By Mark vonAppen
A brother was having a bad day at work, so I asked him how he was doing and he replied, “Living the dream brother, living the dream.”
If ever you question your drive to work the job take a look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Am I all in? Am I holding up my end of the bargain with my brothers, sisters, and the community that I serve? Am I the same person that I said I’d be in my interview with the fire chief all those years ago?”
If you can face the person in the glass before you and answer “yes” then great, let it roll. If your answer is “sometimes” or “maybe” then hear me out.
Let’s get something straight. None of us got into this profession against our will. To one degree or another, we volunteered for it, and some of us fought for years to get it. We worked odd jobs, went to school at night, and interviewed for every job opportunity that surfaced – anywhere. As rough it can be at times it is better to us than the alternative, an anemic life passed in the numbness of the risk-free human zoo that is modern society.
We truly are living the dream, we must never lose sight of that. We have to constantly test ourselves mentally, physically, and professionally in order to remain steeled come what might. We have to maintain the beginners mind and the passion that drew us to this proud and storied calling.
The only thing more terrifying to us than having something happen in our lives is the possibility of nothing happening at all. We live for the challenge of our profession, it becomes who we are. We live for it. We are most alive when we push the limits of our capabilities, when we help others, it is where we thrive, it is where we are at our best.
God help us, we do love it so.