On This Martin Luther King, Jr Day…

… I’d like to share with you one of my favorite quotes. Six months before his assassination, Dr. King was speaking to a group of junior high school students about creating their life’s blueprint. In it, he said:

If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.

That’s as good a recipe for success as I’ve ever read. Whether you are an EMT or a first responder or a dispatcher or a critical care paramedic or the guy who washes and stocks the rigs who goes unnoticed by the crews on the rigs, there is honor in doing your job well.

It doesn’t matter if you are noticed or not. It doesn’t matter if your paramedic partner treats you like a pack mule and doesn’t utilize your skills. It doesn’t matter if the ER doctors and nurses treat you with disrespect. It doesn’t matter if your patients are unappreciative.

Be the best EMT you know how to be, and you will know.

Achieving excellence is its own reward.

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