When to Change Your Lane
One does not need to spend much time on Route 1 to realize that we are in the height (or would that be depths?) of the tourist season. A simple trip to the grocery store can easily turn into a harrowing drive. Not everyone on the road respects red lights, uses turn signals, or is patient. If only they would, all could be well.
However, there are always those who test our faith in humanity. The lane changers are one of the more annoying travelers. Whether they are late for an appointment or just anxious to get to the next light before everyone else, lane changers seem to be on a mission.
Non-profit groups occasionally undergo strategic planning. One of the mantras that arise in these sessions is the admonition to “stay in your lane.” In other words, everyone on the governing board of a given non-profit has their area of expertise, and they should focus on that for the cohesion of the board. Yet there are exceptions to this philosophy, and the time may have come for us to understand the need for changing lanes.
Worthy of our attention may be an article a good friend recently posted. Titled “CXO Rick Evans: The voice of healthcare is needed more than ever,” this article shares the challenges of the healthcare industry in responding to events taking place all around us.
“The last few weeks,” Evans writes, “have brought stunning developments and potentially ominous signs for our country. Recent Supreme Court rulings have stripped away protections related to women’s reproductive rights and gun violence. Threats to rights for the LGBTQ+ community and other vulnerable populations also appear to be on the horizon.... Some may say that this “isn’t our lane.” I respectfully disagree.”
Evans continues to make the case for getting involved in these social issues. “We must be here for all. Our focus is on the person and their individual needs…. Given our mission, if we don’t speak out, who will?...Being inclusive should mean...adding our voices to the debate around these critical issues.”
He concludes his article with this, “I am worried about where things are going. The story of America has been a story of ever-widening inclusion for all. We appear to be in a period where that is being rolled back.... Continued progress requires people speaking out. Healthcare leaders belong in that mix.”
The case may be made that all leaders, regardless of the industry represented, belong in that mix. Regardless of your position or role in any business, you are a leader. And it is time for everyone to change lanes. Speak out! Speak up!
People across the state of Delaware recently spoke up and united to convince the State General Assembly to pass gun safety bills, which Governor Carney subsequently signed into law. They include HB 450, banning the sale of assault weapons; HB 451, raising the age to purchase most firearms from 18 to 21; HB 423, strengthening background checks; SB 1, limiting high-capacity magazines; SB 302, holding gun manufacturers and dealers liable for reckless or negligent actions that lead to gun violence; and SB 8, banning the use of devices that convert handguns into fully automatic weapons.
Governor Carney stated, “We have an obligation to do everything we can to prevent tragedies...from happening here in Delaware. We are not waiting to do what’s right—to take steps that will make our state safer. The historic gun safety legislation would not have been possible without the dedication of advocates who demanded action across our state....” This is true inspiration for lane changers.
LGBTQ safety and livelihoods are in jeopardy. With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has put us on notice that nothing is sacred, and nothing is safe. If a previous Supreme Court decision standing for 49 years can be overturned in the wink of an eye, so can other decisions with much less time on the books.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, in his concurring opinion from the Roe case, stated, “In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell...we have the duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.”
Griswold is a decision affecting use and availability of contraception. Lawrence is relative to gay sex activity. Obergefell is the 2015 decision affirming same-sex marriage. It was quite telling that Thomas did not include Loving v. Virginia, which made it lawful for people of different races to marry.
It is time to change lanes. It is time to get out of our comfort zones and speak out about the injustices occurring in our country. If we do not speak out, who will? Whatever industry or demographic you represent, speak, act, write, or protest. We will join together in “good trouble.” ▼
David Garrett, a CAMP Rehoboth Board member, is a straight advocate for equality and inclusion. He is also the proud father of an adult trans daughter. Email David Garrett at firstname.lastname@example.org.