Posted on January 07, 2018
When the great Frank Loesser wrote the romantic song ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ for his wife in 1944, do you think he was thinking ‘cyclone bomb,’ frozen pipes in New Orleans, snow in Florida, or icy waters flooding homes along the northeast coast of the country? Doubtful. It’s also unlikely he was attempting to predict the events that will define this new year. But predict them he did.
When we were last together live on December 18, looking back on the positive and the many truly horrible events that defined 2017, I had postulated that it would be lovely if we could turn down the volume, so to speak, in 2018. Keeping it cranked to 11, a la This is Spinal Tap, just seemed overwhelming and unbearable. How nice would it be, I asked just weeks ago, if 2018 had fewer natural disasters; no mass shootings; a reduction in the threat of nuclear war; a far greater agreement on the definition of ‘fact’ and ‘truth;’ an acceptance of science; an end to the ban imposed on the CDC by the White House on the use of ‘science-based,’ ‘evidence-based,’ ‘diversity,’ and ‘transgender;’ a dramatic reduction in sexual harassment and behaviors that create hostile workplaces; a more shared concern for the environment; and, importantly, a unified and concerted attempt to bolster the beliefs and values that have defined our country, including the right to protest, the welcoming of those seeking refuge from afar, the fair and equal treatment of all people by law enforcement; and, lastly, little or no need to use ‘truther’ or ‘train wreck,’ the latest additions to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, in a sentence?
Now that we’re one full week into 2018, and have a view of what’s to come, one thing is clear: So much for wishful thinking. Because, baby, it’s cold outside.
The New Year appears to be shaping up to be another dreadful one. Climate change will likely bring more powerful, destructive storms. The threat of someone pressing his nuclear button will increase. Puerto Rico will remain largely forgotten, with power not anticipated to be fully restored until May. (May!) The administration’s assault on science, the planet, the Constitution, the press, our institutions, and large segments of the population and even entire states it finds distasteful (read: California) will proceed unabated and will undoubtedly intensify as the investigation into Russia’s involvement in our electoral process unfolds. The ongoing, pervasive threat of sexual harassment will continue to hang like a dark, ominous cloud over our nation and thousands of organizations and millions of women within it. Unless, of course, something is done about it.
So much for a ‘new’ year. Like the prescient Frank Loesser sang, baby, it’s cold outside.
All the more reason for us to unite, even as the country is being divided. We have shown repeatedly that, together, we can take on 100-year floods (even if they now occur every 5 years), devastating fires, and the relentless, self-serving, malicious attacks of those seemingly more powerful than us. Despite what others would have us believe, we are, indeed, really good together. We’re strong together. We thrive together.
May this New Year be defined by us uniting to accomplish grand things. Let’s begin by us, together, ridding the workplace of sexual harassment. Training hasn’t been effective in curbing this obnoxious behavior. We know what sexual harassment is and we know what it looks like. We at The Schnur Group know how to help your organization stop it in its tracks. It takes courage, conviction and institutional support to call out one’s coworkers when a demeaning, sexist, sexual comment is made. We can help you build the support mechanisms, processes and metrics needed to eliminate sexual harassment and other heinous behaviors contributing to a hostile workplace once and for all. We can help you build a culture in which harassment of any kind won’t stand a chance.
May 2018 be our year. Together we are strong. Together we can change the world. It may be cold outside now, but tomorrow will be warmer and brighter if we ignore the concerted efforts to divide us and, instead, do what we do brilliantly when faced with a natural disaster: We take care of one another. May that define the New Year.
On that note, we offer a very warm welcome to members of the #WeTogether movement in Austria. You are not alone. We stand with you, shoulder to shoulder.
See you next week.