WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
We all know that Vulnerability creates human connection. To love another person, know yourself deeply, and in order to care for others, you have to be Vulnerable and give of yourself.
You set your own fears aside and say, “Here I am for you.”
I ask you this: “Could you be Vulnerable in order to make a difference and possibly save a life?”
What Would You Do?
While eating dinner at a restaurant with friends in North Carolina last week, there was a young woman a few tables away having a seizure. The restaurant was in panic mode looking for a nurse or doctor.
I am Wilderness First Responder certified. According to protocol, we are not to assist patients unless we are IN the WILDERNESS. This was not the wilderness. I sat in my chair, deeply struggling with what to do. As I put my fork down, my heart had already left my body to go help this young woman. My left leg was begging me to leap out of my seat, while my right leg held me anchored to the table. I had never felt this way before, completely torn with RIGHT versus WRONG. Had I have gone to assist and someone found out, I could lose my certification. I need that certification to guide and hold retreats in the Grand Canyon. Had I not assisted, this young woman could potentially die. Not being able to just sit there, yet not knowing my intentions, I walked over to help the group of people now frantically hovered over this poor young woman. Thankfully, a nurses assistant appeared at the same time. She took over the patient while I took over the mom. The mom needed as much caring, love, and attention as her daughter. While I placed my hand on her back and talked her through what was occurring, I felt this tremendous amount of relief that I wasn’t forced to step in and save a life. I also felt a tremendous amount of guilt for not immediately assisting. What would I have done had the nurses assistant not been there? I honestly don’t know. I do know that I would have helped as best I could. There lies my struggle.
RIGHT versus WRONG
HELPING OTHERS versus BYSTANDER EFFECT and the consequences of standing up
I thought about this situation on the flight home. While running, writing, stand up paddling ~ I couldn’t get it out of my head. Then this happened.
A local man drowned in the Pacific Ocean last week. He was drunk, he stripped down naked, and swam straight out into the open water to his death. He apparently committed suicide. There were families on the beach that night. Yet how could this have happened? I was not there; I am not at liberty to judge. Mental illness or not, a lot of steps go into play in a man’s life before he finally gets to the point of drunk, naked, and dead in the Pacific Ocean. What if that man were my son, my father, friend, or nephew? What if that were me? It saddens me to think that I wouldn’t have been helped. What saddens me more is wondering if that man had been asking, “Why didn’t anyone stop me? Where is the lifeguard?” Unfortunately, we will never know. What Would You Do?
We all are held responsible for our actions in life. That said, we all have a choice to stand up to adversity. Many people have judged my decision to stay friends with my ex-husband after years of betrayal. People have asked, “Why?” I have responded, “Why not? I cannot live a life of anger and regret. In the end, I am not here to judge his actions. I choose to find the very good side of the man I once loved. We are all held accountable in our own way. What I can do is hold myself accountable by coming out of this stronger than I went in.” By being vulnerable and standing up to adversity, I helped save myself and our family. Yet I ask … What Would You Do?
Have people become so immune to vulnerability that deep empathy and human connection are no longer being made? Are we so into our phones, technology, and the internet that we are losing respect for ourselves and each other? Do we just not care enough anymore?
Perhaps it was how I was raised, in a small Midwest village without a stoplight. For the most part, we all looked out for each other. When a tornado ripped through our town in the middle of the night, everyone crawled from their mangled homes to assist their neighbors. Nobody said, “The next guy will take care of you.”
We all have to believe that WE can each make a difference. Relying on the “next person” doesn’t always work. We are the “next person.”
One person. ONE PERSON can stop a crime, a death, suicide, and devastation.
YOU have the logic, courage, and voice within to help others.