It will also make your turtle sad 🙁

That title begs for context, so here it is. I don’t sleep anymore. At best I just hang upside down in my cave for a while and try not to stare at the clock. That gives me plenty of time to go looking for the end of the internet. I think I’m close.

Last night I ended up on I usually don’t stay there longer than it takes to get the local crime update or hear about some strange happening in the park. Yesterday I got caught up in a different type of thread altogether. The post read “This is a long shot, but did anyone loose a turtle near Mesa St.?”

From there I learned about box turtle conservation, turtle habitats, what stresses turtles out, and how to help a turtle cross the street. I also learned that WAY more people than you would think have lost a turtle this week (there were three). Then the best comment of all popped onto the thread: “If its a western polka-dotted samurai turtle it’s probably illegal to keep it.” I embellished that description a bit, but it was a ridiculous comment nonetheless.

It’s not illegal BTW (I Googled it)…

The rest of the thread was a debate about the lawfulness of owning wild tortoises. As entertaining as it was, it got me thinking. Believe it or not the “legal” comment reminded me of how we often approach workers.

For some reason people are conditioned to find fault in the actions of others. I’m not sure if it’s a defense mechanism, or deflection, or just negative thinking. I catch myself doing it all the time. I key in on what’s wrong rather than seeing the good in what people are doing. In the case of the turtle, some nice neighbor was trying to get a pet back to it’s loving (albeit careless) owner.

Just as I wrote in THIS POST, I think it’s critical that we get a grasp on what’s driving people to do the things they do. Accusing them of breaking the law (even if they are) is just going to put up walls and make it harder to drive your point home. Consider that the next time you are out in the field and find someone in need of a little coaching. A little grace and understanding will go a long way.

Don’t ignore what’s happening by any means. But if no one is in immediate danger, consider taking your time and establishing a connection before you call someone out for their egregious violations.

That’s all from me tonight. It’s late and I have to head back to the cave to hang upside down and pretend to sleep.

Hi. I’m Jason. I’m the author of the book A Practical Guide to the Safety Profession: The Relentless Pursuit from CRC Press. I’m excited to get to share it with you all and hope it will be as valuable a tool to you as it has been to me. There is no other safety book out there like it. That’s not me being arrogant and assuming you’ll love it. You might not. But at least we’ll be able to have a needed conversation about the change needed in the safety profession. It is available now! Email me at

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