Look Up For Answers

Ain't No Answers On The Ground

Guest Blog by Randall Doizaki

I know “Ain’t” is not a proper word in the English language but it fits well in calling cadence (for marching) in the military and I thought it was appropriate to use with a coworker who I observed so deep in thought that she was missing what was going on around her.

I was walking by the employee entrance of the building we both work in and I stopped to open the door for her. She was so buried in thought while looking more at her feet and where she was stepping that she didn’t see me holding the door until she went to open it.  The thought came to me about a cadence in the Marine Corps that went “Ain’t no use looking down, ain’t no discharge on the ground.”

I took this and changed the word discharge for “answer” and then in discussion with the coworker I told her “Ain’t no use looking down, ain’t no answer on the ground”.  At first, she seemed puzzled by my comment, as a Marine who wears various colored dress shirts, I am known for being a little off-center, but when I mentioned her being deep in thought she stated she did have a lot on her mind.

With a little discussion, she said she understood my comment and headed off to her office for the day. I had the opportunity to discuss this with others later in the day, some got a laugh out of it and others seemed just as puzzled by the concept. I have even noticed the CEO of the organization doing the same thing as he walks down the hall, being so deep in thought that he is looking down and missing what is going on around him.

This is not to say we miss everything just that we need to look up, or as another phrase states, see the forest for the trees.

We all often take a break from our desk or the pressure of the daily grind with the economy, family, work, and try to fit time in with our support team. My wife is the greatest, but we do not always take time to look up to what is going on even with our wonderful daughter. We are usually running out the door for work, school, or coming in the door and getting ready for the next day. Even if we do get a “date night” in we have to force ourselves to look up.

How many of our coworkers, friends, and family spend the time looking down and not at what is going on around them?

I had the opportunity to talk to the coworker that I had first mentioned this to a few weeks later, and she told me she had caught herself looking down even when taking the dogs for a walk. She went on to say, that it has made a difference in her mental attitude with a simple conscious effort of looking up because there ain’t no answer on the ground.

I stopped one day to watch our daughter and her friends come running out of the classroom when they were still in elementary school, every one of them was looking up. Not just for their parents but to see what was going on around them. If we only take the time to look at things with a child’s eyes, we might enjoy what we see a lot more.

I hope I can be the kind of parent that my daughter will learn from and the kind of leader that my organization is looking for, to include; “Ain’t no use looking down, ain’t no answer on the ground.”

Randall Doizaki was, is, and always will be a Marine. He is a retired Law Enforcement professional who has dedicated his life to serving others. Like others before him, he took an oath to serve and has never taken it back. This is the foundation of his leadership style.


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