Dismiss the Gloom Merchants

Home is the traveler, home from the road. After several weeks on the highways and byways of America I am back home and attempting to get into some form of work mode. Heaven knows there is a lot of work waiting for me.


Home is the traveler, home from the road. After several weeks on the highways and byways of America I am back home and attempting to get into some form of work mode. Heaven knows there is a lot of work waiting for me. However, I return to my desk enthused and ready to roll. I owe this renewed attitude to the many people who have expressed their support for my writing and my love and support for the fire service.

However there are those who would disagree with my love and optimism for the future of the fire service. I am afraid there are far too many people in our midst who wish to claim the grumbling rights on every aspect of our fire service operations. These are the folks I have come to call the "gloom merchants."

These are the folks who never seem happy about anything. They complain about the heat and the sun on sunny days. Then they turn around and complain about the dampness and dreariness of those cloudy days when the Lord nourished our fertile soil. Life is never beautiful for these boorish boobs.

Do you realize that there is even a nursery rhyme that describes the method of operating for these doom and gloom salesmen? Surely you have read the story of "Chicken Little" who ran around yelling that the sky was falling. It isn't totally my idea my friends. What I am suggesting is that you need to adjust your perspective to understand that life does not always go your way. It is like football. There are all sorts of wins, ties, and losses in life.

Perhaps I have identified one of the problems that is affecting some of you. Many among you have never been challenged. You have been spoon-fed success and treated like kings and queens by your parents. Your egos have been nurtured and your expectations have been set inordinately high. You moan and groan that if only life was more responsive to your desires it would be so much nicer. Bull! Get over it.

My late mother-in-law, Margaret Miller, had a saving that covers this sort of scenario. When I would wish for something she could be heard to say, "if wishes were horses, beggars would ride." It took me a lot of years to understand what she was saying. Wishing for something in the absence of acting on that wish is an empty endeavor. You must take steps to make things happen.

Oh that this were the case. If only you could wish problems away, many of my friends and me would be one heck of a lot thinner. Since this is not possible, I have adopted a unique perspective to help me deal with the dimensions of my volumetric dysfunction issues. I now realize that it is not that I am overweight it is just that I am a bit too short for my weight.

If only I was 7'1" tall, I would be just right. Yes that is the ticket my friends. Lie to yourself. Create an empire within your mind where you are Prince Charming and the world is yours for the asking. But think about this for a moment. Hiding from the truth is useless. No, it is not the same as attacking it head on. That is what I am suggesting that you do.

Life Stinks was a Mel Brooks movie that brought home the fact that there are many layers to life that are far worse than the reality of your daily existence. As bad as you think you have it, others have it far worse. My friends I am sick and tired of hearing of the nonsense about how bad life is being spewed out by the "gloom and doom merchants" that populate far too many parts of our fire service.

During the course of my recent road trip I met a great many people who are laboring against intense odds every day of the week. They are delivering fire protection to their communities under circumstances that I would generously call quite difficult indeed. Yet on they battle, attacking each challenge as it comes.

These dedicated folks would never think of quitting, and neither would I my friends. Many folks that I met were operating vehicles that would have been on the scrap heap in any area of my home state. However, since that was all they had, they just kept soldiering on.

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