Artwork: SKL '23


Author: OMA '24
As seen in: Upside Up #

As a fireman, I face difficult decisions on a daily and nightly basis. For instance, do I take the day shifts or the night shifts? Who is working the night shift? Is Rick working the night shift? Questions like these demonstrate that being a fireman is more than just sliding down greasy poles and spraying things with hoses: it is doing these things with a select group of people that will determine your level of enjoyment of these activities. 

When you’re putting out fires, you cannot save everything and everyone. For example, many things are on fire. You cannot save these things. People also often have some objects that they value more than others: wedding or family photos for instance. It is for that reason that I have put a special priority on saving these precious symbols of sentimentality, even if it comes at the expense of saving those in the photo. 

As a fireman, you have to decide who lives and who dies. Most people would agree that a helpless baby should be saved over an older person with only a few years left to live. These people say that we ought to be prioritizing our future over our past, and that means leaving the old ones to burn.

While I disagree with the ageist sentiment, the answer is correct: save the family photos, then save the babies. Without babies we forfeit humanity’s future. And without family photos we forfeit those babies knowing the precious faces of their grandparents who died by fire.