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Welcome to my site and thank you for reading. After many times thinking, if only I had a blog, well-- here we are. This blog will feature writings on a variety of topics from roadside food, to leadership in the fire service; politics; culture- gay, straight, and indifferent, my experiences in Ohio, New York and beyond; and much much more. It's my hope that you will find it interesting and that it stirs at least some thought and discussion. I am certain you wont always agree, but that is what its all about right? Oh and one more thing: The views expressed on this site are entirely my own. They do not reflect in anyway the views or positions of my employer.



Sunday, January 10, 2016

Dispatcher Basics: The Importance of Faith & Spirit

It is a rainy Sunday afternoon and as I write this post the words from the Church Sermons from this morning and this afternoon are rolling around in the part of my brain that ponders the past, the future, and our responsibility to leave this place a better world. I had not darkened the door of a church for twenty-five years when I made my way into Riverside Church in 2012, but my life is infinitely better because I made that walk through fear and assumption into a community of grace, love, and support.   

The story of my faith is for another time and only relevant here  in the fact that, for me, finding a spiritual connection and community was essential for understanding my experiences and what my life was and is for.  It helped to provide a framework to  process the Blackouts, Blizzards, Sandys, and 9/11s that scarred my history.  No doubt you too have places where, as the poet Julia Kasdorf writes, the "world did not bend under our weight".

I firmly believe that, whatever the venue, finding a spiritual connection and community is an essential part of overcoming the challenges and difficulties associated with a career in the 9-1-1 world.  Faced with tragedies unimaginable and successes unbelievable, there is a very genuine necessity for personnel in this profession to find a center. A place that offers peace. 

Equally important is the need to find a community to share the spiritual  journey with.  Humans are social creatures.  We are not built to live a life alone in the dark, but rather grow as a part of something bigger. Having people around us who know and care about who we are and where we are on the journey helps us to achieve and grow in ways beyond what we could ever hope to by ourselves.  If we are fortunate, the people in our community will also hold us accountable, question us, and help ensure that we live to our potential.  Not in the manner of a well intentioned but overbearing parent, but as a fellow traveler, excited about the possibility of sharing the views from the mountainous peaks.

For you, this may be a religious community.  You may be Muslim or Christian, Jewish or Hindu.  The particular flavor or label of your faith is irreverent,  Your path may not be religious at all, perhaps it involves Yoga or Meditation (A practice I highly recommend for anyone, especially 9-1-1 folks).  It may involve reading spiritual books and meeting in book clubs or any of a million other possibilities.  Whatever your approach, finding that path to an understanding that goes beyond the call-type, sirens, cad, and rush to answer the phone will help you in ways you can not imagine. 

In these lives and careers that take so much from us, even on the "Routine" days, finding a way to refill your bucket again will help you be a better dispatcher, a better family member, a better friend, and a better person. Please take the time to find the people, places, and experiences that will help you bridge the gap between this crazy life that we all live and the peace that comes from a greater sense of purpose and community. 

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