One of the blogs I follow is "The Stupid Way", which is written by an Irish lad who began practicing Buddhism and is currently living and teaching in Japan.  In a discussion on "Buddhism and God", Pete writes:

I’d always found it hard to believe in the idea of a God who had somehow created the universe from outside. So for me the Buddhist idea of God and the universe being the same thing was easier to accept. But Nishijima’s answer didn’t quite satisfy me. If God is the universe and the universe is God, then who made the universe? This, of course, is the big question. I don’t know why I wanted to ask Nishijima about it, because there's no way he could know. But I him asked anyway. He told me the Buddhist idea is that the universe has always existed.

While I am a practicing Catholic, I am open to the idea that there are ideas and practices in other religions that might extend into my own practice of faith.  Even more so, I find also that sometimes the things I learn from other religions or beliefs help me to understand my own experience with God, as well as in leading, following, dealing with conflict, etc. 

This ties into our discussion here in that I was meditating on the concept of culture change and I was struggling with the idea that a radical change in culture in an organization that is considered successful, seems even more frought with difficulty. If the culture is good, and if it exists because the nature of those involved in it is good, why should we consider change?  And why wouldn't you want to change things?  After all, we should be endlessly improving and moving forward, so even if things are good now, shouldn't we agitate for change so that we remain fresh?

If the culture is who we are, and we are the culture, how do we change that? Why do we want to walk away from something comfortable and working to go to the hard, cold unknown, where we can't even begin to know or understand what lies ahead?  

The answer to those in successful cultures is that we change because that IS our culture. 

  • Peter Lupkowski

    I enjoyed this on a whole other level as our Catholic Church begins using new words for greetings, prayers and songs during the mass.  Talk about a culture change!
    In addition we, the fire service, must continue to seek and embrace change.  Just ask the Kodak film guys, or the Underwood Typewriter salesmen, or Picket Slide Rule users.  Or in our parlance ALS, Haz-Mat and Technical Rescue.  Wait, why did they disappear and we continue? Oh yes, culture of change.
    Thanks for the deeper thoughts on our daily details.

    • http://www.firehousezen.com Michael “Mick” Mayers

      Yeah, don’t get me started on that. With the exception of the Confeitor (I must have had an old school priest growing up because I never stopped beating my chest three times), all of these changes look to be a little challenging. We were looking them over at Mass on Sunday and our priest began working some of the changes into the Mass – talk about a few laughs as we tripped through it.

      But yes, I definitely understand how change can be difficult as I struggle with it myself right now.

  • Svend

    Lead where your vison guides you.  Those that follow will benefit.  Those that don't, won't.

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Michael "Mick" Mayers

Deputy Fire Chief - Operations Division for Hilton Head Island (SC) Fire Rescue and an Emergency Response Coordinator with the United States Department of Health and Human Services  National Disaster Medical System Incident Response Coordination Team.

FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

Frank S. Brewer Jr.
The Annapolis Mansion Fire, Investigating, and of course, The Haters
Well put Mick. After 44 years in Fire/Rescue/EMS I am always amazed at the civilians telling me how it should be done. Fire investigation is hard work and never rewarding, having worked for a private fire investigator, who died due to exposure to the scene environments, the satisfaction you get is finding cause after that…
2015-01-25 15:55:00
Mick Mayers
Someone I Would Have Liked To Have Known
Ruth, Thanks for the comment, although like Tom said, you missed my point. What I was saying is that I am honored and impressed that someone who not so long ago would not have been given a chance - for reasons of race and gender- was given those accolades. She is someone I would have…
2014-12-12 11:24:00
Tom Bouthillet
Someone I Would Have Liked To Have Known
There are plenty of white males who don't deserve to be firefighters. The most qualified individual should get the job regardless of race or gender. That doesn't always happen for a variety of reasons that don't need to be hashed out here. But way to miss Chief Mayers' point entirely.
2014-12-11 12:08:00
Ruth Phillips
Someone I Would Have Liked To Have Known
I've heard of all of these "substandard candidates brought in to fill a role" taking the jobs from those who truly "desire the job and are willing to embrace the lifestyle of a firefighter." Do you mean people of color and women taking the jobs from the more deserving, uh, white male? I'm baffled as…
2014-12-11 04:21:00
Think Fast
My best friend once described flying in 'hard' IFR like being inside a giant ping-pong ball... everywhere you look, featureless white. I've appropriated that to describe people who seem to go through life in their own personal ping-pong balls. Apropos of the bumper sticker "I can't see you so don't pretend to be there."
2014-12-09 04:21:00

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Although I am affiliated or employed by certain entities, I in no way speak in this forum or others on behalf of those entities unless I have specifically stated such. Any implication otherwise is doing so contrary to my agreements with those entities. The result is that the observations and opinions by myself or on behalf of Firehouse Zen are not sanctioned by any other entity other than Graffiti Train Sherpa Publications and are protected by the copyright laws of the United States of America.

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