After high school I was looking for a way to earn money for college and support a young family. I found both of these options in the U.S. Army. I served for three years as a Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Warfare Specialist. The recruiting material made it sound like a laboratory job… but it was anything but. I was attached to an Armored Battalion (M-1 Abrams Tanks) where I worked as a company level NBC NCO (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Non-Commissioned Officer). I was responsible for making sure our soldiers would survive if exposed to a nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare.
Shortly after my arrival, one of the tanker sergeants stopped by my room and said in a loud, entertain-the-other-tankers voice, “You know what NBC stands for, don’t ya? No Body Cares!” He laughed a loud, guffawing laugh before I could poing out that “No Body” was actually “Nobody”, but his point was well made.
A few nights ago I was out visiting our church group at summer camp and was in a conversation with someone about why I wouldn’t share details of a recent surgery I’d had. People mean well, but I wanted to maintain some semblance of privacy. I’ve been reading a lot lately about the sociological phenomenon of the “third place”. I’m sure I’ll discuss third place more in the future, but the synopsis is pretty simple: almost everyone has three geographical/social places they identify with. The first is home, the second is work or school, and the third is the place they go for social connectedness and community.
I was explaining to this individual that, for most people, there is a clear demarkation between these three groups but this same demarkation didn’t exist for ministers. Home, work, church all run together. That’s why I have to be super private about things that I really want to keep close to myself.
As I was beginning to make this point, which I thought to be brilliant and well applied, someone else listening in to the conversation made a dismissive remark about what I was about to share. I don’t remember the details, but the point was very clear: they didn’t care.
I don’t share this for sympathy but rather to share a genuine revelation I’ve had. For the last twenty years I’ve found myself fascinated with things that no one else seems to care about. I get excited about process and organization. I’m a dedicated student of organizational health and growth. I’m much more interested in finding the root cause of problems and addressing them there than I am in just putting a band-aid over the issue. I want to know why people do what they do in different scenarios and I want to talk about it and discuss it.
What’s the problem with that? No Body Cares.
For a few days I’ve really labored over a minor identity crisis in dealing with the fact that nobody cares about the things that I find most important in life and church. But I’ve come to a liberating conclusion: I Care. I care about these things because I’m convinced that an understanding of them makes people’s lives better. I care because I’ve seen how empowering and encouraging healthy organizations can be. I care.
And so much of this site may end up being leadership stuff that many don’t care about. For those that need this information and can’t find it elsewhere, I care enough to continue developing this material. I’m going to have lots of fun working on this, and I hope that you will enjoy reading along with the journey.