First - you don't read articles here for my political or personal opinions, and I get that. I respect that. I very much appreciate that.
That said, I worry for my friends colleagues in Ukraine and Russia. I'm heartbroken about what they are going through right now, of which I can't imagine. I have a wife and three kids. I work with people in Ukraine who have the same young families. This past week has been tough. Nothing I feel here remotely compares to what they are facing right now. I just cannot imagine having to choose between fleeing my home country for the safety of my family or grabbing a rifle. I can't imagine it.
I wish we, as humans, could find ways to appreciate and support each other instead of violence. I wish we better embraced a perspective of mutual concern for each other over destruction. What are we - in our collective bond for fire protection - if not a group of people trying to find ways to create safe environments for public well-being? To help others? To save lives?
We're connected now. I work with people in the U.S. and all across the world - by choice - and I'm just starting to appreciate what a global attitude adds to my life. Because of this website I get to talk with fire protection people around the world, and get to hear about some of the challenges they face. We're not that different.
I don't want to pretend that my own country's history is flawless - that even our recent record is faultless. I cannot be the one to "cast the first stone." I simultaneously celebrate being an American but recognize that we have a long way to go. I pray for Ukraine and everyone involved in the conflict. I pray that our leaders, everywhere, and in any capacity, find a way to end violence quickly and recognize the value of the lives of the people they are affecting.
I genuinely wish that we all (myself included) could better appreciate each other and find ways to help and not hurt. I know you don't come here for my take, but I do appreciate you. Thank you for being here, for caring, and for being a part of our greater community that is working to make good in the world.
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Joe Meyer, PE, is a Fire Protection Engineer out of St. Louis, Missouri who writes & develops resources for Fire Protection Professionals. See bio here: About