Friday, July 27, 2012

What's Your Passion?

What are you passionate about?  This question was purposed to me a few weeks ago.  At that particular time, it was hard for me to put into words or articulate the answer, even though I really knew my passion.  As a matter of fact, I’ve often purposed this question to others in the past.  When the question boomeranged back, I was caught off guard.  I had not thought about it in many years.  My passion was the reason that I chose my current profession.  It makes me who I am as an individual and encompasses all the things that I stand for. 

From as early as I can remember, I’ve always known that I would become a public servant in some sense, no matter what career choice I decided.  I would chose this route whether it was connected to my work or totally separate.  It was and still is my passion.  Even though I’ve seriously considered it in the past, I’m not referring to the traditional definition of public servant, such as working in the public sector, government agency, elected or appointed position.  My emphasis is based on a nontraditional definition.  I have fully embraced the obligation and responsibility to advocate and be the voice for all people, regardless of differences, economic or social status.  This includes being a platform and venue for those underrepresented, the voice of the voiceless and advocating for those not able to advocate for themselves.  I believe that there are certain unalienable rights that are afforded to all people, but the ideal expands well beyond that notion.  I have embraced the ideology on simple and basic human relation principles. 
  • Accepting differences – people are not the same and one group is not better than the other, just different.
  • Recognizing similarities – people are similar in many ways
  • Respecting - and valuing all people for their contributions regardless of differences, social or economic status
  • Sensitivity – being sensitive to differences.  Recognizing that some things could be considered offensive to others
  • Inclusion – representing all people Vs targeted groups or individuals
  • Fair and just treatment – a bipartisan process whereas all parties have a voice and all sides have been considered
  • Empathy – Being able to empathize and see things from another point of view
  • Rationale – Being able to apply logical reasons and principles to decisions

The world in which we live in is constantly changing.  The population is shifting and becoming more diverse than ever before.  We can no longer think and behave in isolation.  The world is truly global and encompasses more than our visual surroundings.  We have to embrace globalization in every aspect.  Globalization brings more diversity, different views on life, religion, culture, customs, norms, and many other differences.  I personally view human relations in a hierarchical order:

1) Ethical and moral responsibility– Highest level, far exceeding anything else
2) Mission and Goals – Guiding direction for the organization
3) Policies and procedures – Consistent with the mission/goals and helps us to achieve them  
4) Legal/legislative – required by law, legislation, regulatory, etc.

If you are wondering why legal/legislative is at the bottom on the order; it is because it only represents the minimum requirement.  We can do so much more.  The bottom line is that everyone wants to feel valued.  That’s the commonality in all of us.  My passion is quite simple.  It revolves around spiriting positive relations to all people and helping individuals reach their full potential.  I’ve never considered it a job, but a responsibility.  It is the reason that I remain vigilant and committed in my efforts. 

I will end this blog with the same question that I started; what are you passionate about?  I’d love to hear your story.

Joseph Conrod Sr. SPHR  

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