Ultimately, I would love to see the day when we can go an entire year without one First Responder taking his/her own life. I was recently inspired by an article written by Pico Iyer (The Best of Who We Are) when he wrote about a question that the Dalai Lama is frequently asked. The question: “what should would do if we really hope for world peace or environmental reform, and it doesn’t seem to work out.” The Dalai Lama’s reply, “wrong dream!” His holiness goes onto say that we have to be rigorously realistic in our aspirations. If we aim to change our habits, and maybe those of people close to us, we might meet with some success. If we hope to transform the world overnight, we’ll surely be disappointed.
Suicide Prevention Application: For the most part, I agree with the Dalai Lama, but I don’t care about being disappointed. To me that is selfish thinking. As a result, I will continue to work and pray that someday we see 0 First Responder suicides. Consider this, what if we considered each department its own world, then I see the goal of 0 suicides much more manageable. With the majority of police departments having 10 or fewer officers (people close to us), I see this dream as possible.