What value defines you?

We all try to live by many different values, but usually one of them stands out a little more than the others...
Is your value love? grit? giving back? What value defines you?


Fdny Hero

Al F. was born in Guayaquil, Equidor in 1951. He emigrated to New York in 1960, he started in the 3rd grade and spoke no English. He was appointed to the New York City Fire Department in 1977 and assigned to Engine 1 in midtown Manhattan. He transferred to Ladder 24 and then Rescue 1 both in Manhattan. In 1986...

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Helping Another In Need

My parents always raised me to have strong values and hold firm to my convictions in life, and this was never more exemplified than when a situation arose when it would be easy for most people to ignore it. A gentleman at my father's work began to come into work smelling continually of body odor and personal...

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New Kid On The Ward

I was a scared 10-year-old girl in the hospital having reconstructive surgery. This was back when you checked into the hospital the day before your procedure. I was shy but met some of the kids in the ward. I was pleased and surprised when they walked me to the elevator as I was being wheeled down for...

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As a World War II veteran, I served as a dental assistant in hospital that went to Japan a week or so after the bomb was dropped. After visiting a family and having dinner with them and not understanding much of the conversation, I was impressed with their hospitality and friendliness because I was (in reality) a...

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What I Learned From Carl

My mind seems always to return to the day that I met Carl. The city bus, with its mechanical hiss and its slightly dizzying engine-exhaust fumes, stopped at the corner of 31st and Centennial Drive to pick up the daily commuters, a group in which I was included. Boarding the bus, I looked, seemingly in vain, for a...

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I Can't

I was the quintessential "I can't" child - the poster child for the advancement of the word "can't." Whatever my mother told or asked me to do was immediately followed by my whining, "I caaaaan't." Consequently, very few tasks or goals that I set out to accomplish were ever completed. One evening, my mother...

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Many Thanks!

A few years ago I was walking to pick my son up from school. We unfortunately lived too close for a bus pick-up but also too far from the school for my 1st grader to walk home alone. It had become a ritual for my young daughter, infant son and I to walk the 6 blocks every afternoon. On one of those afternoons...

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Eight Birds, Two Mountains, And One Big Chevy Malibu

"I am convinced my life belongs to the whole community; and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I got hold of for a moment, and I want to...

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I Can't Forget And I Won't Ignore

Every day is a learning process. Seven months ago I spent three days learning about a problem that has no clear, definite solution. The problem still waits; I have not solved it — yet. I say "yet" because of what those three days taught me. The apparent insolubility of a problem is not a comfortable excuse to...

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My sister had failed out of school and was making very unwise decisions with her life. She chose to spend her time with people who were lost as she was. They all chose to ignore their responsibilities and supported one another in a life which involved drinking and partying. Sadly, they were all losing time. They...

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The Judge

Back in the mid to late 80's I had just finished up a 1 year program at a local Technical School. I soon began interviewing for a job. I was hired after my very first interview. I would be wearing a suit and tie every day. Well, I was flat broke and had no clothes suitable. A good friend's father was a retired US...

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Something To Lose

It was the summer before my freshman year of college. I was at my internship when I got the 911 page from my mom and a message saying, "Come home immediately after work." A bit anxious, I packed up my things and left for the day beating both my folks home. When they walked in the door my mom began to speak but...

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The Only "Enabler" In My Life

As a child, I learned at a very early age, to project hatred with a passion, on everyone around me, and also as a means of survival and staying safe from pain and suffering. The end result of this distorted belief system, was that for the next 30 years, I kept myself in bondage to addictions and long-term...

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You Are Going Places

It was another dreary and gloomy day. I had come home from school, changed my clothes and gotten ready for work. I work at a local restaurant in town as a cashier, seater and busser. I went to work feeling down and out. And to make matters worse I was busing that evening. It's the same thing over and over again....

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