Yesterday my son and I went and got haircuts together at the hairstyling place where my wife takes him. It’s in a grocery store and she goes there too for convenience. Since I hadn’t been to my old-school barber at “Jim’s Barber Shop and Wisecrack Emporium” for a few weeks since he’s been on vacation, I thought I’d get my hair cut too. She was shopping for groceries while the boy and I got our ears lowered.
The boy’s cute, you know. He’s a very cute kid and the girls at the hair cut place just fawn all over him. It’s an inconvenience to be the daddy of the object of such devoted female attention but it’s a burden that I must bear. He was so good for the haircut, like he always is. He holds really still and doesn’t even whimper when I pretend that I wiggled and got my ears chopped off. Maybe he’s used to me by now… probably so.
The interesting part to this story is when his haircut was done first and the hair cut lady came to present him to me and show me how he looked. While he was smiling at me, she noticed one stray hair sticking up tall and out of place from her otherwise wonderful hair cutting job and said “Oops! Hold still and let me get that!” She then took a pair of scissors and lopped that uncontrolled piece of hair right off. I saw this as a teaching moment and said “See Seth?? One hair decided to stand up tall among all of the others and the first thing that happened was that someone came and chopped it right off. Life’s kinda like that sometimes.”
I meant it as a joke, of course… but we all know that it happens. When someone tries to stand out from the crowd or to take a different path than do the masses there always seems to be someone running with scissors that wants to chop their original thought right off at the root. I’ve always encouraged The Boy to be an independent thinker, except for when it comes to doing what Mommy and I tell him to do of course, and hopefully it will pay off in terms of his “world-changing” abilities later in life.
So since this cute little personal anecdote happened yesterday, it was fresh in my mind when I went over to my buddy Mark Glencorse’s blog at Http://www.999medic.com and was shocked to see This Post up on the page.
Here’s that link again: Go Read It Please, then come back. Ladies and Gentlemen… we have an inspirational leader down.
I have to say that I’ve met Mark on some of the few occasions that he’s chanced to hop the pond and get over here to the US and even though he lives an ocean away, I know that he’s a good guy and I consider him a friend. While in the grand scheme of things, I haven’t spent all that much time with him overall… for a man like that one doesn’t need very much time to realize that he is a great all-around stand-up guy that I’m proud to call my friend (or “Me Mate”) as he might say in his Geordie dialect. He’s brilliant, nice, polite, honest, funny, and genuine. I got that sense of him the first time I met him and if it’s possible to call him one of my best internet friends (“Interfriends”? Did I just coin a word??) then I’m proud to do so. I give him my highest recommendation as a human being, great person, and all-around stand-up guy and so you can imagine how I felt when I read these words in his second to last post:
I know I have people in my own service who read my blog and learn from and appreciate my writing.
I know I have people in my own service who read my blog and wait for me to trip up.
I know I have people in my own service who actively look for things to get me into trouble.
I now know I have people in my own service who have tried to cause trouble for me and this blog.
Yesterday, he wrote that he was discontinuing his blog due to pressures placed upon him by his employer and here’s what I have to say to everyone out there listening:
It takes what the college kids call “Cojones” or a good bit of bravery to write an EMS blog. I suppose that many blog topics require some amount of courage to author, but EMS is a touchy subject riddled with lots of “type A” personalities who love nothing more than to throw landmines in the path of those that dare to think outside of the box. Writing a successful EMS blog is no easy undertaking. You must first think for yourself and develop actual thoughts and feelings on issues that others may want to read, you then need to be able to formulate those ideas into a written form that others can understand and think about for their own selves, and you then must be able to defend your ideas against everyone else out there who reads it. Placing an opinion out there in the public for others to read and challenge is a scary thing that takes intellect and courage to do. There is no guarantee that you will get any eyes reading your stuff at all and it takes hard work to get your voice out there. My traffic numbers vary greatly between 200 and 2000 unique visits per day and that’s a long way from when my page languished in the double digits per day. Building traffic and a following takes time, patience, perseverance, brains, and a whole lot of testicular fortitude. Nothing comes easy in this business. Mark understands that and chose to excel at it. His blog has been an inspiration to me and thousands of other EMS professionals world-wide. His thoughts and feelings were positive and brought positive energy to our collective brotherhood of EMS providers. The potential for good that flowed within Mark and his blog is staggering… and it’s a powerful blow that he’s been silenced.
When I see one of the best and brightest among us in this new Worldwide EMS Renaissance having a struggle with what I can only assume to be a small group of even smaller minded people… then well, I get angry. Mark’s my friend and I can assure everyone reading this that if you met him and have read his thoughts like I have, you would consider him a friend as well. He’s an easy guy to respect and it’s an effortless decision on my part to jump to his aid. I may not be able to do anything for him standing over on my continent today… but I can sure go over to his blog and leave a comment on that post I linked to showing my support. I encourage everyone reading this to do the same. In fact, he’s asked you to leave a comment on his farewell post and I darn sure am going to honor his wishes. Please, you do the same if you have not already.
Mark Glencorse has helped shaped the new and brighter EMS reality. His voice is one of calm reason in a challenging world. We need him… therefore we need to support him.
Here’s that link again. Bloggers, please link it. Everyone, please go offer some words of support. He’s a strong man, but everyone could use a kind word now and then. If you’re not following him on Facebook and Twitter, please do so. He’s a friend to EMS and a friend to us all. I am proud to know him.
Thank you, Mark. Your daily voice of reason will be missed. You Sir are an inspiration to EMS and the Men and Women that make us what we are. You’re welcome here anytime and I know that this is not the last we’ll hear from you.