My husband and I were traveling on I-64 today, entering Louisville, KY from the west. We drove under a pedestrian walkway and I noticed a handmade sign draped on the outside of the protective fencing. The following words were printed on the sign: GRAYHAWK CORP SHAME ON YOU. I was processing that information when I noticed a man standing behind the sign with one hand clenching the chain link fencing. He was leaning forward, staring down at the streaming cars in a determined, desperate and slightly sad posture. I know you are thinking I surmised a lot about this man in the few seconds it took us to pass under the walkway, but I know what I saw. Several things passed through my mind as I tried to figure out the story behind the man and the sign. Did another company go out of business, was Grayhawk in someway involved with the wars we are fighting, did Grayhawk move their corporation to China or India, or did they perhaps treat their employees unfairly?
I figured I would get home and check out the story with the help of the internet, but sadly I was let down. I found a couple of old references to possible low salary, low benefit issues but they were from three years ago and I wasn't sure it was the same corporation.
So, I may never find out why a lone individual was spending a Monday afternoon staring down at the interstate traffic behind a sign with a very accusatory message: GRAYHAWK CORP SHAME ON YOU. But I've given it some thought and I've decided it's not a bad message for a whole host of corporations, banks, politicians and citizens of our country. The sign might have worked better if it simply said: SHAME ON YOU, leaving every viewer with that simple unsettling thought to ponder.
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Shame has become almost old fashioned, but it is a very important emotion. At one time corporate leaders could feel shame and there was some sense of integrity in business. Now it seems there is no integrity and no shame on Wall Street and perhaps not on much of Main Street either. A lack of shame is not what we think of as poverty, but it is a poverty. And it diminishes us all.ReplyDelete