Expect the best and prepare for the worst

Written by Robert D. Sollars

Americans have been raised to see ‘the sunny side of the street’, and not much attention to those, like me, who see the insidious dark underbelly of humanity. Throughout our history it hasn’t saved us from many a dark & stormy night; the un-Civil War, WWI, the depression, WWII, Watergate, and the election of Presidents who threaten national security (doesn’t matter which party…pick one depending on your political persuasion).

Our parents, politicians, clergy (of all faiths except certain sects of Islam and even Christianity), social workers, and practically everyone want us to walk and see the bright side of everything. They are trying to protect us by showing us the joyful and hopeful side of humanity, which is not wrong for little kids… but for those who are adults? For the most part, we do walk over there, ignoring practically everything that is bad because it’s not us that it’s happening to.

But we have become so overly optimistic; we deny the ever-present indicators that something is wrong. And unfortunately, that extends to our own safety & security. Here are just a couple of examples, and it’s unfortunate that we can’t do these anymore:

  • Female college students who leave their apartment/dorm doors unlocked and get raped
  • People who leave their vehicles, for the air conditioner or heater, running while they go inside to the house or C-Store until it gets stolen
  • People who leave their doors unlocked at night and hooligans get into…
  • Business owners/managers who deny that an employee, or ex, would bring a firearm into work and use it to settle a score.
  • Administrators, principals, teachers, parents, and students who believe that no one would bring a firearm into school and do harm to ‘their friends’. BTW…the kids at Oxford, MI. high school thought the same way.

No one is more in denial than those who are around others who may become dangerous. Either to themselves or others in school or the workplace, we deny that something is wrong with them, their attitude, or moods. Think this is too pessimistic of me?

How many times have you seen the following?

  • The actions of a married person that is in direct contradiction to their marriage vows, having an affair?
  • What about the parents who are in total denial of their child’s drug abuse or gang activities?
  • And of course, there are those in Oxford, that think their child is ‘not dangerous’ and try to protect them.

They all seem to be totally oblivious to the situations in their own lives.

We deny the bad side of practically everything around us and think that home, work, or school are the safest places to be. If we perceive that it’s against us, then of course we’ll notice it. But if it doesn’t directly impact our lives, we could care less. And then we make excuses for the actions, attitudes, and moods of others. Then of course we have a tendency to forget those things going back to the more interesting fiction of television, movies, streaming services, or the internet.

Still, think I’m too pessimistic? Look at ISIS or illegal immigration with an eye to saying that people who don’t think they are that dangerous. The simple adage is that “To get along, we need to get along.” With the meaning that just let things be and everything will be alright. Would someone please bring my unicorn and rainbows back to me…I miss having them around.

“You can’t live with people who want to kill you”

Now consider workplace/school violence (WPV/SV), well the media won’t because it’s too prevalent and boring to report on…unless there is a multitude of blood and dead people…and children are even better for ratings.

As business owners and managers, especially of security companies or departments, we don’t or refuse, to see bad omens in the business world because we want our businesses to succeed and thrive. And then the other side of the coin is we don’t want to piss off the client by pushing too hard on something we see and they poo-poo it. We don’t watch for the small indicators that can build-up to the point where they endanger us, the business, and our employees.

With WPV/SV it’s the same. In the past, I’ve written about the excuses that we give each other about a co-worker or friend, who may be on the edge. We don’t connect the dots and then get shocked and turn into sniveling milquetoasts, when we see, hear, or learn that they have exploded into a rage and hurt or killed someone.

Denial is a strong word and has some real connotations to it. But as normal everyday Americans, we deny the existence of WPV/SV because we just don’t want to think about it or what may happen if we do. Those of us that live in the tragic world of violence and crime every single day are more aware of it than ever. But trying to convince others of that fact…

As those who are charged with protecting our employees, clients, and client employees, it’s not unusual for people to ridicule us for what we do. On more than one occasion I’ve been accused of seeing “communist spies behind every bush and raising the alarm for nothing”.

We have to stop denying that bad things can happen. As Americans, we scream and yell about things we can’t possibly change, like political childishness, distracted driving, or opioid addiction. Yet we stay silent on a topic we can actually do something about. All because we want to deny the facts and whine and bitch about something else.

We need to stop acting like 2-year-olds. We stomp our feet, scream, yell, cry, and whine enough because mommy & daddy will make it better. Unfortunately, we are adults and there are no more mommies or daddies to step in to comfort and change things just for their “Lil angels”. The real world doesn’t work that way… and isn’t fair…by a long shot.

Like these blogs? Then please feel free to pass them along to friends, colleagues, or anyone who may benefit. Have them subscribe at my website: Sollars Violence Prevention Training & Consulting

It happens to Anyone…Any Time…Anywhere… For any Reason

I May Be Blind, but My Vision Is Crystal Clear

Permission to share? Of course, with full attribution.

Copyright 2022 Robert D. Sollars


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