The other day I read a quote from a famous football coach. He was asked if he gets excited about the big bowl games. His reply was curious.
He said, “I’m dead in here. It’s like burnt wood.”
I take it by that he means that he simply does not get excited about the big game.
Not good. Same thing happens to police officers. It robs you of the joy of life. It makes it hard to love, anyone or anything. It is bad for marriage if the officer’s heart is like burnt wood. This can lead to alienation from your spouse and divorce. You can’t even enjoy your kids with a burnt-wood heart.
Maybe the ability to feel emotional pain is the price we must pay to stay alive inside. If we can still be hurt, we can still love and experience all the emotions. Better to be vulnerable emotionally than to be like burnt wood inside, unable to laugh or love.
Police officers must not allow themselves to be dead inside even if it means we at times we must cry. For the sake of your spouses, for your kids and for yourself, stay alive inside.
You’ll be a better public servant if you are alive inside. If you can still feel other people’s pain it will motivate you to do a good job. This is better than being an unfeeling automaton, just going through the motions of working and living. That’s a sort of living death.
Don’t be a zombie. Be safe out there.
Sgt. Cole goes by the moniker Deacon Blue. He may be reached at David.Cole@HoustonPolice.Org