Chaplain's Corner: Something to think about
What are some “life habits” good peace officers seem to have?
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By Chaplain Emery Lindsay
Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of riding with many LEOs, sometimes in the middle of some very uncertain situations to say the least! I’ve seen first-hand how you put yourself in harm’s way for the safety and well-being of the community. This means I’ve also seen first-hand how amazingly well you do your jobs.
As a result, I’ve asked myself: What are some “life habits” good peace officers seem to have? One that comes immediately to mind is resiliency. The ability to “fail” yet get back up; to rebound from adversity. I know I’m preaching to the choir when I say cops face a lot of adversity.
There is pain and darkness on the streets. Sometimes pain and stress in the station, even at home. The question becomes not if we will deal with it, but how we will deal with it.
Do we let that darkness overwhelm us, even in small ways (leading to anxiety, depression or burnout) or do we have the inner resources to recover? Are you able to go home to your families in a loving and healthy way and find other sources of satisfaction in your lives such as hobbies and exercise?
This is a good place to talk about the potential for faith and its healing power in our lives. Do we need a faith foundation? You’re probably not surprised my answer is, “Yes. Absolutely!”
The author Dinesh D’Souza says there are at least four clear benefits to having faith:
- First, it gives us hope. There’s less room for bitter or dark thoughts; less room for fear. With faith, death becomes a gateway to a new and better life.
- Second, this belief gives life itself an enhanced sense of meaning, purpose and joy.
- Third, belief gives us moral hope – to live ethically, to transmit morality to our children. In an afterlife, we can see cosmic justice – good rewarded and evil punished. Morality becomes both easier and more worthwhile in this framework.
- Finally, there’s evidence that faith not only makes life better but makes us better people. Psychologist Jonathan Haidt cites surveys that show that, on average, those who have faith are just, well, happier!
So, if others stand to benefit from lives full of hope, purpose and charity, why not you?
There will be dark hours, for sure. With faith, I believe we can master them with skill (by “skillful means” as our Buddhist friends say). We can keep walking, tough while supple and adaptable, professional while kindhearted.
One more way to keep strong for the next life challenge or even the next traffic stop.
Published courtesy of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS) Star News “Chaplain’s Notebook”
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Known for his brashness, decisiveness and well, profanity, he was very spiritual and religious