First let me apologize for the lateness of this message. As always, I want to say a big thank you to all who has made it possible for me to distribute this message. I cannot express my gratitude enough for your assistance. I also want to thank each of you reading this. I hope you will find some encouragement or inspiration. I know you’re busy and you do a lot to get ready for your shift. So thank you for reading.
One of our founding fathers, John Adams, stated that “People and nations are forged in the fires of adversity.” That statement has remained true for us as a nation since our founding. Throughout our history, our nation has been involved in wars at home and wars overseas. As a nation we have redefined who we are and where we are headed. As a nation, we came from pilgrims, refugees, slaves and people fleeing oppression and we banded together to defeat one of the mightiest world powers of the time. We are a nation of overcoming adversity. We are a nation of people who can lay aside their own problems and come together.
Today our nation is facing challenges that our forefathers never imagined. We have major issues facing us like shootings, drug epidemic, and as a nation we are divided along so many fronts. But as the saying goes “It’s always darkest before the dawn”, and I believe that can be true for the United States today. So how can WE make a difference? How do WE turn the tide?
1) This one seems simple, we just do good things. Author Jeremy Palman wrote “Morality is not hard to know, it is hard to do.” As we, as individuals, go about trying to make OUR world better, it helps make THE world a better place.
2) Live like you are always being watched, because you are. In today’s society, those of us in public safety are being watched more and more closely. So to quote Bonnie Raitt “Let’s give them something to talk about.” Let’s go out and give a little extra when we can. Give the kid a sticker, a sucker, or a stuffed animal from your vehicle. Tell the attendant at the gas station the joke of the day. Make it your goal to make five people smile or laugh each day.
3) Do something unexpected. Surprise someone for paying for their lunch. Bring in fruit to roll call. One of the departments I helped with recently sent me a small gift in the mail. It cost them a few dollars, but it made my day.
Someone might say “Why should I try harder? I mean, I’m doing my job. Isn’t that enough?” To quote one of my favorite writers “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” I know that those may not be big things, or things that will make the evening news. But you just might change someone’s mind about those “public safety people”. Little things can mean more than you think. As Margret Mead put it “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Sometimes, even the best of us lose that perspective. We all need a “shot in the arm” from time to time (or maybe a “kick in the pants” if you’re anything like me). So if you find yourself struggling, ask someone you trust, ask a Chaplain, ask that trusted co-worker, or you can ask me, my contact information is below.
So Happy Independence Day, America! Let’s go out and live it!
In closing, as always, thank you so much for who you are, and all you do. I’ve said it before and will say it again, you all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough.
Dr. Mike A. Crain I, D.Min.
Huber Heights, OH 45424