Week 17: Driven

Driven:  determined to succeed : highly energetic and motivated, goal oriented …I love it when my word goes so well with the person who gave it.  This word so accurately describes him.  We are all driven to succeed at one thing or another whether it be to lead an adventurous life, get to the top rungs in your chosen profession, to care for people, or to become the best couch potato you can…. We all have drive.  The people who first come to mind are athletes, junkies (sorry, I know- but it’s true), and first responders…. The ones who go out and deal with the junkies. I know my thoughts today on this word are specifically because of who gave me the word as he is a first responder.  He is the one in that fire engine always heading to the rescue; he is the one who does tireless shifts responding to some really serious calls. I also have an uncle who is a firefighter/1st responder. To do what they do, see that they see, and witness some truly heart wrenching human tragedies…. They are not driven because of the tragedies, though… they absorb the tragedies and are always driven to succeed the next time. They are driven to help people and make a difference. They are driven to make it through the trauma of the job to make a difference for the better.  I want to share a story.

My brother-in-law is a first responder. One evening he was working, and we decided to take my youngest to see Uncle and his engines. When we arrived at the station, we were waiting to get let in, and we witnessed a terrifying assault. It took place in a vehicle that literally stopped in the middle of the road- the woman was driving and screaming while trying to deflect blows. She pulled into the fire department, and I tend to react to things prior to thinking so I go running at the vehicle screaming, watching her try to block the blows and he grabbed the wheel and gunned it. We watched them swerve all over before speeding away.  I was shook up. I had been screaming, “CALL 91! CALL 911!” at the top of my lungs not thinking we were kind of at 911. The chief heard the commotion and saw them leaving the parking lot swerving all over so he got on his radio to dispatch,  jumped in his truck and took off after them.  The chase went on for about 45 minutes, at one point they lost the police…. but the fire chief spotted them and the chase started back up…. It was a real three stooges type of chase, and the best part was the fire chief followed and blocked them in for the officers. Turned out the man had just been released from jail on domestic violence THAT day, and there was a restraining order against him in place to stay away from that poor girl. When the chief got back and told the story it was funny and goosebumps all at the same time because that day he was a hero- not all their days end that way. The tragedy they witness on a daily basis is something most of us witness only a few times in our lifetimes. You have to be driven to be able to do what they do. Just like nursing, it’s a calling!

Being driven is human nature. We all have it in us, it’s just a matter of finding what drives us.  I was very driven as a nurse, I understand that feeling.  Right now I am driven to plaster a mask on everyone’s face, I have started carrying them in singles in plastic bags to hand out- especially to the elderly.  Right now we should all be driven to protect each other from this stupid virus…. Yes, most likely every week I will touch on something virus-related. It is a huge part of our daily lives; I can’t ignore it.  Driven is a strong word, it feels masculine, solid, and like it would smell like old spice- like my gramps.  What is your driving force? Mine changes all time.

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