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Bringing Back Brotherhood
What does brotherhood mean to you?
The fire service is one steeped in rich tradition. Each element of our day is symbolic of the traditions of our past. The badge upon our uniform is symbolic of the knights of St John who risked their lives to save their brothers from the perils of fire. The trumpets on an officer’s collar are symbolic of leadership and management. These trumpets were used by the first incident commanders to verbalize commands to the firefighters before the use of radios. The helmets we wear are similar in design of those of the past. They are stronger and safer but they bear the mark of tradition.
The service that firefighters provide is physical display of our core beliefs and values. There are very few professions that will ask you to commit to risking your life against overwhelming circumstances for someone you may have never met. This is the mark of a true servant: an individual who value the lives of others and serves them sacrificially. These individuals do not ask for a reward, recognition, or a thank you. They only ask for the opportunity to serve.
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:1-6)
Brotherhood goes deeper than the powerful display of support of one of our brothers during a crisis. It is the daily moments of fellowship, counsel, struggles, and smalls acts of service that we give of ourselves to each other. It is not about rank, role, or title. It is the very spirit of what we do. We accomplish nothing alone whether it is attacking a fire, performing CPR, cutting a ventilation hole, or performing community service. Each and every day our service is just that: “OURS!”
It is a responsibility that is took on by the strong and capable shoulders of the firefighters together. The trials, conflicts, and adversity we face are meant for us to collectively share the load. We are to help one another and look out for one another in every aspect of our lives. This is the mark of brotherhood. Are you exemplifying this in your daily life? Have you grown bitter due to outside circumstances? The challenge that lies before you is to care when no one else does. It requires a heart big enough to hurt with someone but not absorb their pain. It requires one who cares nothing for recognition but would give everything for the benefit of another. Change the environment around you and bring back brotherhood by your daily words, actions, and values. It is up to you…