WHERE DOES DANGER COME FROM?*
2015 has been an incredibly challenging year. Attacks on the streets of Paris and Copenhagen, many more months of Ebola endurance in Sierra Leone, an earthquake in Nepal, tourists targeted on the beaches of Tunisia and, for us, the ultimate tragedy: a terrorist attack on one of our own properties when lives were lost at Radisson Blu Hotel Bamako, Mali last month.
When I sat down to write these lines this year, it was hard to know where to start. Should I focus on the tragic events or could I or should I try to find a silver lining somewhere. Those who know me know I almost never speak of risk without mentioning opportunity, but how do you find opportunity in the aftermath of terrible tragedies that cause irreversible impact on innocent individuals and everyone that their unfairly shortened lives touched?
Growing challenges in Europe have also hit headlines in 2015. Most of us that live here now have only experienced Europe as a relatively peaceful part of the world that had moved on from war and nationalism, to peace and collaboration in a union that tore down the iron curtain of the cold war, opened its common borders and promised prosperity. While reading annual reviews of Europe, terrorism and refugees were often intertwined as if one caused the other or vice versa. But as the refugee crisis continues and we see the return of border guards and calls for walls it made my brain wonder and my mind wander…
Remember when knowledge was just for the few,
like scholars and priests but not me and you?
Now all that we’ve learned in this world that we share,
is free to access from most everywhere
We’re always informed, we watch all the news,
we watch every channel to hear all the views,
but the channels we watch and the things that we see,
are all run by people who think just like we
They tell us the stories of thousands of faces,
bringing new dangers to the safest of places.
We watch and we listen ‘till we think that it’s true,
but all of this danger, is it really so new?
Is it from far away or from somewhere quite near?
Is it crossing our borders or was it already here?
Does it come from abroad as some think it might?
Does it come from the left or come from the right?
While ignorance locks it inside us as fear,
it can come from afar yet it’s already here.
Can we protect what we have with a fence or a wall,
or is that even worse than doing nothing at all?
At the end of the day it’s a dangerous game.
The looking for scapegoats and outsiders to blame.
The more we accuse and the more that we hide,
the greater the need for looking inside.
When all is said and done, 2015 will have been a year that, for me, called to mind the deepest meanings of every line in the Carlson Credo. We will never ever give up as we continue to grow, continue to lead and continue to dream. Most importantly though we’ll continue to care.
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- Originally published on LinkedIn, December 23, 2015
Connect with Paul:
To learn more about my experiences gathered during a 4-decade long post high school gap year, you can find me at www.alwayscare.ca. Look for our book on hospitality and service in the age of AI, published by How2Conquer.com and coming in 2021!
Paul is also a managing partner at www.northpointinternational.com, where you’ll find unsurpassed global expertise in the world of hospitality safety and security.