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Steven Negron: Learning Compassion After 9/11

Steven Negron was a fireman fueled by the adrenaline rush of dangerous situations, but after experiencing 9/11 at Ground Zero in New York, Steven realized he felt something different for his fellow man, compassion. Read Transcript


STEPHEN NEGRON LOVED THE

STREETS, THE SIREN, THE

ADRENALINE RUSH THAT CAME WITH

EVERY EMERGENCY, HE'S AN

EMERGENCY RESPONDER FOR THE NEW

YORK CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT, BUT

HIS DEVOTION TO HIS JOB AND THE

[INAUDIBLE] COST HIM HIS FIRST

MARRIAGE.

I WANTED TO BE AT MY JOB 24

HOURS A DAY, I WOULD BE OUT

WITH MY FRIENDS PARTIES, WE

WOULD COME TO WORK STRAIGHT OUT

OF THE CLUB.

HE WAS INVOLVED WITH CRIMES

AND GANGS AS A BOY.

I WAS ALWAYS TRYING TO PROVE

MYSELF, DOING THE DRUGS AND

ROBBING PEOPLE, THE MORE

TROUBLE I WAS IN, THE BETTER I

FELT.

HIS EXPERIENCES AS A YOUNG

MAN LEFT HIM EMOTIONALLY

DETACHED AND NUMB, HE CARRIED

THAT WITH HIM INTO HIS WORK.

I WOULD GO INTO ANY DANGER

WITH ANYONE, I NEVER DID IT

BECAUSE I FELT THE COMPASSION

FOR A PERSON, I DID IT AGAIN

BECAUSE THE ADRENALINE, IT WAS

MY JOB.

I HAD NO EMOTION AS FAR AS

LOVING ANOTHER PERSON, I WAS

DISCONNECTED COMPLETELY AS FAR

AS FEELING ALIVE.

THAT BEGAN TO CHANGE ON THE

MORNING OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001.

STEVE WAS AT HOME WHEN HE GOT A

CALL FROM WORK.

THEY TOLD ME, TURN ON THE

TELEVISION, A PLANE JUST HIT

THE TWIN TOWERS, THE ADRENALINE

STARTED RUNNING AND THAT'S WHAT

DROVE ME, AND YOU NOTICE PEOPLE

-- WE HAD TO STOP THE VEHICLE

EXACTLY WHERE WE WERE.

OUR THING WAS TO GET THOSE

PEOPLE TO SAFETY.

WE GOT THEM OUT OF THE AREA.

I'M GETTING FRUSTRATED BECAUSE

THE ADRENALINE WAS NOT GETTING

FILLED, I WANT TO GO IN.

BUT THE NUMBER OF INJURED

PEOPLE BEING COUNTED ON THE

STREET PREVENTED THEM FROM

GETTING IN.

I DIDN'T KNOW WE WERE IN THE

VICINITY OF THE SECOND TOWER

WHILE IT WAS GOING DOWN.

BY THE TIME I WAS ABLE TO GO

ANY FURTHER, THE COLLAPSE HAD

OCCURRED, IF NOT, I WOULD HAVE

BEEN AMONG THEM.

FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL DAY,

STEVE WORKED WITH RECOVERY

TERMS PASSING BUCKETS OF

DEGREE, SAW THE EMOTION OF THE

PEOPLE AROUND HIM, STILL FELT

NOTHING.

WHAT KEPT ME GOING WAS THERE

WAS SOMEONE THERE THAT I COULD

PULL OUT.

WHEN THEY TOLD ME TO GO BACK,

THAT WAS LIKE A CLOUD OVER ME,

I STARTED FEELING DEPRESSED AS

IF I WOULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE

AND NOW THEY'RE PULLING ME OUT

AND I RECALL FROM MY PARTNER

WHO CAME TO PICK ME UP THAT I

FELT THERE WAS SOMETHING WRONG

WITH ME.

THESE PEOPLE ARE REALLY

HURTING, AND AT THIS MOMENT, I

FEEL LIKE I'M JUST GOING

THROUGH THE MOTIONS.

STEVE BOWED HIS HEAD AND

PRAYED.

I HADN'T PRAYED IN YEARS AND

MY PRAYER WAS VERY SPECIFIC, I

SAID, LORD, I NEED TO FEEL

ALIVE AGAIN, I FEEL LIKE I HAVE

A HEART THAT'S NOT BEATING, AND

I DON'T WANT TO FEEL THIS WAY.

I SAID, GOD, LET ME SEE WITH

YOUR EYES AND LET ME FEEL WITH

YOUR HEART WHAT YOU'RE FEELING

NOW.

SUDDENLY, I FELT GOD'S HAND

TOUCH ME, TEARS STARTED COMING

DOWN AND TO ME, THAT WAS AN

IMPOSSIBILITY, AND I FELT GOD,

-- GOOD, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN

MY LIFE, GOD WAS WITH ME.

OVER THE NEXT FEW DAY, STEVE

SAYS GOT CHANGED HIS LIFE, HE

WENT BACK TO GROUND ZERO, THIS

TIME, FILLED WITH COMPASSION.

WHEN GOD TOUCHED ME,

EVERYTHING JUST COMPLETELY

CHANGED, I WAS SEEING LIFE

DIFFERENT, SO I WANTED TO GO

BACK BUT IT WASN'T BECAUSE OF

ADRENALINE THIS TIME.

I WANTED TO GO BACK TO SAVE

PEOPLE, I WANTED TO SAVE THEM

PHYSICALLY, I WANTED TO SAVE

THEM SPIRITUALLY.

HE SAYS HE KNOWS IT WAS FROM

THE GRACE OF GOD FROM ENTERING

THE TOWERS THAT DAY, IT WAS HIS

FRUSTRATION.

ALL THOSE PEOPLE HE KEPT

SENDING MY WAY THAT KEPT ME

FROM GOING INTO THE BUILDING, I

KNOW IT WAS FROM HIS HAND, HE

KEPT ME FROM THE DANGER.

I THINK I WAS GIVEN A CHANCE

BECAUSE IF I WOULD HAVE WENT

DOWN THAT DAY, I WOULD NOT

SPEND ETERNITY WITH GOD,

HE GAVE ME ANOTHER CHANCE.

EMBED THIS VIDEO

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