The death of Jdimytai Damour Part II

As I unravel this situation in New York with the trampling death of Jdimytai Damour at the Green Acres Mall Wal-Mart in Valley Stream, NY, some other things trouble me. Before I get to that, an update from yesterdays post about the accountability of Wal-Mart. As of now, Wal-Mart has said they will provide someone to talk to us before the week is out. As soon as I get more from them, I will share it with you.

Now back to other concerns I have. Many people have commented on the herd mentality of the shoppers that created the surge that crashed through the doors that Mr. Damour was pushing against on Friday morning. This herd was motivated by the great deals that had been advertised.

Based upon numerous reports, many of the 2000, who waited impatiently outside Wal-Mart, were almost desperate for the stuff they wanted. In fact, several accounts state that shoppers would not leave the store when it was closed due to the trampling of Jdimytai and others. There were several shoppers quoted as saying, Im not leaving until I got what I came for.

When I think about this, it is easy for me to talk about those people. It is easy to have this be about fanatical folks who were brazen and uncaring. You know though, that is too easy. I have found that when there is some public outrage, one of the missing elements is a good self-examination by those who make the loudest protests.

Dont get me wrong. I am not saying that the behavior of the shoppers was OK. I am saying that this behavior is not acceptable. What I am also saying is that I have some accountability for this situation. No, I was not part of the crowd that was in Valley Stream. So my accountability is indirect, but no less important.

It is my sense that the energy that fueled this tragedy comes from the almost insatiable appetite for stuff. I find that I am living in a world where our success is measured by the amount and kind of stuff we have. Whether it is the car I drive or the TV I own or how manicured my lawn is or the set of threads I am wearing, I am measured by criteria that have nothing to do with who I am.

This desire for stuff has grown over the past thirty years. I remember Christmas in my home in California. It was a great experience. The kids got train sets that were made to last and the presents from the grandparents were not excessive. Things began changing as more and more consumer products infiltrated the market.

I also began to see changes in how we thought of the goods and services we offered. This included their durability, quality and real value. Marketing of consumer products changed. A focus moved to creating desire in the buyer to have the latest, coolest product. This change has been documented in places like Naomi Kleins book, No Logo.

The impact has been both obvious and subtle. The obvious part is that we acquire so much for which we are not clear of the long term value. We believe we must have products so that we will be happy. We all know how fleetingly satisfying this desire is, and yet we go down to the mall and participate.

I can see how unconscious I become when I am in a well-laid out store. Merchandise is almost calling to me like the long ago sirens of Homer’s Odyssey. I have to practice intense self-control to leave certain stores with only what I intended. My participation in this system is the beginning of my accountability for the death of Jdimytai Damour.

It continues with my not speaking up now that I know how the system works. I am not a persuasive advocate for buyers to be deliberate. I know there is so much more that I can do to help change the system that not only leads to consumer insanity like Mr. Damours death, but to the depletion of some of the most precious resources on the planet.

The subtle part of the impact is how we act in other arenas. This mindset of ‘more’ and ‘want’ drives most of our corporate leaders. They feel that they must grow at almost any cost to be successful. I am accountable for Jdimytais death because I gladly took consulting fees from companies that are fueling rampant consumerism.

I also see the subtle impact at home. My children get obsessed with things. They must have stuff or they are not happy. Then they get it and they quickly discard it for some other stuff. In the past I have silently sat by and let this unfold without questioning the acceptability of this behavior. At times, it seems daunting to make a stand when so many around me seem to believe that the way of stuff is the way that it’s supposed to be.

As you can see, I have been deeply impacted by Jdimytai Damour death. It inspires me to action and strengthens my resolve.

Until later,

Thomas

Author: Thomas White

Over the past thirty-five years, Thomas White has created and led private and public organizations that initiated breakthroughs in areas as diverse as computer software, publishing, printing, market research, leadership development and organizational change. The common ingredients in his success are simple. He looked beyond the limitations that others believed and found real solutions to needs that business leaders have. He attracted the best talent to translate these innovative solutions into practical products and services that were of high value to customers. He created cultures where people love what they do, work at their best and produce extraordinary results. In addition to his role as a business leader, Thomas has been a pioneer and inventor of technologies in the computer-networking field. He is a patent holder for innovations in business process and workflow technology. As part of his passion for educating others about the interface of human and computer systems, he was the co-author of “New Tools for New Times, The Workflow Paradigm”. He has also written articles for numerous publications. In 2001, he turned his attention from leading companies to supporting leadership teams in creating organizations of excellence. After many years of being a part of the machine of change, Thomas recognized that business is the most powerful force in the world. It has a major impact on public policy and governments everywhere. It is a key influence on how we use our resources and sets an example of the values that shape communities from local to global. He formed the consulting firm of Profoundly Simple to be a guide for exemplary leaders - leaders who wisely uses the power they are entrusted with to serve their constituencies first and themselves second; leaders who know that it is good business to treat people with respect, honor the environment and act with impeccable integrity – leaders who inspire greatness in those around them and by doing so create great organizations that are notable examples of success. Feeling the itch to get back into the game again, Thomas joined with two long time friends, to start the C-Suite Network. This network of business leaders offers an online network, events, services, and insights to its 500,000 member community. In addition, the C-Suite Network produces and distributes television and radio content to an audience of over 5M per month

1 thought on “The death of Jdimytai Damour Part II”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s