The Price of Inaction
Updated: Jun 29, 2021
While every Monday morning I always aim to motivate in an positive light, there are times that motivation has to come from tragic experiences. Living in Miami, it is impossible for not to reflect on the tragedy that happened last week, when one of the iconic buildings in Miami Beach unexpectedly collapsed in the middle of the night. At the time of this writing, four days after the tragic event, there are still 159 people unaccounted for and nine fatalities reported. No matter how positive we are, let us be honest, it does not look good for the families of the residents that have not shown signs of life since the building crumbled. Inevitably, all sorts of investigations are happening right now, and just at the surface, there are several reports of there being documented structural problems reported over the years in this building.
To me, this is an extremely hard lesson on the price of inaction. Unfortunately, there are managers and decision makers out there that when faced with difficult decisions, find it easier to deny the full truth and to rationalize inaction, than to deal with the problem heads on and make difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions. Allegedly, repairs needed and worth an estimated US$ 9M were identified a few years back and supposedly no decision was made to resolve the issues at the time. Unfortunately the price of inaction changed, in a few minutes, from dollars to human lives.
Being in a decision-making position means more that merely have a fancy job title, a bigger paycheck, a bigger office, or power and influence, it means making the tough decisions when needed, putting people’s safety first and thinking of the potential consequences of the actions (or lack of) that we are taking. Procrastinators, in my opinion, should not be in a position that requires proactiveness and problem solving.
A segment I read in the New York Time Best Seller “Caste” written by Isabel Wilkerson came to mind while writing this blog:
“When you live in an old house, you may not want to go into the basement after a storm to see what the rains have wrought. Choose not to look, however, at your own peril. The owner of an old house knows that whatever you are ignoring will never go away. Whatever is lurking will fester whether you choose to look or not. Ignorance is no protection from the consequences of inaction. Whatever you are wishing away will gnaw at you until you gather the courage to face what you would rather not see”.
Or until life forces you to see it in the most unexpected way. So I think the time is right for us all to reflect on those decisions that we’ve been putting off, decisions that if left untaken might have repercussions beyond what we are willing to afford.
Meanwhile, let’s pray for all the families and victims of the Champlain Towers Tragedy.