Saturday, February 18, 2012

This and That

A few years ago, while in a country which I won't mention, a woman had a stroke or possibly something else. Not being a doctor, I wasn't sure. Looking at her, and seeing this person on the floor, I acted as everyone else did--I froze not knowing what to think. But that only lasted a second or two when, in freezing mode, I was also aware that nobody was doing anything--everyone was just looking at this woman collapsing. Then, like ice being surprisingly thrown on your back, I awoke. I yelled "Call 911". Though I did not know, if 911 was indeed the number to call in that country for an emergency, I certainly did hope that someone would understand and call whatever number was appropriate. Having said that, I jumped to the person doing CPR, pumping her heart, breathing into her mouth again and again.. For a flash of a second, I was the same doctor, who wasn't a doctor, who had helped deliver a baby many years earlier. I really wasn't sure of what I was doing. I had never done this before, never taken a lesson in such a thing and all my knowledge came from what I saw on TV and had read here and there. Shortly after, some person or other who worked in an ambulance, by what at first seemed a lucky coincidence, popped up. He, being from an English speaking country, which again I won't mention to avoid ignorant racism, told me to stop. I looked at him in anger, thinking is he really who he claims to be? And if so, how could he be so stupid--how can he give up so easily? For a split second I looked at him incredulous and then, for a reason I could not understand, I called him an idiot and continued to work on the woman on the floor. About a minute later this woman started coughing and breathing again. I had saved her. She was alive. Strangely enough, for a reason I still don't understand today, instead of being happy about saving a person's life--which I was--I looked at the intern, or whatever he was, sadly, and apologized to him for being rude. I could sense everyone, and I mean everyone around me not only feeling something positive about me having saved someone's life, but also surprised at hearing me apologize to this person. What I said was, "I don't understand why you were ready to give up so I snapped at you in anger. I am sorry for sounding rude. It was not  my intention but I am also sorry for not realizing that perhaps when you said "stop" you did not imply to stop saving her but rather that perhaps you were in a better position to help this woman then I was."
Perhaps I did something good, at least so was the outcome. Nevertheless, I am also aware that I was just as easily lucky and the outcome could have been quite different. All of this, all of this story, to say one thing, or rather to ask one thing; To what degree should we follow our instincts?

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