‘Sweet Caroline…’ Oh How We Need You

Kindness Organizational culture Respect


Key Point: It is vital to keep daily perspective on what is really important at work, home and play. The New York Yankees evoked Neil Diamond’s iconic hit, “Sweet Caroline” to pay tribute to the victims of Monday’s terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon. Diamond’s 1969 hit has been a staple at Boston Red Sox home games for at least 15 years, and is played during the bottom of the eighth inning. Bean Town supporters boisterously join in on the chorus especially if the Sox are winning.

The Yankees played Sweet Caroline at the end of the third inning during their Tuesday, April 16 game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, respectfully borrowing the Fenway Park sing-a-long for just that one night. The tune followed a moment of silence for the victims of the two deadly explosions.

Check it out here.

Those who are sports fans and certainly baseball junkies are well aware that the rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox is as intense as any in sports. So the Tuesday night, “Da-DAH-dah’s!” echoing throughout the Bronx is a ringing statement of what we value most… Supporting each other as human beings. More than siding with baseball or cities, people celebrated each other and the human spirit at this game. So how do we translate any of these senseless, horrific tragedies into anything we can possibly control? My humble two-cents includes the following:

Character Moves:

  1. What you and I control is how we choose to think and act at work, home and play. Nothing is worth being intentionally hurtful to anyone else for any reason, under any circumstance. This includes the subtlest act… Like a poorly stated email intended “to put someone in their place.” As mean spirited behavior scales at work, it becomes about “payback” or revenge. That becomes fertile ground for justifying even worse behavior. You and I can choose not to act in any way that supports or condones action that is aimed at harming others.
  2. It is also vital for people to understand that getting ahead does not have to involve taking something from someone else. In its evil extreme, this scarcity thinking becomes a rallying cry for justifying the worst atrocities we inflict on each other. Self-accountable people always start with what they can do to make things better without having to focus on diminishing someone else. Expanding the pie to create more for all is different than taking from others.
  3. Explaining geopolitical complexity, terrorism and violence is way beyond the scope of this blog or competence of this author. However the more we insist on accountability, respect and abundance as minimum acceptable values guiding our behavior, the better the world is. The world we control is in our immediate sphere. If we do that together there is less room for the unacceptable other.
  4. Remember that in the spirit of the Yankee fans singing Sweet Caroline, I believe it is more important to become personally and organizationally excellent than to beat and/or hate a rival. Some of you may think this is naive but there is much research to reinforce the validity of this thinking. However small, that is a victory against violence and by extension a defiant act against the fear intended by terrorists.

Sweet Caroline in The Triangle,