People admire the wrong people, they don't focus their attention on worthwhile things. They see celebrities, singers, influencers, politicians, or any figure with charisma. They go out of their way for a soccer player. Some admiration is not bad, capable we all want to be them and be in their position. Being the focus of people is not bad if you focus your efforts on it.
But have any of you ever stopped to think about what firefighters think when they are putting out a fire?
Or what a paramedic is thinking when he saves the life of another person with multiple serious injuries?
They live their lives to the fullest, but they go through anonymity. You've never seen a firefighter with multiple followers. Being acclaimed for their actions.
That's what happened to Roberto Oca.
An exemplary firefighter. Without vices or bad thoughts, He lived from his work and not in a monetary sense, the country he was born in was going through a financial crisis. And the worst thing an ignorant or corrupt government does is to underpay the real foundations of their country. So, Roberto had to do several extra shifts to earn a living wage for his family.
Roberto was married to Lina, a beautiful and simple church wedding. She was pregnant with Petra, a girl who was now 10 years old. They were very happy, Roberto kept this golden time in his memories before he passed away.
And that last year things were not going very well. The salary was not enough to eat well enough at home. Roberto hardly saw his wife anymore, and he feared the worst. Many of his partners were separating because of that. The first symptoms were fights most of the time, followed by silences that lasted for weeks.
Our character picked up on these signs. He was determined to make it up to his wife and daughter for his lack of time. So he decided to take a watch that did not suit him. He had already finished his watch, he wasn't supposed to be there, he just wanted some money to take his wife to a restaurant. And not a fancy one, as long as it had a special atmosphere it was enough for him. It was an outdoor restaurant, almost the design of the place gave the appearance of a picnic in the park.
Many years ago Roberto went there with his two wives and they had a wonderful time. He never forgot that moment. He wanted to rekindle the flame with that destination.
However, that watch was not an easy one. There were many unforeseen events. Roberto and many of his colleagues did not have lunch or dinner. They had been fighting a large forest fire since noon.
Can you imagine? I'll help them.
Firefighters in a forest fire have to walk or even run 30 km, they can last a week fighting the same fire. The only way to put it out is to cut off its fuel supply, which would be the vegetation. But making a 30 km radius firebreak is difficult if there is little staff. However, they still try. Regardless of whether you have water support such as a water tanker, you will never be able to get to those steep areas if the fire is a mountain. In a country going through a crisis, there will be no helicopters or airplanes capable of supporting our firefighting team.
So Roberto, without having eaten a single bite all day, late at night from working the day before, was in dire straits. Fighting a raging fire whose heatwave could stun you at close range. Roberto had years of experience, 18 years fighting fires. He knew he couldn't be left alone to put one out, but that's how it happened. Stunned by all the factors you could list now, he walked into the lion's den.
With his frame he tried to smother some simple flames, forgetting to position himself in the already burned area. He was surrounded by bushes that were flammable in that situation. But he had only one thought, to extinguish the flame and finish the watch, collect the money and leave with his wife. He did not calculate the change of wind, when it happened a few simple flames devoured with speed the green of the environment, and an intense red surrounded our character.
What do you think Roberto must have thought when the flames surrounded him?
Perhaps some pessimists will say that he thought about the disastrousness of his government, he launched mental rudeness while the fire ate his body. It could be true, but I would like to think that Roberto died treasuring the beautiful moments of his life. Imagining being with his wife in that open-air restaurant, eating a delicious picnic-style appetizer. Kissing his wife's hand and looking into their eyes with that tenderness that always characterized him.
And do you think anyone did anything about it? Do you think multiple people mourned his death apart from their families? Do you think they made a grave of honor for the fallen firefighter?
You already know the answer.
Anyway, my message is this:
Are we admiring the right heroes?
Are we praising the right things?
You should stop and think things through.