Make it a reason, not an excuse ( A new safety campaign)
Every time my mom asked why didn’t I do one of my chores, I inevitably replied with an excuse. That excuse started with “Because…”. My mom would always interrupt with, “It better be a good reason, don’t give me an excuse.”
Even when I went to fire stations, I’d hear guys yelling, “Why didn’t you….?” and the reply was, “Because I didn’t have time” or “Because it was his job, not mine”. I thought, well at least me not doing my chores isn’t as life threatening a mistake as them not checking their gear. I remembered a day when I was little and helped roll hoses. It was really hard work and a firefighter asked me why I wanted to be doing this hard work instead of just climbing on the trucks. I replied, “Because if they are not rolled right, someone might not come home. That’s a really good reason.”
So that wish for every first responder to be safe was the inspiration for my new campaign.
I’d like to launch a new campaign “Because…. Make it a reason, not an excuse.”
I’m challenging every firefighter to start each day, shift, or station meeting, with the pledge Because… and give a REASON they are going to do something that day they don’t often remember to do, or don’t want to do, or often overlook.
- Because I care about my brothers safety, today I’m going to (insert station chore here)
- Because I love my kids, I am going to check my gear after every call to make sure I come home safe.
- Because I love my wife/husband/significant other, today I am going to buckle up.
When disaster strikes, it’s an accident if it was unpreventable – it’s a tragedy if there’s an excuse. Who wants their friends or family to hear, “it happened cause he/she didn’t/forgot……”?
So start your meeting with everyone writing on a board their reason that month. Or put a note by your locker or by your family’s photo with your Because promise. Write “Because…” on your hand or your helmet as a reminder to take a little of your time TODAY to get a safety chore done.
It’s better to pledge /promise to do something you don’t really want to do, then to explain with excuses why you didn’t and something went wrong. Trust me on this … excuses never justified anything with my mom. :/
P.S. I would love to hear some of your pledges. I’ll post some of the responses to inspire others. Please help me spread the word BECAUSE…. because I want everyone to be safe.
The author Colton Matthew, a high school student, has been involved in fire prevention activities since age 6.