We’re No (SAFETY) Heroes

But the bigger you are, the bigger the target on your back

When I started writing on this site I had a lot to say. The path to making those statements has become much clearer over time. But not because my ideas were so brilliant and I’m more self-aware than most (as much as I’d like to believe that I don’t think it’s true). My learning has come from the emails, phone calls, and online interactions with the people who read these posts. Almost all of those engagements have been positive… Almost.

There has been, and will likely always be, polarization about any given topic. I admit I’ve been deliberately provocative at times in regard to my views on safety. But I’ve never believed it is mission to convince the rest of the world to agree with my ideas. I’m not nearly responsible enough to wield that kind of power anyway. Seriously, you would not enjoy being my unwitting subjects (not everyone enjoys T. Swift as much as I do).

My goal has always been to start conversations. Not hate-filled internet insult tournaments. Most everyone I come into contact knows that. Some people just want to fight though. That has never been more noticable to me than it has in the last few weeks.

Enter the SJL..

A couple months ago five acquaintances on LinkedIn started chatting together about collaborating on content. I don’t think any of us had any idea if it would even work. Then roughly a month ago we strung together a few clips of us giving our perspective on some common safety questions. The result was pretty amazing. I found myself learning from each of the others more than I could have imagined (we don’t collaborate answers, only the questions).

The conversations these little clips have started have been nothing short of awe-inspiring. Not only have we offered answers, we’ve been given some incredible ones as well. Proof that there is a wealth of information in the safety pro community that can (and should) be shared. I’ve also gained four amazing friends through the process. But that’s not what I’m getting at here.

One of the early comments on our #AskASafetyPro clips made mention (in light-hearted fashion) that we all had great individual content, but we are “like the Justice League of Safety” when we team up. In jest, I changed the name of the ongoing group chat to #SafetyJusticeLeague. It stuck. But we’re no heroes. We’re just like all you average citizens 🙂

The name has been a positive identifier for our group. From what I gather, most people understand it’s not meant to be taken as a self-righteous statement of our superiority. A small minority, though, has used it to scoff. That’s fine. We’re not here to change minds, we’re here to start those conversations I mentioned earlier. Anyone is welcome to join. My hope (and I believe I can speak for the group) is that we all learn something in the process.

Secret identities don’t change the world

As my friend Phil La Duke told me earlier on in this process, the target on your back gets bigger along with your name. Phil has lived that more than most, I imagine. Anyone who shares their true identity with the public is subject to personal attacks and just plain nastiness. It’s a weird world online. I really don’t understand how words someone types on their phone or laptop can elicit such hate. But I’ll keep being myself and offering up my experience in spite of it because the message is what’s important (even if it only helps one person). The post below from Shay Rowbottom is a good reminder of that.

Now we can return to our regularly scheduled program

Next week I’ll be back with my usual snarky humor and obscure observations. This stuff has just been on my mind lately. The last thing I’ll say about it is this. Be nice to people online. You probably don’t know them well. Assumptions, accusations and insults don’t further any conversation.

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