2017 has been anything but quiet for natural disasters. We have had hurricanes, earthquakes, drought, floods and most recently; the strong Santa Ana winds blowing over southern California creating the third largest disastrous wildfire on record. More than 200,000 acres of land have been burned, over 8,000 firefighters with heavy equipment and helicopters are doing whatever it takes to keep growing the percentage of fires contained in the area; and still, only 35% of the wildfires are contained.
During this time, we marvel at the courage, strength, dedication and commitment of First Responders and those who support them. Firefighters, local police and paramedics are risking their lives working around the clock and through the night to help save families and evacuate people from the raging fires that are rapidly spreading and destroying everything in their path. Their impact is evident as lives are saved, homes secured, people and animals are transported to safety. When people ask these men and women what they do and they say “I’m a fireman,” “I’m a first responder,” or “I’m a paramedic,” we are grateful and express our thanks for their bravery, efforts, contributions and heroic acts.
All of this led me to think about the everyday heroes who we work with, sit next to in our community and meet in business. What do they say when they are asked, “What do you do?” and how do we respond when they say, “I’m a lawyer,” “I’m a garbage man,” “I’m an electrician,” or “I’m a secretary?” We often do not get to see or take time to think about their impact and we likely don’t consider them heroes. Why not?