The Asparagus Response

I’ve been lucky in the sense that, for the most part, my children like vegetables. Well, “like” may be a strong term. Most vegetables they… permit. Broccoli is, believe it or not, high up on the requested vegetable list. For those of you with children, you know what a rarity that is. The one vegetable that I enjoy is asparagus. Of course, that is the one vegetable the kids hate. That means that it is not one I get to enjoy very often. Sometimes I will try to slip it in there when we open the floor for requests, “How about asparagus tonight? We haven’t had that in a while”, making a feeble attempt to win some enthusiasm for the doomed veggie. My request is met every time with the same response, unanimous eye-rolls followed by a resounding “UGH”.

Earlier this month I was sitting through a site-specific safety orientation that lasted just over four hours. Being a safety professional, not much of the information was new to me but I never let that drive me to complacency. As the class began and I switched into “eager student” mode, the instructor began by introducing himself and provided a brief background. He concluded the intro by informing us all (about 40) in the class that he was, “going to provide information that, if used properly, could potentially save your life”. No sooner had the words left his mouth when the two Gentlemen seated on either side of me rolled their eyes and let out a slightly audible, “UGH”.

It is shocking to me that there are responsible adults in the world that feel the same way about being given tools to avoid injury and death as my five-year-old feels about asparagus. These people are a double hazard because if they have such little regard for their own safety, do you think they are concerned with anyone else’s? Let’s change the parameters a bit. Do you think those two gentlemen would have had the same response if the instructor had announced that after the four-hour class, every attendee would receive one million dollars? I’m willing to bet with that kind of reward, they could extend the class to four days and no one would complain. Is your life not worth a million dollars? I say it’s worth much, much more than that. There is nothing more valuable than your life. If not to you then to the people that love you. My point is this… When someone is providing you safety information that could keep you from harm and potentially save your life, savor every single word. You are worth it. If you are offered asparagus and don’t like it, opt for broccoli… or give it to me. I’ll eat it.

Be safe out there.

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Daniel Boreman

Safety professional, people enthusiast.

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