Say "I love you."

I just saw a tweet from @DannyBrown:  "The most personal blog article I'll ever write - would love to hear *your* story.

Danny shared a very personal story.  How he nearly committed suicide.  He invited his readers to share their story. 

How do we not?

We all have a "story", an event or two extremely pivotal in our lives.  You'll get an abbreviated version of one of mine.

Lt. Gilmore (on the right)
Two day before my graduation ceremony from Rutgers, I was at Ft. Drum, NY.  I was an ROTC cadet and an Infantry lieutenant with the New Jersey Army National Guard.  I wasn't required to go to this particular annual training event, but did so because our Battalion Commander said he needed lieutenants to help with the training (ok, if a colonel "asks" a lieutenant for anything, there is only one answer to be given; actually, didn't have to reach that point: the Battalion Commander was a great guy).

Suffice it to say that I was seriously injured during a so-called "war game" - "Defense of Europe": not so far-fetched during the cold war....My Platoon Sergeant died instantly at my side.  He was a good man and a good soldier.  Our APC driver had his teeth knocked in and a collapsed lung.  I was hurt pretty badly.  I was read my Last Rites.  My parents, who were busy preparing my graduation ceremony, received a call informing them that they needed to travel to see me as the doctors did not think I would live.

At the moment I regained conciousness, or the point where I could understand what had happened, I suddenly thought of so many things, but one thing in particular:  loved ones who I had never told that I loved them.  I, of course, had and still have, a profound sense of loss for my dear Platoon Sergeant.  I also have a searing understanding that we walk this world only once and that all can change in a blink, but emblazoned is my understanding that we should never be stingy with love.  The more love we give the more love we have -- and what we don't share eats away at us.

I learned other things, too.  Like when a driver insists on waving a person to cross a busy street, only to steam as he watches the seemingly healthy young man saunter at a slow and measured step crossing the street, he might consider if there isn't a reason other than inconsideration that causes the "punk" to saunter.  How when on a bus an "old timer", no doubt a military vet himself, grumbles about the "punk" haircut on the kid seated in front of him, he might want to pause and consider whether there could be a chance that the "barber" might've been an Army surgeon at Walter Reed Army Medical Center....

I suspect that I've shared enough, if not too much, and hope that I've shared enough:  tell those you love that you love them.  Don't honk your horn at the kid who moseys across the road after you've had the courtesy to stop and wave him on.  And never make fun of anyone's hair cut...

Dan, how'd I do?...

And, yes, reader, it's your turn, what's your story...

6 Lessons From @RedCross Social Media Crisis

A social media crisis can occur very innocently and quickly, as when a social media community manager "mistweets", sending a message intended for one Twitter account to another.  The consequences can be humorous or disastrous:  much depends on how the "crisis" is handled. 

Such a mistweet occurred with the official Red Cross Twitter account.  A message was sent to the account's more than a quarter of a million followers touting the discovery of "more beer" and boasting:  "...when we drink we do it right.  #gettingslizzerd"

A nightmare?  For most, perhaps, but for the Red Cross, expert at handling a crisis, through candor, quickness, and humor, they turned it into a positive. 

6 Lessons from the Red Cross Mistweet

1.  When a crisis occurs, address it quickly.
2.  Respond to the crisis in the same forum where it occurred, as well as putting to work other available social media networks. 
3.  Be honest about the mistake.
4.  Apologize for the mistake.
5.  Don't panic.
6.  Use the moment to humanize your brand.

The Red Cross tells the story best in their blog.

Photo credit:  JasonWatkins, Flickr