The Employers' Association

The Employers’ Association (TEA) is a not-for-profit employers’ association, formed in 1939, with offices in Grand Rapids serving the West Michigan employer community. We help more than 600 member companies maximize employee productivity and minimize employer liability through human resources and management advice, training, survey data, and consulting services.

TEA is in the business of helping people. This blog is intended to address human issues, concerns and the things that impact people - be they self-perpetuated or externally imposed. Feel free to respond to the thoughts presented here, for without each other, we are nothing!

Monday, March 11, 2013


The sequence of words within the lyrics of a ‘60’s era song (Turn, Turn, Turn by The Byrds) are rearranged from their original order but taken almost verbatim from Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 – traditionally ascribed to King Solomon. Far too often we see life as a series of dead ends, lost opportunities and hidden darkness rather than emerging light shed upon unlimited potential.  The song, often used to promote peace while denouncing war during the Vietnam era, tells us there is… 
  • A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted
  • A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up
  • A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance
  • A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away
  • A time to rend, and a time to sow; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak
  • A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together
  • A time to embrace, and time to refrain from embracing
  • A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace, and, above all
  • To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens
I recognize that I think differently than most so should not be surprised that, among other thoughts and emotions, these words came crashing down upon me recently as I wandered through a large retail store about to close. The nearly empty racks – their substance stripped from them by customers eager to find a bargain – stand as barren as the carcass of a living creature pounced upon by scavengers seeking sustenance. The organization – once a provider of jobs for many – is but a final resting place for the few left behind to shutter its doors. The sight of an enterprise shutting saddens me because it brings to an end what were once fresh starts and new beginnings – darkening the bright promise of a dream as it mirrors the finality changing seasons bring as the time progresses.

In our personal relationships or the business interactions in which we participate, we need not dwell upon the loss each season’s passing brings for within each end we are offered hope of a new beginning. We can hold on to what will no longer be OR reach out to identify new dreams that will provide us with an opportunity to succeed anew. We can stay silent in our suffering as we mourn the past or speak out in anticipation of those things that have yet to be realized. We can cast away those things holding us back or gather up new opportunities upon which we can establish a new foundation. Our perspective determines how we embrace opportunities in life – how we “Turn, Turn, Turn” when given the chance to begin anew – and what will become of our dreams and aspirations as we move forward towards each new beginning.

The closing of a business can be much like the end of a relationship. No matter how much we may seek comfort in “what was” we cannot hide from the fact that changing seasons bring new tomorrows – an unknown that can result in either crippling anxiety or exhilarating opportunity. Our world is filled with choices that bring us new beginnings – that allow us to either “keep or to cast away” as we “plant or reap.” It is up to us to make the most of our opportunities – to continue turning from one to the next – if we are to thrive in the life we have been given.

Make the most of your life as you “Turn, Turn, Turn” from the close of each seemingly final chapter towards the opportunities you will find if you but open your eyes to the potential within each new horizon!