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Willful Ignorance

There's little more that can be said about the critical importance of workplace wellbeing, and lawyer wellbeing, in particular. So let's not continue to add to the volumes-worth of what people have already said and turn our attention instead, to standards of behavior (which are the precursor to accountability).

The standard I suggest? I believe we've reached the point where willful ignorance should be considered. A legal analysis of that standard would involve both civil and criminal liability as well as questions of individual versus institutional responsibility, and in light of my status as a retired attorney, I cannot-- and do not-- opine about either of those concerns.

My ethical opinion, however, as a layman and run-of-the-mill human being? I believe that continued willful ignorance of scientific evidence supporting the cause of workplace wellbeing (particularly for lawyers), is reprehensible. I also believe that any such willful ignorance should be called out and condemned-- both privately and publicly.

To those individuals and institutions who have already taken steps to address the concern of workplace wellbeing, I applaud those efforts and support the apparent intention. To others who have not yet acted, I ask a simple question: Why not?

Plainly stated, willful ignorance of workplace wellbeing should no longer be tolerated. In the words of Boston attorney, Joseph Welch, who represented the U.S. Army in responding to unfounded allegations being promoted by Senator Joseph McCarthy: "Have you no decency?".

The mental and physical health of men and women who work to generate revenue for a business or firm, deserve to be recognized and protected. I believe that the broad penumbra of wellbeing covers all health concerns, and they ought not be ignored, any longer.

Congratulations, to those leaders and entities that already have a wellbeing initiative in place. To the others, I ask: Will you remain willfully ignorant?


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