Synchronicity at Work

I did a double take when I saw the July 23rd cover story of TIME magazine: ONE A DAY – Every day, one U.S. soldier commits suicide. Why the military can’t defeat its most insidious enemy.

I read the story and felt as if I had been issued a personal invitation to intervene. After all, I had recently trained 21 military officers in Leadership and the Power of Acknowledgment, and come away from the experience deeply moved by their realization that although these soldiers had been recognized through official means and channels, none of them had experienced true, heartfelt acknowledgment. Nor had they given any, but they committed to doing so in the future once the course ended.

So how could I help make soldiers feel so valued and appreciated that they would not think of suicide as a way to deal with the lack of appreciation I was sure they felt? I picked up the phone and called my “kindred spirit” Chaplain Primitivo Davis, one of the 11 Grateful Leaders I have profiled in my new Grateful Leadership book that is coming out November 16th. He was the person who brought me in to train the U.S. Army officers.

I left the Chaplain a long, rambling message about my needing to do something about this awful situation, and within minutes he called me back. “You won’t believe this,” he said, knowing full well that I would! “But as your call was coming in (he had been on another call at the time), I was writing your name down to call you either that night or the next day. I had just been asked to come up with a proactive program to prevent military suicides and I immediately thought of you and The Power of Acknowledgment. I want to do a pilot program with you using your book focused on this powerful resource here at Fort Drum, and we will make a difference, one soldier at a time in this way.” I told him it was “spooky” that we both thought of the other at the same time. “You know better than that, Judy,” he said. “We were just guided to do something that will make a powerful difference.” He then shared his vision of sharing this positive message as far and wide as possible, contributing to the prevention of suicide across the Army and possibly other branches of the military.

Synchronicity is just evidence that we are doing the right thing at the right time. I walked on air for the next few days thinking about this experience and about how “guided” I felt. I will keep you posted as this initiative develops.