There is a certain speech that I am getting tired of suffering through. I have heard it time and time again, and I'm sure there are scores of other "rogues" out there in the same position. The speech I am referring to is the one about not getting discouraged. Sound familiar?
I am going to throw up if I have to hear this again. Please understand that I realize the delivery of the speech is usually done with kind intentions. I'm not trying to kill the messenger. Here is what I can't handle any more:
The only ones getting this speech are the ones with their boots in the trenches bucking a system which rewards complacency and mediocrity. You will never hear a minimum standard firefighter getting this speech.
Why is this? Probably because the minimum standard firefighters fit perfectly into the minimum standard system they are a part of. They exist in a perfect situation where all they have to worry about is whether or not their cell phone battery will make it through the shift. They have no pressing reason to be discouraged, at least when it comes to anything firefighting related.
Of course the easy answer would be to stop caring so much, to stop trying so hard. Slipping into the mediocre mainstream would be an instant release from the feelings of discouragement us rogues deal with. The system would love for us to fall into line with the masses. Unfortunately for the mediocrity crowd, we don't know how to give up.
We realize that fighting for what is right and going up against the masses is going to result in failure and discouragement. What the givers of the "discouragement" speech don't realize is that we feed off of the struggle. Not to say that we enjoy getting ridiculed and slammed for our position, but in the end the mockery and indifference only add to our passion.
So this is where I am going with all of this. The next time you feel the need to deliver the "don't get discouraged" speech save your breath. If you are not willing to step up to the plate and add something substantial to yourself and this great calling then step aside. Us rogues don't need to be taken aside and given a pep talk. We feed off of each other. We feed off of the satisfaction that comes from the endless fight for excellence we all pursue. We feed off of seeing other being made uncomfortable by our passion and drive. We are not going away, and we are not going to slow down. Discouraged? It comes with the territory my friend.