We commonly hear, and use, phrases like, “I have your back” or “I got your six”. Those words are used to convey a message that we will support, protect and defend each other from whatever challenges we face.
In these times we need to support each other more than any time in history. We have to be there for one another in good times and in bad. All too often tragedy strikes someone we know and love. When it does, are we there for our brothers and sisters?
If someone has lost a family member or has had a loved one who is injured, do we call to offer our thoughts and prayers? Do we check on them to ask if there is anything we can do? The call may simply let them know we are thinking of them.
Many times, there are no words or actions that will help ease any pain they are experiencing, but a quick call or text can mean the world to someone when they may feel their world is crumbling around them.
Supporting each other doesn’t just apply when times are tough, it applies when things may be good, as well:
- When a friend or co-worker has been promoted or moved to a special assignment they wanted. Do we congratulate them, or do we stay silent because of disapproval or jealousy?
- If someone is disciplined at work for a mistake they made, do we let them know we still support and believe in them, or do we stand mute?
If we stay silent is that having their back? Is that covering their six?
We all have bad days at work. Many of us, myself included, have been injured on duty. We have been spat on, bitten, punched, kicked and more. We see and deal with people who have done unimaginable things to others.
Thankfully, these things happen in the absence of our loved ones. So, it’s paramount that we support those we work with. We make sure they are alright – mentally and physically. Our co-workers are the ones that we count on for support and back up while we are on duty, we should be able to count on each other between shifts as well.
If you subscribe to the “Us vs. Them” mentality, then we cannot have “Us vs. Us vs. Them”. If it is that way, then would the phrase “The enemy of my enemy is my friend?” be applicable? I would hope not.
There are plenty of people out there that are willing to attack, injure or kill us. They are willing to tear us down in the public eye and in the media.
We must be able to put petty differences aside in order to accomplish a greater goal, going home safely, mentally and physically, to our loved ones EVERY night. We must help each other fulfill the promise we made to our families: We will come home after our shift.
NOW TO COMMIT YOUR WORDS TO ACTION:
Over the next few weeks make it a point to check on colleagues that are sick or injured. Ask about a family member sick or injured. Make it a priority to congratulate someone if they are promoted, did an outstanding job or awarded a position they applied for.
Recognize potential officers within your department as well as surrounding agencies you know who could use a phone call or a word of encouragement.
It costs us nothing to invest a few minutes of our time to make a call, send a text or say a few words, but the dividends from those gestures could be invaluable. What you think may not mean much to you, could be just what someone needed at that very moment to be reminded they are not alone in what they are going through.
So, the next time we use phrases like “I have your back” or “I got your six” – mean it! Don’t let them be just words. Don’t let them be empty phrases or promises that are said as catch phrases not to be followed up on.
They should be part of an ethos you follow every day. We must first support each other and be an example of how others can support us, as well.
At the bottom line, it’s all about saving just ONE life.
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Thank you for taking the time to read this message and allowing me to share this touching story with you. I can be contacted with questions or input: EMAIL ME or call me at (386) 763-3000.