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Occasionally this “age-old” poem appears in my various news feeds, and every single time it does it hits me in the “feels”.
The poem was written by Don Merrell. I have heard a number of stories about the origins of the poem, but since I don’t know the actual version I will leave that for you to find. That said, at the end of the day, whether based on personal experience or on what he gathered from conversations with other people that experienced the situation personally, the poem is moving and tragic.
Be your “brothers keeper”.
There are times that we all take chances that we shouldn’t. Sometimes those decisions are made consciously because we believe that no harm can come to us. Sometimes those decisions are made subconsciously because our minds are not on the task at hand. And sometimes we just haven’t been trained properly how to safely perform the task.
Step up to the task and help the men and women you work with be better. Do not let title, rank or tenure make you feel like you can’t help someone improve.
Speak up in a way that shows you truly care, for your coworker… for your friend and for their family.
This is not the moment to be loud, obnoxious, condescending, rude, or threatening. When is the last time you received the lesson delivered that way?
Your purpose is not to get someone in trouble. Your purpose is to better their performance so they can continue to provide for their family, or even just to simply live their life.