10.04.2008

Praising First Responders

The scene on Rt 100 approaching Stowe yesterday on my way to work: A different kind of foliage shot.

As the economy falls over the edge, there's no doubt that there's lots of blame to go around, and blaming the young and wealthy "masters of the universe" is a cheap and easy way out: The United States has been defined by a culture of mass consumerism, and living on easy credit, for a very long time. That being said, as I have noted, I am sick of hearing how a great pool of young smart people, educated at very wealthy non-profit, tax sheltered institutions, aspired to work in financial services... (a career in law was also popular with my peers for similar reasons).

I see this process as a quite destructive failure of imagination; financially I am much poorer than some of my college classmates (and Vassar isn't known for stamping out financial wheeler-dealers like some other schools, it's too avant-garde -- ie, weird). I figure that I spend quite a bit more of my life in the outdoors and that there is a certain trade-off there.

But I digress -- as usual -- I just wanted to say that I have more respect for the local volunteer firefighters and EMTs, than say, Dick Fuld. The First Responders work in the local community, put something back, and generally make a much more tangible, positive contribution than the captains of finance with their outlandish compensation.

I don't know how this particular accident played out, but when I was driving to work after my short trip to New York I was caught behind a fatal accident on the same road (an elderly driver had a medical situation while driving and swerved into oncoming traffic) and early this summer there was a suicide-by-car -- the victim deliberately drove into a cliff face at 80 mph -- near here so the local emergency crews have been up close to some terrible scenes. I kind of have a latent desire to put something back to the local community but then I wonder how I would react in such an environment.

No comments: