Who gave us permission to stop treating people as human beings?

Recently we witnessed our fellow US citizens running toward imminent danger of their own lives to help with the injured at the Boston Marathon bombing. The courage and compassion exhibited by these would-be heroes was not unprecedented, however we applaud their heroism and courage. We like to see people helping people because we know that’s how fellow human being should treat each other: with compassion.

In today’s workforce, however, rarely do we see that compassion, that empathy for our fellow co-workers, our fellow human beings. When those pink slips are handed to people, I wonder, is there an inkling of a thought about the impact that decision will make on that employee, that employee’s family, that employ’s life? Or have we become so desensitized to the human condition that the only time we’ll feel like reaching out to help a fellow human being is when the life is being drained out of them?

From what I’ve observed of friends who’ve been out of work for one, one and a half, two years, the life is literally being drained out of them, along with their self esteem, self confidence, and self reliance. It’s tragic. And what of the people who are enduring impending lay-offs? Is their blood pressure up? Are they finding it hard to focus? Do they feel betrayed? Yes to all.

When will corporate America take a look at the impact they wield over the people they employ and give them a modicum of kindness and human understanding when handing them that pink slip? Or were we indeed granted permission by some unknown entity to stop treating people like human beings?

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We are often attention thieves. When we say “I”, “me”, “my” in a conversation, we redirect the focus back on ourselves. Effective interpersonal communication keeps the focus on THEM.

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