by Emily Plews, MBA/MS student at the Erb Institute, Class of 2010. This commentary is cross-posted on The LIFT Blog.
A good friend of mine recently emailed me his retelling of a story he heard elsewhere. Here is what he wrote:
…The father was a decorated WWII Air Force veteran whose bomber went down. Everyone on the plane lived, however. The son asked his father “what were the men on the plane doing as it fell?” and the father responded, “bellyaching and crying.” The son said he could understand doing that, but then asked “What were you doing?” To which the father replied, “FIXING THE PROBLEM. Crying never fixed a goddamn thing.”
(Pardon the language.)
I read this story the first time, snickered a little, and hastily filed it somewhere in my brain with all of the other snicker-worthy quips from feisty curmudgeons. Somehow my brain revisited and realized that the father/veteran in this story was far more than snicker-worthy. Behind the abrasive tone, there is content worth considering, deeply in fact. What could I learn from him the veteran as an advocate for sustainability and student of positive organizational scholarship?