. When you have achieved a state of gratitude, reach out and support those who are on an adventure. Become a coach and mentor to college students looking for their first jobs; take the time to actually talk with job applicants who are struggling, and be honest with them; get involved in the collaborative efforts of others to help the unemployed. Here are just a couple of examples (please add to this list by leaving a comment):
Gratitude doesn’t mean that we cannot dream of making our future better, but it must mean that we are also looking out for others. If you are Safe At Home, support those who are on an adventure. If you’re on an adventure, then keep your faith; and, when you do find yourself Safe At Home once again, remember that others will be on an adventure of their own.
HR Soot: Live your gratitude by lending a hand to others.