Vincy Workplace
January 10, 2014
Three lessons from the trough system

For many in St Vincent and the Grenadines, the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014 were a sad ending and beginning. The Christmas Eve trough system that rocked the nation left many families directly affected by the loss of loved ones and property. Others, although not directly impacted by the devastation, nonetheless are grieving. In the next week, many will be returning to work, as schools reopen and the island’s hard task of putting the pieces back together will go on. Before we go back to business as usual, there are three storm lessons echoing throughout the island that we can learn from and ponder.{{more}}

1. We are our brother’s keeper. Watching Vincentians here in the USA mobilize to send relief and watching those at home put their hands to removing debris and rebuilding our infrastructure is a clear indication that we have not lost our humanity. Vincentians have always looked after one another; it’s our family spirit, a sense of community that was slowly being overshadowed by the busyness of our lives; but it’s not gone. As tired co-workers return to work this week, let the spirit continue – bring in an extra lunch for those affected or who are still volunteering; instead of partying on the weekend, continue to visit the hardest hit areas and help clean up. Many companies are already giving to the relief efforts and, yes, those resources are needed, but more than ever, those most affected want to know they are cared for, and giving of your time and allowing yourself to connect to another person by listening can sometimes be more important than the things people get. This was a traumatizing event and we overcome trauma with love and attention. Life will soon return to “normal” and it is important for the hardest hit not to feel forgotten.

2. Our vulnerabilities were exposed. Tragedies often reveal the areas in which a nation, family or company is weak, and this was no different. Fingers of blame will be pointed, tempers will flair, but that serves no purpose if the vulnerable areas are not systematically addressed. There are areas the nation as a whole must examine quickly, but there are also areas that each person and community can look at to see how each person can play a role to move forward. More than ever, this storm should have taught us that together as a community we are stronger.

3. The ugly side. Yes, as in any tragedy anywhere in the world, there will be greedy, unscrupulous people, who will try to take advantage by denying others their basic needs for purely selfish reasons or even swindle some out of the very resources meant to help the needy. The important thing is not to let the resiliency and community spirit demonstrated throughout the island be overshadowed by others who are obviously misguided and heartless. St Vincent and the Grenadines is rising again as one people, so do your part to reach out to your neighbour and rebuild our island physically, and build one another up emotionally. It can be done.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to [email protected]

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