Sunday, June 03, 2012
Here's something I have been pondering. How would I -- and how would we all -- act in a sudden crisis? I live in the Pacific NW. This past week there was a terrible shooting in Seattle where a mentally disturbed man killed 3 people at a cafe, then carjacked a vehicle and shot the drive to death before later killing himself. My intent here, though, is not to dwell on the killer, but on the example of a very ordinary woman - a church organist! - who happened to be present at the scene of the carjacking. As the linked news article explains, she had the presence of mind to get the license number as she ran across the street to the victim. She administered CPR, and comforted the dying woman until medical help came. She was, by my definition, heroic -- focused, taking note of information that could help apprehend the killer, and compassionate to a total stranger. Here is the link: seattletimes.nwsource.co
My question is, what makes someone ready to act well in a totally unexpected, high stress-traumatic situation, when you have to act on the basis of who you are, or how you have prepared yourself to act through a lifetime of values and lifestyle choices? Maybe I'm drifting toward an answer to my own question in that last statement. Maybe every act you take, every choice you make, shapes you at your core. This is what comes out in crisis for good or for ill.
And this brings me to a point that I hope ties this back to the health and fitness and spirituality teams I am part of on SP. Maybe there is a bigger point to getting fit and healthy besides the benefits to myself, or even my family, in living longer and healthier. Maybe being physically and mentally healthy will better prepare me to respond well to the needs, or hopes of others, in crisis and non-crisis situations alike. Maybe the greater benefit is not only to save everyone the healthcare dollars of not having major health issues down the road, but to make us capable of giving more of ourselves in whatever ways we can?
A rather rambling set of thoughts, that, but I hope you see where I'm going with this. I'd appreciate your feedback.