Latest Insights

We All Share a Common Humanity

Written by Dunbar Campbell

Partner | Lighthouse Resource Group

Leer en español

We All Share a Common Humanity

On a chilly South Carolina morning many years ago, a young man from the Caribbean island of Grenada marched across the parade square with a platoon of graduating Marines. The reviewing stands were crowded with families who had come by the thousands to see their sons and brothers in uniform. After speeches about war and peace by Generals and Colonels, the new Marines were dismissed, and Platoon 1004 exploded in celebration. Civilian families and friends flooded the square with hugs and flowers and cameras.

In the jubilant sea of many, the Grenadian stood alone.

Suddenly, a cloud of despair descended on him, threatening the proud moment he wanted desperately to share with friends and family. Is this how it would feel to be alone in the world?  Now that he would no longer be close to his loved ones, his country, his culture, would his despondency grow even darker?

He gazed around at the crowd and slowly peeled away in his mind layer after layer of the things he had assumed would always be there. What would his life be without his beliefs, his religion, and his love of Caribbean food and music? What about his desire to see his island home free from dictatorship? The reality sunk home, that as a Grenadian in the US Marines, years of isolation awaited him.

Just as he was about to crash into the abyss of his soul, he landed on a reassuring core of awareness.  This was new. This feeling was void of fear and doubt. In his moment of isolation, deep beneath the layers of his socialization, he discovered his El Dorado, an inexhaustible vault of calm assurance.   

Pure and simple, he was a human first. Race, religion, history, family, beliefs came later.   

The core person recognized no limitation, defied classification and definition, and lived in freedom in a world without boundaries. No education, possession, history, nor any person had the power to define him. At his core, he was free and would always be free.  Like an untamed stallion on the plains of Texas, or a seagull floating in the wind over his island beaches.

The young man, fully aware of his temporary visit on the planet, harbored neither desperation nor fear and repelled all angry voices of hate and revenge.  Anger unmasked, revealed faces of fear.   

But most importantly, he felt a bond with all people.  For if such a being existed in him, surely it must exist in all people.  Even as he was trained to fight wars, he would regard all men as brothers.   

The real source of human conflict was not men or women, but the beliefs that they harbor. Beliefs planted by flawed philosophies, nourished by angry voices, and sustained by histories of oppression and slavery.

The chaos of humanity was but islands of people, separated by angry seas that crashed waves of paranoia on the shorelines of their minds.

In his moment of desperation on a crowded parade square, the young man found himself. And just as suddenly, his apprehensions vanished. Once he knew who he was, it no longer mattered where he was. He would never be alone again. 

Wherever life took him, he would cherish with renewed vigor his Grenada memories, like precious mementos hanging on the walls of his mind. But as long as he was at home with himself, any square foot on the face of the earth could be his home. For the entire planet was his temporary home.

In every land, in every person, was a brother or a sister. He would see a brother in the old Native American in the Texas trailer house, telling tales of ancient America. He would feel it in the Japanese mafia godfather as he drank hot rice wine with the bravado of a samurai warrior.  He would see it in the smile of the brown-skinned boy with the white mother when he hoisted the youngster onto his shoulder to see his favorite band on stage.

He would charge past fear and anger to seek moments of connection. For the most powerful of all voices was the silent force of truth.  He was a person like all others. No better, no worse.  And no belief, chains, walls, nor barbed wire could enslave the man in him or in any other, unless the person surrendered his or her power.

The young man felt a rush of renewed anticipation surge through his veins. With his head high and his shoulders back, he marched off toward his barracks to pack for the next journey in life.

The Impact of a S.C.O.R.E.S. Analysis

A S.C.O.R.E.S. analysis is defined as an innovative strategic planning technique to identify an organization’s Strengths, Challenges, Opportunities, Risks, Environment and Systems. From a high-level perspective, this technique can provide innumerable advantages to achieve a wide range of [...]

Are You Prepared for the Coming Silver Tsunami?

The world’s population, including the United States, is getting older. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the life expectancy at birth of the average person in America has increased from 76.7 years in 2000 to [...]

Anxiety and Stress in the Workplace

Anxiety and stress, although silent and unseen, can have devastating impacts on the health, safety and productivity of employees in the workplace. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH),  “exposure to stressful working conditions [...]

