You don’t need another article telling you that it has been a difficult year. You certainly don’t need to be told, by the numbers, that the worst is yet to come.
You’re in the job. You have the marks on your face and the fatigue in your eyes.
This is not a ‘work from home profession.’ It never has been. Trauma, sickness, natural disasters and now a global pandemic; to be in this service line and to answer the call, you have to go out there.
In fact, here is a cold truth. The most predictable certainty in this unpredictable service is that there is going to be another emergency, another fire, another crash. There are always going to be more in need of help. There is going to be another patient, in fact, thousands of them.
And there you will be, making things better because you are a part of it.
It’s what you do.
The mission does not stop.
That is the exact reason for this article. To highlight one more time the touchstone of why we do what we do - to bring the best of humanity to the worst of conditions.
Today, maybe now more than ever, what we bring with us to the line makes the difference. Think about it. It’s easy to be a good person when things are going smoothly. It’s when things get difficult and the pressure is on that we are revealed for what we are. Something I have personally learned this 15th year into the job is that it is not always about the work we are doing, but sometimes it is about the person we become while doing it. Because cover to cover, this work is about people. The mission is about becoming better people.
And, the mission does not stop.
In these moments we either get washed back by the surge or we rise.
You don’t need another article telling you this job isn't for everyone, because you know that too. You know that this is a job for people of exceptional character. But what you might need, is a reminder that character isn’t just some service slogan or internal belief that we hold for ourselves. No, character is the sum of the actions we take. It is our behavior, most especially when it matters most, like right now.
Because the mission does not stop.
Yes, it has been a hard year. There has been plenty of bad news and some of it has been real close to home. The hours have seemingly grown longer, the job has almost completely changed in its appearance.
People ask you, ‘aren’t you exhausted?’
You think about it, and with so many challenging experiences in your head, in the moment, no one could blame you for admitting, ‘yeah, and I think I’ve had enough.’
But you won’t. Sure, there will come a day when you can’t physically or emotionally do this work anymore. But today is not that day.
Because you know that the work itself is not exhausting, only unfulfilling work is.
Because pumping through a servant heart is the purpose, integrity and courage to leave things better than you found them.
Because you know all of this has made you what you are.
Because maybe, when that person in desperate need is in front of you, that moment right then; maybe that is the moment for which you were created.
History is watching.