For those who truly know me, you probably know that I keep a running list of pet peeves. You know…things that truly irk the hell out of me.
Well…one of the pet peeves that absolutely irks me the most, is when people criticize the actions and responses of other people because of the way those individuals have chosen to deal with a crisis, disaster or serious issue, in their own unique and proactive way, while the same people who criticize provide no realistic solutions, nor have a track record of doing anything that moves the needle or remotely resembles results.
Take Hurricane Harvey for example.
We just experienced one of the most catastrophic natural disasters in the history of the Greater Houston area, whereby people from all races, religions, political affiliations and socio-economic backgrounds were affected.
Many individuals hit the ground running and working. For many, there were no conventional methods used or standard protocol adhered to – hell, it was all about survival and safety.
Those who wanted to help, or who needed help, didn’t care who the leader was – they just went to work and led in their own way.
There were many who probably didn’t agree with the decisions some leader(s) made, but they were too focused on trying to deal with the immediate issues at hand, so they sucked it up, put their differences to the side and chose to move forward.
Then you have those (and they are in every city and every situation) who sit on the sidelines and choose to cherry-pick every decision people make, and attempt to Monday Morning Quarterback the situation, as if they know what the best decision should have been.
But see, that’s the thing…the critics weren’t the ones making the decision, nor do they have any alternative solutions or answers. They are simply just a bunch of talkers, with no evidence of results or progressive action.
Why do people constantly criticize and disparage the decisions and efforts of other people who have chosen to lead, while it is 100% clear that their own efforts (if that’s what you want to call it) show no evidence of productivity, progression or results?
I’ve been so inspired and motivated by ALL of the amazing people who have chosen to lead and give of themselves in the midst of chaos and adversity; choosing to serve their neighbors and even strangers during one of our greatest times of need as a community following Hurricane Harvey.
Shout out to the Coast Guard, the National Guard, local officials, EMS workers, the Cajun Navy, along with many of our churches, ministries, local grassroots organizations, community activists, and all of the selfless and sacrificial neighbors who have chosen to step up and lead in a major way.
No matter what it was and no matter what it continues to be…you are all the REAL MVPs!!!
I would also like to send a huge THANK YOU to the many employees who could’ve easily called in to take off work, but chose not to; making the decision to work at places where people needed them, such as grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, etc. All of you helped provide a service to us at a time we needed it the most…you too are the REAL MVPs!!!
I also want to express my thanks to many of our elected officials who had the tough and arduous responsibility of making tough decisions about what is best for the constituents under their jurisdiction and purview.
The thing about leadership is…you’ll NEVER get 100% of the people to agree with you or support your decisions…therefore you just have to lead and deal with the criticisms later!
It truly amazes me how people can always tell others what they see wrong, but can never seemingly develop their own strategy to solve the problem or implement things themselves.
There are many people dealing with the after effects of this storm, including African Americans. So the question I have is, who is willing to go beyond criticizing the decisions and efforts of others, or the things other people are trying to do, and turn all of their wonderful ‘ideas’ and consistent critiques into some real-life actions that can be implemented in real-time?
As a major pet peeve, I am truly sick and tired of the constant critiques by individuals who have nothing meaningful to offer – well, except critiques.
Most of these types of individuals remind me of my fifth-grade teacher who was notorious for taking an assignment I had turned in to her, taking her red pen, and putting red marks all over my paper because of the mistakes I may have made.
Honestly, it was never the red marks on my paper that I had a problem with; it was always the fact that she never offered me any feedback as to why the assignment I turned in, and that she marked all up with her red pen, was wrong, or what I needed to do to make it right.
I refuse to dismiss or demean an individual simply because they choose to make a decision or handle a situation differently than I would. Just because things don’t make sense to me, doesn’t mean that the person making the decision isn’t making the right decision, or isn’t being effective.
I’m interested in working with ANYONE who cares about our community enough that they are willing to roll up their sleeves and come up with strategies to get things accomplished so we can move forward.
I am not looking to cosign with consistent complainers, sideline reporters or Monday Morning Quarterbacks…we already have way too many of those.
I am looking to connect with those who are willing to accept the fact that I, Jeffrey L. Boney, won’t always make the perfect decision or do everything perfectly, but who understands that I care about this community just as much as they do, and together, we can help move us forward.
If you are that type of get-it-done person…you know where to find me every week!
Jeffrey L. Boney serves as Associate Editor and is an award-winning journalist for the Houston Forward Times newspaper. Jeffrey has been a frequent contributor on the Nancy Grace Show and Primetime Justice with Ashleigh Banfield. Jeffrey has a national daily radio talk show called Real Talk with Jeffrey L. Boney, and is a dynamic, international speaker, experienced entrepreneur, business development strategist and Founder/CEO of the Texas Business Alliance. If you would like to request Jeffrey as a speaker, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.