This is the Monday before turkey day. By now, most of us have at least thought about where we might have that annual feast – along with whom.
In a cop’s world, all the planning ahead can go down the drain with some last-minute event like a mass shooting, airline crash, horrible fire or other catastrophe happening anywhere nearby.
Still, most of us will have this wonderful meal with friends and family. Do you remember something like this?
For a cop though, when he thinks about where he will be having his annual Thanksgiving Dinner, this may come to mind:
We pray for those whose Thanksgiving Dinner will be eaten at this table.
It is important that for those Cops and other First Responders, we remember them when we give thanks. It is a tough day to work – being away from friends and family.
We are all wired differently. Some of us want to spend the holidays with friends and family. Others may prefer the solitude of being home alone. Yet others really like working. The important thing is to try to find something positive about your situation this year.
ATTITUDE DETERMINES ALTITUDE
Some people seem to be able to find something positive about every situation – no matter how bad it may appear on the surface.
My Dad fought in World War II: landing in Normandy and fought through to Berlin. He saw civilian families with children in horrible circumstances. I recall as a small child when I whined about something I wanted, he would say, “I used to complain about having no shoes – until I saw a boy without any feet.”
We know and work with many types of people. There is a broad range of personality types from those who are smiling and happy to those who are miserable and grumpy. I often think of this analogy.
After a big rain storm, some folks look at the ground and see this:
Others walk outside after the same storm and see this:
WHAT are you seeing? It’s your choice.
The path you take in life is likely a function of: your past, your habits and your current state-of-mind.
Without question, your current attitude dramatically affects your future.
THINK ABOUT MAKING SOME UNEXPECTED ACTS OF KINDNESS
I want to challenge my Brothers and Sisters this holiday season. I encourage you to try some of this stuff – or at least consider them and how others will react to you.
My prediction: your outcomes and your workdays will be greatly improved.
EXPERIMENTS IN LIFE
If you are single and/or don’t have anyone special to be with on Thanksgiving Day, check the schedule. Offer to work for someone who is scheduled to work and who has a family dinner they would like to attend on Thanksgiving.
On Thursday, consider taking food to roll call to share with others.
If you encounter someone who is angry at something – including us cops – extend your wishes for a happy holiday season along with an offer to listen and/or help. Yeah, I know it can be tough to deal with someone like this:
If you have the opportunity, do this:
This one is a lot of fun. I’ve done it. Get some greeting cards that are blank on the inside. If you can get a few ten dollar bills. Do this only where you judge it is appropriate.
Conduct a legitimate traffic stop. Conduct the initial interview. Run the subject through the system. If their record isn’t clean, do whatever the situation requires.
OTHERWISE: Write a short note inside one of the cards: asking them to correct the problem that caused the stop. Add a ten dollar bill and seal it inside one of the envelopes that came with the cards.
When you return to the subject car, tell the driver that everything he/she needs to know is inside the envelope which should be opened when they get to their destination. Remind them to slow down, get the light fixed, etc. and send them on their way.
When they open the card, they will be blown away and tell everyone for months to come about the great cop they met. (Note: the $10 is NOT mandatory)
Get out on foot and spend some time with youngsters and their families.
Think about the positive stir you could create with this:
Give thought to what would happen to the attitudes of those you encounter and … most importantly to YOURS.
Much like the earlier example of the mud puddle and/or the rainbow. You will be happier and the people in your life will be much happier to be with you.
My Mom had some good lessons about life, too. Whenever I was grumpy, she would remind me that life looks much better when we are looking out with a smile – instead of a frown.
Boy, Mom was smart.
Consider the fun these two cops had:
Unless their command officers were jerks, everyone had a great time and a bunch of good stuff happened to them and their agency, too.
You needn’t confine this good stuff to just the next few days. It can happen any time of the year and any time of day. It’s up to you to make it happen.
Get out of your car and engage is some UNEXPECTED ACTS OF KINDNESS.
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.