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Firefighter/Paramedic

Posted with permission:

Stephanie White

Firefighter/Paramedic

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department


For the life of me, I can’t seem to figure out why we as a species seem to have such an addictive relationship with toxicity. It’s the ultimate energy zapper. Motivation destroyer. It’s darker than the depths of my unfolded sock drawer. The list can go on, but for some strange reason we tolerate it. We ask to hear about it. We peek around corners to stare at it. And boy do we complain about it.

Despite what my joints and date of birth say, getting older has some perks. One of them seems to be a stronger desire to duct tape toxicity to a wall and leave it there the second it sneaks up on me. It’s not easy. Maybe that person who crossed a blatant line for the millionth time deserves another chance. Maybe we can hang on in a negative environment long enough to obtain the goal we want. Maybe

Or…we can do the thing that goes against our human nature - and walk away. A situation, a person, a culture: whatever. Walk away. I promise you’ll find a workaround, or something even better. Giving up our precious mental and creative energy to bathe in toxicity is a trade off we should no longer be willing to accept. Who knows maybe we’ll all finally find the energy to organize our sock drawer…maybe…

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Jul 20, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Amazing reflections, lessons to learned and experiences to share on all levels. Leadership is a journey and filled with both peaks and valleys. While at times it 'stings' to step forward and lead only to learn that you go from the shooter to the target, it is what is needed. I say this not only for the people, organizations and communities we lead, but this is how we grow and become even better leaders.....

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