Distribution: Please distribute to all Law Enforcement, Fire, EMS and Dispatch personnel – September 11, 2019
As always, I want to give another thank you to all who forward this message to your departments and staff. You trust me enough to share my message to others, and I strive to not make you regret that decision. To all my readers, I hope to improve your lives, at least in some small way. If you are reading this, then I think you might hope for that too. Trust me when I say, it isn’t something I take lightly.
This is the tenth email I have sent on September 11th. My next email in November marks the beginning of my eleventh year. To borrow one of my favorite expressions, “Time files like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.” (Some of you laughed, and some of you rolled your eyes just now, but that’s OK. On a side note, Wikipedia also has a page devoted solely to that expression and its linguistic breakdown, so it appears that at least someone is more of a nerd than me!)
But in all seriousness, the passage of time sometimes leaves us wondering about the impact we are leaving on the planet. And you may say that I mention this a lot; and that is a true statement. As a minister and public speaker/motivational speaker I think it is my duty not to only think through it myself, but to encourage others to do the same.
George Bernard Shaw had this to say: “I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to the future generations.”
The other quote I often use is the poet Cicero when he said “The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living”. It’s something that I think about, and fell that more of us should think about more often than we do. The older I get more of my friends, leaders, and mentors leave to receive their reward, as I believe. And, there will come a day that I will also make that trip. Have I done enough that those closest to me will have that comfort? Or did I coast through life? I’ve determined that it will never be said of me that I was coasting.
I know we have big jobs. But that isn’t all that I want to be remembered for. “Here lies Mike, boy he sure worked a lot of overtime” just doesn’t have a nice ring to it. So I need to keep moving, keep giving, keep living until I can’t. What about you? If that is something you have not considered, take time some time and see what that might look like. And maybe what you need to do to change or build on 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.