So yesterday I met the Stephens for dinner downtown at Gusto. After having cycled more than 100 miles up and down mountains on Saturday, I was in the mood for some pasta.
As always, we had wonderful conversation, great food (even though Stephen could likely do better himself!) and a little show and tell. They had just purchased an antique fire hose nozzle at a shop nearby. What they plan to do with this thing, I do not know.
What I do know is that it weighs a ton and, aside from it's overt, er, symbolism, it's a fascinating piece of equipment. Steve filled me in on the various settings used to extinguish a fire or to blow down a door.
Then I began to think about fireman and what drives them. Sure the very first firefighters didn't have fancy hoses and trucks. But somehow they felt compelled to lay aside personal safety and rush towards things that were on fire. And I'm sure that early firefighters were: 1) less successful at extinguishing fires, and 2) more likely to be injured or killed.
Firefighters don't make a lot of money. They aren't in search of the limelight either. These are truly brave, selfless people. For sure I would not want to be a firefighter. I'm scared to death of fire, for one. But wouldn't it be nice if we all could infuse a little of those firefighter qualities into our own lives?
What if the lawyer decided to work for free for his poorest clients instead of turning them away? What if the world-famous surgeon, who no longer accepts insurance plans, took on patients despite their financial status and considered only their need? What if the Deli owner gave out water to elderly or homeless people for free during heat waves?
I'm sure we can all think about something we could do so that little kids would want to be like us. Why not do it? Just a little.