Sharing A Roger Revell 911 Comment

Thank you to all those who enjoyed reading my column about A 911 Tragedy Ten Years Later.

One of my long time high school friends wrote an excellent perspective of his own on 911 Ten Years Later and I felt the desire to share it with you.

Roger and I were classmates in our hometown of Shenandoah, Iowa.  He was an academic giant. Roger awed students and teachers alike with his command of English and his extensive vocabulary. He taught me my first intellectual word — indubitably. He used it on me in a class one day. I dashed home after school and looked it up in the dictionary so I could figure out what he was saying.  Then I started using it on occasion (not around Roger, of course. I didn’t want him to know he was being such a positive influence on me.) That word became a standing joke between us later, and we used it on each other. In fact, he signed my yearbook that year, “Indubitably, R. A. Revell.”

Today Roger and his wife, Kathy, own their own business consulting firm in Liberty, Missouri, Revell Inc. They raised two children, both of whom are professionals now as well.  Roger remains one of my favorite friends. And I’m one of his most ardent admirers.

The comment he posted stemmed from his vast experience understanding organizational behavior. I was grateful for his perspective on the 911 tragedy ten years later.


“My perspective is from organizational behavior, Steve. An individual or group under attack from an external source becomes more cohesive because of the common enemy. Those events left us with a common enemy, and our concern about that enemy overshadowed (for a while) whatever else we may have previously seen as significant about our differences. In humans there is a strong need to affiliate with others we judge as similar, and a corresponding need to vilify those we judge as “different.” Observe the alignments, name-calling and conflicts between “Evangelical Christians” and liberals. If faced with another significant external threat, those two groups would realign against their shared enemy. Thanks for the thoughtful post!” Roger Revell.

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2 thoughts on “Sharing A Roger Revell 911 Comment

  1. Good thoughts by two of my high school classmates, Steve in his blog, Roger in his note to Steve after the blog was published. This reminded me of when I was living in Storm Lake in northwest Iowa, teaching at Buena Vista University there. Storm Lake had become a very diverse town because of its two huge meat packing plants, with the Latino and Southeast Asian populations rapidly growing to where — added together — they probably became the majority in the town. There were and are all kinds of efforts there to unify all the Storm Lakers. A friend, Rod Rodriguez, an American who’d come to the community from his native Texas, once observed: “There are five things that bring people together across racial, ethnic and cultural lines — food, music, sports, festivals and tragedies. What you want to do is emphasize the first four and avoid the fifth.” Amen. Now, I’m going to go look up the word “indubitably.”


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