With wildfires… with fire/EMS funding… with social unrest…with civility… with COVID-19 response…with local/federal politics…with law and order…with science…with national integrity and dignity… Regardless of the political party, this cartoon has so many metaphorical meanings for me. Common sense is an endangered species whose habitat has been scorched to an unrecognizable, blackened landscape. Perhaps new life will rise from this seared terrain, but I fear it will take decades for this first seedling of rationality to grow.
STAY FIRED UP, and meet in the middle for a common understanding and empathetic embrace.
Can 2020 get any stranger or more frustrating? Why, yes, yes it can! Especially as we get closer to local and federal elections, and first responders become prime photo-op fodder. As if we don’t have enough snakes to wrestle, the biggest snakes of all will come slithering into our apparatus bays declaring support but waiting to strike with deadly venom when the opportunity benefits them. Am I bitter? No—our beloved democracy and the American people have always weathered the most turbulent of storms, and will continue to do so. Am I cautious and weary of the impending political squeeze our elected officials will inevitably bring to an already muddled viper nest? You bet!
STAY FIRED UP and stay strong, brothers and sisters – because the only certainty in life is death and taxes… and politics.
I don’t know how else to say this – we’re done! It’s over! I’m breaking up with you. I purposely packed all your hate, anger, divisiveness, lies, mistrust, and verbal abuse into tidy little boxes – they’re on the front lawn – take them when you go! You are not welcome back.
The age-old relationship between humanity and hate does not discriminate between sex, race, religion, nationality, greed or culture – because it claims them all. Sadly, this is not a relationship of necessity, but of choice – a personal choice.
We foster this toxic relationship by turning a blind eye to its misdeeds, or worse, nurture it with our willingness to happily mistreat others for our own twisted gratification. Humanity and Hate will never truly be apart – history teaches us this with brutal honesty – but we can lessen its impact in our lives by making a personal choice to break up! Send it packing with all the putrid baggage that has been cluttering your life so you can move on to more constructive relationships.
STAY FIRED UP, and it’s time – write your breakup letter.
“In Lord of the Flies, author William Golding argues that human nature, free from the constraints of society and common law tugs good people away from reason and toward cruelty and savagery. His underlying argument is that human beings are savage by nature, and are moved by primal urges toward selfishness, brutality, and dominance over others.”
I like to think this is not true!
However, it does not take much effort to witness these behaviors in others on a daily basis – whether it be on a personal level, or watching it unfold via social media or cable news. Global societies are no stranger to malicious, violent, cruel and savage acts – history teaches us this in vivid detail. Is it easier to fall into the trap of indignant acts than to hold out a helping hand to others? Is it easier to tare down the walls that others have built so you can stand triumphantly upon the rubble? Has society fallen so far into the hole of despair that we feel comfortable stumbling in the darkness?
These are troubling days, indeed.
This cartoon was originally drawn to spotlight the bad behaviors within our firehouse walls, but in recent weeks it has gained a deeper meaning for me. I want to believe that the good far outweighs the bad and that humanity has the ability to light the way out of the darkest of times. This will take work. This will take hardship. This will take sacrifice – but worth the high cost so future generations can bask in freedom and live in harmony. It starts with one! It starts with you saying you will not succumb to the ugliest forms of human nature – daily – hourly – minute by minute. Because the monster is always at our heels taunting us to resort to what Golding proposes – that humans are unruly savage animals that cannot be tamed.
NEW Fire Engineering blog cartoon: Darth COVID19No point being made, just some silliness in these strange and troubled days. Remember to breathe, be tolerant, smile (even behind a mask), and stay safe out there!STAY FIRED UP, and show compassion, understanding, and love – it’s what makes US human.
Hat-tip to fellow artist and Star Wars geek, Kory Hubbell, for allowing me to have some fun at his expense. “Live long and prosper,” amigo!
I recently attended a conference in Miami (corporate, not fire) where the industry leader/conference sponsor had a signed copy of Adam Steltzner’s The Right Kind of Crazy delivered to the hotel room of every attendee (note: the industry leader signed it, too). Great book with great leadership lessons. However, throughout that week our industry lead went on the contradict every leadership trait he was promoting with his pompous self-serving actions. So, two good things came from that experience: a free leadership book, and a cartoon lampooning the behavior of providing leadership knowledge that you do not follow, or believe you’re above.
STAY FIRED UP, and lead first by example, then by sharing your gained wisdom.
Tito learned quickly that it’s a dog-eat-dog world and that he needed to be tough to survive as a little unknown dog in a big, big world. Alone, hungry, and mad at the world, he discovered early that he could channel his anger through playing guitar – and writing angry songs with spirited lyrics. He formed Tito and Big Rage which topped the charts with their first hit Mange My Mind, and sell out stadiums around the world. Now, everyone wants a piece of Tito, and are frequently bitten for their efforts!
Title: Tito and Big Rage Series: Rock Dogs Print Available Soon!