Losing and Winning
I remember clearly my high school basketball coach speaking (yelling?) to us during a timeout. You see, we were ahead by a sizable score to begin the second half. Yet, here we were in the fourth quarter barely holding on to our lead. The reason – we had slowed down our pace trying to milk the clock. Instead of trying to win we were trying not to lose. Coach Price encouraged (demanded) that we go back to the style of play that secured us the lead in the first place. We did, and we won.
Writing has become more and more difficult. The events over the past several weeks have weighed heavily on my mind. I am concerned for our great country and for this honorable profession. But I am worried most of all for the brave men and women who daily do the job.
The law enforcement officers that I respect so deeply have, completely understandably, slowed the pace of their proactive activities. This response is rooted in many factors – lack of support (real or perceived), increase in calls for service, reduction in staff to respond.
I ask you to guard against an unintended byproduct of this – complacency. When we are forced into a mere reactive role, we will often lower our guard. This is a natural reaction when the perceived threat is seemingly lowered. The threat is just as real, just as present, just as dangerous – it just looks differently now.
It is imperative that you continue to operate, to function, with the same intentionality that you always have. Relaxing, changing the way you go about your required tasks can provide a false sense of security. Guard against it. Trying not to lose isn’t the same as ensuring the win.