With all the calls for Roger Goodell to be fired, and perhaps he should, everybody is missing the big picture. Goodell is an employee of the NFL mogul billionaire owners, and he has one job – make them money and steer the ship on the course they give him. If you want reel change, you need to hit the NFL owners where it hurts, and that’s their wallet. Maybe it’s time for fans and sponsors take away the thing that’s been blinding the NFL to the domestic violence that has been going on for decades!
Times, they are a changin’… whether it be tactics, strategy, equipment, technology, and/or knowledge. However, we must remember to respect and learn from the lessons of those who came before us and implement those lessons in our way forward. The future is built on the wisdom of our past.
I could say many things about these cartoons and my personal experiences, but I am going to give this space up for a friend who is following the noble calling of helping firefighters save ourselves, so we may continue to save others. Sarah Gura and I found each other online, and I must say from my perspective, it was like fate stepping in to say “Hey, it’s time to get off your butt, someone out there needs help”. So, I asked Sarah to tag-team with this cartoon and share her thoughts and expertise. Please, read and share…
This particular cartoon illustrates something familiar to me as a shrink who specializes in treating firefighters. It is also a very intense image –and another powerful punch from Paul Combs. The truth tends to hit us hard in the fire service. In this case, it hits unfairly and tragically. The hope I have for this cartoon is that it is like a good seed. A seed somehow attracts all the nutrients it needs from the soil so that it becomes something naturally beautiful. I hope this artwork captures your attention. I hope it pulls in your awareness, your empathy, compassion, understanding, and your concern.
I hope firefighters realize that this is real; and I hope that a firefighter who is going through exactly what this image portrays wakes up and sees that he is not alone. So many firefighters ask me to tell them how many firefighters I treat in the therapy office. They want to know for what, and if they’re making progress. Firefighters want to hear first if this is real before they step forward and admit they are struggling. Well here is your answer! How can this image be here if it didn’t convey some sort of truth? How could it have the effect it will have, as firefighters view it and feel the feelings it forces them to experience if it was not true or relevant? You are not alone. You do not have to feel this way, or go through this!
I imagine a part II cartoon in which the crew of this drowning firefighter come in and cut off that ankle-weight of pride and save this firefighter! This is called Peer Support –and that is a culture change that is much more needed in the fire service than a bunch of counseling. While I am happy and honored to provide therapy for firefighters, I’m also looking forward to co-leading (with firefighters) a major culture-change in the fire service that will not tolerate this and that will actually rescue their own! My hope is that firefighters promote themselves to human status, which is REAL and way above superhero-status which is just fantasy.
Sarah A. Gura, M.A., L.C.P.C.Gura Clinical Services,
LLCFirefighter Psychological Support
You may also contact Jada Hudson at:
ALWAYS MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
To the dismay of wives everywhere, football is back in the mainstream of American culture… and not a moment too soon! So, I’m going to make my ridiculously bold prediction of a Lions vs. Browns Superbowl. Hey, a fella can dream, right?
Re-posting an editorial cartoon from last year.
As a firefighter, I understand the importance of a strong and unified command system. A commander must portray confidence and competence in his or her decision making, even if they have self-doubt about the outcome, at all times. The effectiveness of their operations, morale of their subordinates, and success of their tenure depends on this decisive decision making. President Obama would be well served to take a page from the fire service’s command structure – be confident, be clear, and then take action. Talk is very, very cheap, and the world is listening!