This 7 Days of Gratitude is going places I never imagined.
I’m typing this as it just happened, a few minutes ago. I was on my way home from the neighbourhood gym when I saw a downed motorcycle at the traffic light. I saw a few people rush over to help and so did I, and when I helped lift the motorcycle up I saw her: a little girl of 8 had been hit and was lying crying on the ground.
The men helped carry her over to the side of the road while I called for an ambulance. I noticed, however, that her mom wasn’t showing the usual high levels of distress or anxiety I’d expect…nevertheless, I made the call, and told her about it.
She’d seen a lump forming on her daughter’s head, most likely from where she had fallen…and she proceeded to rub vigorously on it! Even without the little first aid training I’ve had, I knew this was a major no-no, as there was no telling to the nature of the injury. I asked her to stop, and when she didn’t listen, I had to physically take her hand away from her daughter. That’s when I started to wonder…
When I told her the ambulance was coming, she said fine. Then she made her little girl stand, and wanted to take her home, because in her words, she wanted to change her daughter’s clothes first before seeing the doctor, and then proceeded to cross the road to go home! At this point I strongly began to suspect that the mom was…shall we say, mentally challenged.
At this point, I knew I had a choice. I could blow it off, and say that it wasn’t my problem, after all, it was her daughter and her decision. Or I could say that I wasn’t going to let it go down like this, because the little girl needed medical attention, even if it was just for minor injuries. I decided to take charge.
I grabbed the mother by the hands to stop her, all the while telling her to wait, but she wouldn’t listen, and kept insisting on taking her daughter home. I had to restrain her and only made it as far as the other side of the road before she stopped. All this while, nobody else was doing anything. I’ll have to admit, I was pretty nervous and unsure of myself at this point, but I felt I had to do the right thing. I kept reassuring her that the ambulance was coming, and all she had to do was wait a few more minutes. And I started to make soothing sounds to her daughter too, who had been howling all this while.
The motorcyclist came over too and helped me to persuade her to stay. He had a cut on his face, and was bleeding quite badly, but he behaved responsibly.
Just as I was wondering what else to do besides repeating myself over and over again that it was going to be ok, just wait a while more, and wondering just where the ambulance was, I saw to my relief, a passing police car. Some help at last! I flagged it down, and the policemen came to my assistance. The ambulance came a while later, and I left the mother and her daughter in the good hands of the paramedics and police, knowing they’d take care of everything.
Today has been a little different, to say the least!
Today I’m grateful for a different reason; I’m grateful for me. I’m grateful I was there to help out. Because no-one was stopping the mom from taking her daughter away from seeing the paramedics, and who knows what might have happened? It could have been nothing, or it could have made all the difference. And that’s what I’m grateful for, that I was there, and I was able to make a difference.
So in light of today’s events, my coach’s challenge for Day 3 of the 7 Days of Gratitude is going to be a little different. Think about this; when was a time in your life in which you were grateful for you? That because of where, when and who you were, you made a difference in that place and time for the people around you?
This is no ordinary question, I urge you to take the time, reflect upon the question and answer it, and I guarantee it will make all the difference.