Life is short. When we are kids our days seem endless, and days and weeks crawl by.
As we age, and count our time on earth in years, then decades, we begin to see just how quickly it all passes.
In our youth, we are fascinated with
possibilities; anything is possible, and the world is ours for the taking.
As life progresses, we learn that it is not about what we take; rather, it is what we give that matters.
As parents, we learn that taking everything we can to achieve happiness is a fool’s game. We know that it is in the giving where true satisfaction derives.
The fire service provides the perfect opportunity to find purpose, contentment, and the elusive happiness that every person craves.
To give our children every opportunity we can imagine, including but certainly not limited to the opportunity to pursue the life we have led, is the greatest gift we can give them.
Denying them the chance to experience it because of the inherent risk is simply not an option.
Sometimes we have to risk everything or live with the regret that not taking a chance breeds.
Some people can live with that and leave the risk taking to others.
Theirs is a sheltered life, a safe life, a life often lived without passion. It is not the life that we have chosen; and, make no mistake, we are the ones who choose to live the firefighter’s life.
Our children, should they choose to follow our path, make that choice as well.
Nobody can do the job without wanting it, and nobody can make another person want it.
If the people we brought into this world have decided that they wish to follow in our footsteps and live the life we have chosen, they do so because they have seen with their own eyes, felt with their own hearts, and know with their intellect that firefighting is worth the risk.
We do not “let our kids follow in our footsteps.” They have seen for themselves what a firefighter is and have chosen to follow our path into the fire service and create their own footsteps along the way.