Why on Earth Would I Hire an Organization Designer?

Whether you are looking at a complex restructuring or simply trying to make a single department more effective, an organization design consultant can help ensure that the changes are well executed and have the desired positive impact to [...]

Ethics in Statistics

Statistics are a set of analytical tools, and like any tool, they can be used for good or bad. A hammer can be used to help build a home, or it can be a weapon. Statistics can educate, [...]

Leadership as a Non-Anxious Presence

Several years ago, I attended a retreat for non-clergy church leaders. The program was excellent, introducing me to the concept of leadership’s role as a “non-anxious presence” for those they serve. The elements were drawn from the work [...]

The Magic of Thinking Positive

Are we in control of THINKING POSITIVE? Yes, we are in control. It may require reframing a mindset but is possible and the benefits will lead us to a better-quality of life. If we keep a positive mind [...]

The Aging Workforce and What it Means for HR

You have probably been hearing it often: the population is getting older and living longer. This shift in population age is posing issues in healthcare, but also the workforce. Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest [...]

The Fearless Organization

It is a pleasure to share with you an overview of Amy Edmonds’ book and its application to each of us. The theme of my message today comes from this book - the idea of leaders creating fearless [...]

Employee Engagement in a Remote Workplace

Given all the pressures and pivots managers have had to make managing in this new world of work, can you imagine how to also be in touch with the engagement level of your remote employees?  Our one-year anniversary [...]

Stories in the Storm

Those of us who experienced the sub-zero Arctic Blast that hit Texas in February of this year will never forget some of the challenges that we encountered and overcame during that unique weather time frame.  Shown below are [...]

Does Executive Coaching Really Work?

Executive coaching gets a bad rap in many situations. Why? Because it is often used as a last resort to deal with difficult performance issues, and not surprisingly, frequently ends with an exit from the organization. Unfortunately, this [...]

Nuestra Brújula de Liderazgo

"Los valores son más importantes cuando los tiempos son turbulentos". — Stephen Paskoff, director ejecutivo de Eli 2020 realmente nos ha dejado en un lugar desconocido, dejándonos para buscar nuestra brújula personal.  Tenemos demandas que [...]

Todos compartimos una humanidad común

En una fría mañana de Carolina del Sur, hace muchos años, un joven de la isla caribeña de Granada marchó por la plaza del desfile con un pelotón de marines graduados.  Los puestos de revisión estaban llenos de [...]

Behavioral Assessments – A Beginner’s Guide

Finding great people, keeping them and inspiring them to do great things is a top concern for any business owner.  Many have turned to behavioral assessments to help make hiring, promotional, and development and engagement decisions. If you’re thinking about [...]

Our Leadership Compass

“Values are most important when times are turbulent.” — Stephen Paskoff, CEO Eli 2020 has truly dropped us off in an unknown place, leaving us to search for our personal compass.  We have demands coming [...]

The Power of Giving, a story by Kevin Allen

Here's a true story written by Kevin Allen, a good a friend of mine who lived in Arizona with his wife and wonderful family until his recent passing. Kevin enjoyed publishing a number of true experiences that he [...]

We All Share a Common Humanity

On a chilly South Carolina morning many years ago, a young man from the Caribbean island of Grenada marched across the parade square with a platoon of graduating Marines. The reviewing stands were crowded with families who had [...]

Strategic Development Up Close and Personal

Strategic development, also known as strategic planning, is fundamental to creating and running a business or one’s life.  Simply put, it is a blueprint that outlines specific goals and objectives for pre-determined success.  Business goals and objectives are [...]

Facing the Pandemic with a Return to Workplace Plan

It is amazing how quickly six months has changed the way America works. Faced with unprecedented risks under the Covid-19 pandemic, all companies have been faced with orchestrating critical realignments to meet their commitments to both employees and [...]

Covid-19 and Julian of Norwich

As I sit here, staring out the window at all of the apartment windows and balconies surrounding apartment 420, I am struck by the enormity of the current pandemic, juxtaposed against the normal, every-day lives we are all [...]

How to Deliver Feedback with Impact

Getting feedback can be tough. Giving it effectively can be even tougher. Instead of saying what we mean with compassion, as feedback givers we often say nothing at all or short change the message, leaving the receiver bewildered. [...]