Recent events have made me begin to do a little self reflection. I suppose it is only natural when crazy things happen that you begin to wonder “what if that had been me?” The shooting in Connecticut has taken the nation by storm. Understandably so- 7 adults plus 20 children (all 6 or younger) have been killed. I can’t help but focus on one…Victoria Soto. She was 27 years old, same as me, and while her story is still unfolding, it seems as though she saved the lives of her students by hiding them in closets and cupboards, then telling the gunman they were in another room of the school. Then, she was killed.
It makes me think…what would I have done in that situation? I think that it is so easy for us to assume that we would have done the right thing in the tough situation. You find $100,000 and you’re sure no one is watching. You hit someone’s car when you open your door, but the scratch wouldn’t be covered by insurance. You are faced with certain death should you choose to help someone before you help yourself. In all of these situations, I would like to say “I would do the right thing.” I would like to think that I would turn the money in. I would leave a note on the car I hit. I would put someone’s life before my own.
Truth is, until I’m actually there, experiencing the situation, I can’t be honest with myself. No one knows how they will act when they are faced with a situation. What if I was totally, completely broke and jobless when I found that money and was walking home from yet another job interview I knew wouldn’t come to fruitation? What if I didn’t have insurance or if one more hit to my insurance was going to cause it to go up $25/month and I couldn’t afford that? What if I was upset with the person whose life I was faced with saving? What if they had just insulted me or broken up with me? Would I still do the right thing? Even worse, what if I was perfectly stable financially? What if I had the right insurance coverage and I knew it wouldn’t spike beyond what I could afford? What if I was crazy in love with someone who was faced with death- what if it was a family member?
These are all questions that can’t be honestly answered until you are confronted by a situation. I think that the best thing that we can do in the meantime is exercise kindness where we can. We need to practice doing the right thing in our daily lives in the hope that should we ever be faced with evil, we will have strengthened our need to do good for others and we will overcome it.
I’ve had so many ideas that I’ve just never fully hatched when it comes to doing good deeds for others. I’ve started getting better with family and friends, but when I encounter random favors, I sometimes forget to say thank you. I also get so wrapped up in my own wants and needs that I sometimes forget what it means to do good for someone I’ve never even met. For this reason, I plan to talk to a friend about starting an idea of mine. I plan to start exercising the side of me that is good. I hope that I am not faced with a situation in which I die when I am 27, or even 37 or 47. I hope I have the opportunity to live until I’m an old woman- to have adventures and to fall desperately in love with someone, to learn new things and to begin new projects and to make new friends and retain old ones. To make poor decisions but also to make the decisions that show me the path I’m supposed to be on. However, if the above doesn’t happen for me, if I die before I have those opportunities, I want to leave this earth knowing full and well that I did something positive and made a difference in someone’s life.