Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Military Protocol, Political Correctness and Being Human

Cleveland firefighter John Coleman was suspended for giving President Obama a nod and wave after President Obama made eye contact and waved at Coleman during the Inauguration parade. 

Bandleader Pipe Major Mike Engle told reporters that it had been reviewed over and over with band members that this was a military parade and protocol and proper decorum had to be followed at all times. "Unfortunately, John chose to ignore that."

Did Coleman choose to ignore this directive? Did his being human touch his heart and he reacted with love? Was this the most loving thing to do? Does love win and take precedent over military protocol, proper decorum and directive? Was this the right thing to do? Must black and white rules and regulations be held at all times? Is life so serious we must remain serious under all conditions? I have more questions than answers. Author and consultant, Peter Block, reminds us questions tend to be more transformative than the answers. I'd ask you to "noodle" on asking more questions.

I am reminded of a story...

Two monks were walking along a road. They came to a swollen creek. A young, beautifully dressed woman was standing by the stream at a loss of how to cross the stream without messing up her dress. The one monk on upon seeing her dilemma, squatted down and told the woman to climb onto his back as he would cross the swollen creek and prevent her from getting wet. All crossed the river safely and the young woman grateful, climbed down off the monk's back. The two monks continued their journey. After a mile or so of walking, the one monk turned to his companion and said, "How could you have done such a thing as to come in contact with that women after the vow we took!?" The other monk paused and looked at his companion and said, "I put her off my back some time ago. Why are you still carrying her?"

1 comment:

Timothy H. Warneka said...

Great connection!

I thought of the same story ... was going to blog it, but you beat me to it.

As a native Ohioan and a resident of a suburb of Cleveland, I feel embarrassed for the city.