“There are an infinite number of reasons to say no. Instead, try to focus on one good reason to say yes.” – J. Kintz [Tweet this.]
Jeff Owens is a normal guy.
He has the atypical ability to say “YES” to new possibilities to grow, touch lives and change the world.
Having a passion for others, an interest in medicine and a love of the unknown, Jeff became an EMT. He’d arrive at the scene of the injured or sick, transport them to the hospital, and strive to reduce their anxiety and mitigate their symptoms on the way.
During his career, Jeff advanced through the ranks, went through more training, became a paramedic, then a fire fighter, and never lost the passion to serve, teach and guide others forward.
Desiring to impact even more lives, Jeff started going to schools teaching about fire safety. In 1994, he visited a kindergarten class. Not sure how best to keep their attention, he brought his Black Labrador to help teach the process of stopping, dropping and rolling.
It was just a whim; a simple “YES” to wanting to better impart the training. But the kids loved the dog, Kasey, understood the message, and remembered it long after he left. Another school heard about the impact Kasey was having on students and invited Jeff to speak to their students.
In 1994 Jeff and Kasey taught 3,000 kids about fire safety.
The following year, open to the possibility to do even more, Jeff and Kasey taught more than 90,000 kids.
Jeff and Kasey teach how to respect fire, call 9-1-1 if there is ever an emergency, always look for two ways out, and to stop, drop and roll if ever on fire. In the past twenty years, they’ve taught more than 4,000,000 kids.
Big numbers can be hard to relate to. Let’s look at it another way. A man said “YES.” A dog connected with young students and simplified an important message. Of the 4,000,000 students who were taugh: 15 were involved in house fires. Because of the training – they were all not only able to get safely through the fire and are again living a normal life.
The lives of 15 children were saved because one man, and because of his willingness to answer “YES” to a new opportunity.
I spoke with Jeff last week. We talked about the challenge of being on the road, away from friends and family, in and out of hotels. I asked why he continues the training. Jeff reminded me that “the next class may have a student in it that will need this training at some point in his or her life.”
As Jeff got the dogs back in the van and prepared to get back on the road, he smiled and reminded me that he is “being used and is grateful for the chance to simply keep saying ‘Yes’ to the opportunity of each day.
My friends, frequently in life it’s easier to do what we’ve always done. It’s easier to stay in our own world, do our own thing, mind our own business. To lead a radically inspired life, though, we must remember that it’s not just about what we can do for ourselves, but about the opportunity to positively affect others on the journey.
For you see, there are an infinite number of reasons to say no. Our daily invitation is to try to focus on one good reason to say “Yes.” [Tweet this.]
This is your day. Say Yes. Live Inspired.
To learn more about the Kasey Program – the only full time, nationally touring, fire prevention program in the country – visit: www.kaseyprogram.org