A Different Kind of Global
We have all been hearing
more and more in the last several years about global warming.
At first many people argued that the warnings about the
destruction of the ozone layer, the greenhouse effect, warming
of ocean temperatures, melting of polar ice caps and
destruction of plant and animal habitat was false, misleading
and bad for business. Scientists themselves disagreed, and
many national politicians froze in the headlights in order
to avoid taking what they feared would be unpopular
Today, there is little doubt
and little disagreement in the scientific community that the
concerns about climate change fueled by global warming are
true. While we certainly lack the ability to be very specific
about the timing and nature of the impacts of climate change,
there is no longer any doubt that effects will occur and that
an aggressive agenda of change must be taken quickly to
mitigate the results.
Among people experienced and
trained in the close personal protection of public officials
(i.e. the Secret Service and other such agencies around the
world) or private individuals through corporate security
organizations, there is a common motto: Put off the day when
something bad happens! The idea is to be proactive and
assertive in anticipating problems and acting before they
actually occur to reduce the harm that would otherwise happen.
This is the approach we must take in confronting an enemy far
more dangerous to the future of all of us than Al Qaeda or
Global warming cannot be
defeated by the
military, nor does climate change realize that it cant cross
international borders or local government jurisdictional lines
without the proper paperwork.
There is, however, another
kind of global warming which the HR Doctor points out should
be strongly encouraged and supported. It is a kind of climate
change that will benefit everyone. It is the global warming of
In workplaces as well as in
other areas of our daily encounters with one another, the ties
between people appear to have been weakening over the years.
Of course, we are more mobile, and we move from place to place
more frequently. It is estimated that about 17 percent of
Americans move each year.
Family structures have
changed. We dont spend much time getting to know our
neighbors. Rather, that time has been converted into time
trapped in our four-wheel drive SUVs on overcrowded highways
or time spent watching television. Americans watch an
estimated four hours of television per day. It is true, of
course, that keeping up with the latest comings and goings on
Dancing with the Stars
or Survivor are
critically important to our national well being.
However, imagine how our
family and work relationships could improve if we only watched
three hours of television a day and took that extra hour in
our lives to reengage with our families, our neighbors, our
communities and other people around the world. That would
amount to over 28,500 hours in the average lifespan of an
American, which could be spent far more productively.
If we did this
hours-restructuring in our lives, we would find that people
who speak different languages than we do, have different
religious beliefs, dress differently, eat differently and earn
a living differently are fundamentally just like us.
Mankind has recently reached
a human milestone in which more people in the world live in
cities than live in rural, agricultural, non-urban areas.
Cities have a tendency to turn all of us around the world into
a basic vanilla flavor in terms of lifestyle. We look for
parking spaces, we shop at malls, we eat out, we stand in
Although there are rich
differences from city to city, the fact that we all become
urbanites supports the idea that the global warming of human
relationships is a phenomenon beyond demographic differences
such as those described above. People all share common
elements of a human heritage, including hopes and dreams for
the future. People and their governments will all develop a
common and increasing sense of urgency to preserve that
heritage by changing the behaviors that harm our home planet.
The behavior may involve consuming less electricity and
gasoline, but it could also mean behavior changes such as
spending more non-TV time studying other cultures, adopting
exchange students, supporting charities and volunteering.
A modest suggestion to begin
might be as simple as having lunch with your mom or dad or
child before its too late and having a meaningful
conversation with them sharing your hopes, joys and fears.
It may mean throwing a
surprise birthday party for a friend or congratulating a
coworker on a promotion. It means never singing Happy
Birthday to You the way it is often sung at restaurants by
people who lack a passion for what they are doing or sense of
really caring that someone is having a birthday.
We need to take active steps
to support the Global Warming of our relationships make a