The fine art of being present: A Chaplain’s call for the spiritual connection with front line cops

Ethics and compassion belong among first responders, they belong among business managers, among politicians — it’s rather hard to find a place where they don’t belong. In saying this we are not pushing a certain set of values on anyone, save respect for all human life and the varied challenges that everyone faces. We are, as Dickens wrote, “fellow travelers to the grave” and our job is not to make life any harder for one another than it is. In the end, wealth, power, all of that falls away and what’s left that people remember is what good you have done, if any. We see names on campuses and on buildings in older cities, chiseled in stone, that mean nothing now. Yet we also have our political, social and artistic heroes whose names mean everything to us, and who may appear on no building anywhere. Do people remember Carnegie for his steel or his foundation? That’s an easy answer, isn’t it?

MSefton's Human Behavior Blog

Sometimes being present in the moment is enough to allow feelings of vulnerability to emerge and for healing to begin. Cops, and I dare say fire fighters, are not used to being vulnerable. Often less is more when is comes to shared space, personal pain and having a connection with one or more people who understand. A quiet moment of reflection after a difficult call may be enough to diffuse the experience of trauma and provide damage control going forward. Career hardiness and satisfaction requires that some moments be recognized with a circle of shared vulnerability and authentic empathy that can be just a few seconds to minutes. During the coronavirus after a particularly deadly shift, members of ICU teams took a moment to share the names of those who had died in their care. These were somber events that acknowledged the losses and a measure of desolation shared among…

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2 comments

  1. […] Ethics and compassion belong among first responders, they belong among business managers, among politicians — it’s rather hard to find a place where they don’t belong. In saying this we are not pushing a certain set of values on anyone, save respect for all human life and the varied challenges that everyone faces. We are, as Dickens wrote, “fellow travelers to the grave” and our job is not to make life any harder for one another than it is. In the end, wealth, power, all of that falls away and what’s left that people remember is what good you have done, if any. Source: The fine art of being present: A Chaplain’s call for the spiritual connection with front line cops… […]

    Liked by 2 people

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