Pain often leads a conversation
Over six months ago, our city was mourning the loss of a young man who was shot while walking down a street. After a video of the shooting was released, citizens vehemently blamed people they believed were personally responsible for the death. Anger and bewilderment followed in our neighborhoods and across social media. The personal anguish of citizens was felt, recognized and acknowledged resulting in municipal and federal investigations beginning the work to respond to the demands understanding the Why of what happened. The citizen focus over the past few months appeared to be quiet and perhaps blurred. When people are in mourning, learning how to deal with the pain is not an easy road to go down. Pain leads the conversation.
I am writing this blog post because of two separate instances that happened this week. The first occurred shortly after I arrived back in the City from a business trip. I spoke to a man and asked a follow-up question of why downtown streets were closed due to police protection. He was surprised I knew about what happened since I was away, and then responded that a construction crew accidentally hit an energy mainline. Responding to his surprise, I said, “I’m signed up with the city to receive weather and other alerts.” His perception: “That’s because you are So and So.” The conversation remained friendly and the man understood from me that all citizens were able to receive the same alerts.
The second instance was my learning that the US Justice Department would hold a meeting where citizens would have an opportunity to raise their concerns about interaction with the police department – an outgrowth of the investigation that began six months ago. I listened to this news shortly before 6:00am. The next day the Illinois Progress website announced only 30 people attended the first Justice Department forum. http://www.illinoisprogress.org.
Following up on issues that are important to you is not easy when you are in pain and mourning. If I had not listened to the news early in the morning, I would not have known about the US Justice forum that evening. The business of municipal and federal agencies is for the common good – so for those who would like to attend a future forum, here is the listing, again from Illinois Progress: http://progressillinois.com/news/content/2016/06/15/us-justice-department-hold-public-forums-chicago-police-department-probe.
As you Choose Who You Want to be Known As this week, consider reaching out to someone who would benefit and want to know about these future forums. Thank you and have a great week!
“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coaching