As I reflected on that quote above, I recalled a situation that made a significant impact on my life. It occurred my freshmen year of high school. I was walking across a college campus parking lot with two of my friends and a few girls that we knew from high school. It was around 9 PM, and we were on our way to a Burger King. We talked and laughed as we made our way. It was dark and every few minutes a car would drive by, going further into the campus area. I looked up at a pair of approaching headlights and something inside me knew as the hair stood up on the back of my neck. I felt it so strongly that when the car slowed down as it approached, I yelled, “run.”
My friends and the girls we were with just stood there. They looked at me and then at the car. A carload of six senior’s from a neighboring high school, all football players, jumped out of the car. Two boys came after me and two after each of the other two friends I was with. Two of us were faster than the boys chasing us. The third, unfortunately, was not as quick. When they caught him, the two who had caught him began to hit him. I could feel those chasing me stop, so I stopped. The boys who had been chasing me turned around and went back to where my friend was getting pummeled. I stood there frozen, not knowing what to do as they punched my friend. After what seemed for ever, but was probably 30 seconds or so, the other friend I was with then acted. He came running in towards the perpetrators with his fists up. That was enough for the boys to get off of our beaten friend, jump in their car and take off.
“Never again,” is what I thought about after that incident. “Never again will I be in a situation where I may be able to help someone who cannot or does not know how to help themselves and I stand and do nothing!”
As a younger child, I had been shy with a struggling self-esteem, as a result of multiple experiences that I had. The experience that I had my freshman year changed my life and propelled me to act during situations that I encountered. Since that walk across the Weber State University parking lot, I have had many opportunities to help others. I have been able to pull a man from a car that was stuck upside down in an icy river, when the masses stood by and watched, as well as much more “simplistic” acts like mentoring an elementary school child that did not have family support at home. But, even with that, I failed to realize following my true passion and more fully embrace that concept until well into a career, children, and post a struggling marriage. Thankfully, it is never too late to awaken into the present reality that is our own and the unity we share with others who make that commitment to do what’s right. CYFworld.com
For more on this subject, check out the recent publication of Lulled…to quiet silence, pacify, settle down, or hush.