It takes a certain person to run into danger as the rest run from it. Fear of danger is a human instinct, therefore the ability to suppress fear is superhuman.

When we flick the light switch, we expect the lights to come on and we don't give it a second thought. When we call 911 in an emergency we don't give it a second thought.

Take a moment to think about yourself and what you have chosen to do in life. We live in a free country and our opportunities are unparalleled.

Would you run into a burning home to rescue a stranger? Would you kick down a door to stop the sale of drugs in your city? Would you go to a foreign country to battle terrorists so they can't bring the war to your family in America? Would you climb a telephone pole in a storm to reconnect a high voltage electric line or go into a dark manhole to repair a gas line?

You have made your choice and it is fine.

Most people have decided they aren't interested in or capable of doing dangerous things.

Thankfully, we have people who are willing to do the dangerous things. Without their courage, most people would be dead or on their way to death.

If you are wondering where you fit into the conversation, I can make it easy. Do you wear a protective vest or a helmet to work? Members of the Village People musical group don't count.

Lots of the men and women who run into the danger have a union to represent their interests. They unionized for a reason. They are experts at running into danger, not lawyers and accountants.

Here is a test: hundreds of thousands of American police officers, firefighters, utility workers, corrections officers, and soldiers have been maimed and killed in the line of duty. How many can you name?

For most of us, the answer is very few. For some of us, the list is too long.

When you flick the light switch or call 911, you are summoning the services of a person who will do things that most people are too afraid to do. They deserve respect. In the real world, respect comes in the form of a paycheck, benefits, and a livable work schedule.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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