Today on my way back from grocery shopping, I had the fortunate luck to have been just one minute late for a head on collision. Shocked, I took a moment to register what had happened, judging from the smoke filled chamber of one car, I immediately pulled over and called emergency services. While connecting, I saw the driver of one vehicle exit, then the passenger and driver of the other vehicle exit. The situation did not require my Spanish skills, however, two of the three participants in the tragedy clearly were Spanish speakers only, so I switched languages when asking if they needed anything. There’s no way to judge the severity of these things, a few decades ago when my first car perished in a multi-car pile up, I had back aches and a headache for weeks. However, I’m happy to have been able, willing and interested in jumping in to provide whatever assistance I could.
Daily, we make choices. If you read books about individual behavior, sometimes, us human beings are atrocious creatures. Walking away, ignoring those in need. Putting blinders on to the routine tragedies which occur just to the side, if only we had the courage to look, to understand and maybe do something to lend a hand. What a difference a simple phone call, a question or an offer of assistance can make. It’s not the costume that makes the hero, it’s the actions that define the character.
For the half dozen people who read my blog, I have one request
Be a hero. Reach out, take the time to stop and call for help when it’s needed. Extend a hand, embrace others and do what’s right. Last week, I got some of the worst advice of my professional career. I refuse to accept the status quo, I refuse to accept the inertia, the callousness and the ignorance. Those who know me personally have no illusions. I’m not a hero like the guys in tights in the comic books I read about growing up. Nor do I have the photoshopped musculature of the actors who play the heroes in our favorite movies.
What I do have is courage to stand firm in the face of adversity. To stand, to encourage, to lend a hand and to share. Today, I changed the world. So can you.