Thank you again for allowing me the opportunity to speak with you.
Thanksgiving 2010 will soon be here. Another year is soon coming to a close. I just want to talk a little about adversity. I can almost hear you ask, “Why would we hear about adversity on Thanksgiving?” For starters, if you’re reading this note, you have survived. People and circumstances threw their best at you and you came out on top. You might have received some bumps and bruises along the way, but your here. And you get to fight another day. That bullet meant for you missed its target. That building should have collapsed but didn’t. All the things that could have gone wrong didn’t. Adversity evokes dormant potential within us that could not be awakened otherwise. And if this statement is true for anyone, it’s true for you. Rushing INTO burning buildings. Maintaining composure to return fire when fired upon. Having to talk to relatives after a horrible accident. I’m amazed not only by what you do on a regular basis, but the strength, composure and dedication with which you do it.
There are battles you fight in your individual lives that might make the job pale in comparison. Sometimes “off-duty” things can be just as hard (or harder) to deal with. Departments and communities coming together after a tornado. One officer in my area is fighting cancer, but has been surrounded with love and support from everyone.
It’s been said that no man is an island. Sometimes we forget the impact that our lives have on others. During the holiday season, it can be easy to be discouraged. But every one of us has touched lives that we may never know about. You HAVE made a difference for people.
As I end this note, I’d like to encourage you: Take time to see the difference you have made. Life, with all its ups and downs, is something to be enjoyed and appreciated. And if you have a rough time, your departments may have Employee Assistance Care, Chaplains, Chiefs, supervisors, clergy and/or even friends for guidance and assistance should you need it. I’ll make myself available to help you in any way that I can.
I’ve said it in every email, and every chance I get. I’ve said it to the chiefs and administrators when I contact them. I’ve said it to you on the streets and stores. You all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough.