FRIDAY FORUM: Looking Back

“Say not, ‘Why were the former days better than these?’ For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.” Ecclesiastes 7:10

The Fire Service, and I suppose in Law Enforcement and Military environments as well, is full of ebbs and flows. Transfers, promotions, team members or officers coming and going, leaving one agency for another, all lead to unsettled waters. As time passes it is tempting to constantly look backwards, imagining that once stormy seas were calmer than they actually were and longing for another period in your career.

While there is wisdom in analyzing the past, I urge you to do so with caution.  While still in the midst of an ongoing career, stay in the moment. There is ALWAYS more to learn. There are ALWAYS relationships to build. There are ALWAYS new perspectives to gain on how to better fill your operational sphere. What matters is not what lies behind or ahead, but the next play.

Only when you hang it up will you truly have the perspective to know which were the best of times and which were the worst. Even then, you will probably see the value of where you found yourself at any given time.  I love reading the memoirs of those who came before with great lessons on what they learned and the memories they foster from each and every assignment. 

Look back; look forward; but do so with caution. Cherish right now. For one day, looking back will be the only option. 

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