Monday, June 10, 2013

Drowning?

How do you feel about the person in the grocery line behind you? How about the lawn guy across the street?  The kid staring at you from the bus stop?

How do you view these people?

A couple year ago our family was invited to attend a party. Last minute we discovered there would be swimming. (I mean, it's Florida. Duh!) My husband and I weren't interested in flaunting our flub, so we let the kids bring their suits and supervised from the sidelines. We had a great time talking with other parents, until our friend dove, fully dressed, into the pool. My daughter had slipped over the brink of shallow to deep, and was bobbing in water over her head. None of the kids around her who could touch the bottom bothered to reach out an arm and pull her back, but our friend saw the need and leaped in without a second thought. Afterward she climbed out of the pool, dripping, and examined the destroyed smart phone in her pocket.

I often think about that moment, what would have happened if our friend hadn't been willing to dive without concern for herself or property. See, the thing is, she would have done that for anyone. No, I'm not talking about saving a life per say, but seeing a need and jumping in. I watched her over a course of years willingly dive, even when she was in over her own head, to come to someone else's aid.

The other day at the grocery store, I got caught in a torrential downpour. I hoped the storm would pass before I finished. Alas. While shopping, I'd been watching a young woman with two little kids. She had a kind smile and more patience than I sometimes can muster as she worked to keep them in line. I empathized with the wrestling match, but when I stood at the store exit watching the rain and she returned with a wide umbrella, offering to walk me to my car, my jaw almost hit the curb. Surely she was worn out from her store visit, yet there she stood.

What was so unique about these two women? They saw beyond themselves. Most days I wish I could be like that. Some days I even realize I can--but it means I have to look.

What do you see when you look at others?

And quickly, speaking of others, I'm participating in a Followers Blog Hop today, hosted by Mel Chelsey. Check it out and join in, eh?

51 comments:

  1. Gosh, what an inspirational umbrella story. Some people are just able to look beyond themselves and their current situations, and see others' needs. That is truly a gift from above.

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  2. It's amazing to see kindness through strangers. It's encouraging.

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    1. I know, right? These are the kinds of stories we need to hear in the news rather than war and political idiocy, eh?

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  3. It's nice to hear a story about people doing good things for others.

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    1. I think it makes us want to aspire to be better. At least, these women make me want to be better. :)

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  4. The good is still out there. Thank you for posting these.

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  5. It's so nice to hear about people thinking about someone other than themselves! I'm glad that lady was paying attention and there to help your daughter!

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  6. Sometimes, when I hear about these wonderful selfless people, it makes me inspired - and it makes me sad. Inspired, because I know that these acts of goodness do exist and that they tend to be spread to others; sad, because they're so rare nowadays that we notice them so clearly. I'm so thankful your daughter was okay that day.

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    1. I'm right there with you, Julie. I remember when I was a teen, if I ran out of gas in the middle of the city, I might have sat there two minutes (if that) before someone stopped to help. Now days, people seem to preoccupied or busy to lend a hand.

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  7. What a beautiful and inspiring post Crystal. I was very moved by this. It's amazing how many beautiful, selfless, and wonderful people there are in the world isn't it?

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    1. So true. Makes us want to be better, eh?

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  8. This post gives me hope. I don't see people showing as much kindness as I'd like to see in the world. I try to be kind. I try to offer space under an umbrella (and I'm always cautious of kids and water!), but sometimes I forget. Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. It's easy to forget, eh? Life gets so crazy, and with a hundred other things on our minds, it takes effort.

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  9. What beautiful examples of good people putting others first. People like that inspire me to be a better person. I'm so glad to hear your daughter is ok. I have a fear of the ocean ever since I was twelve years old and almost drown. I had gotten caught in a strong undercurrent that pulled me far from the beach with crashing waves. Luckily for me, there was a lifeguard on duty that came in and pulled me out. I think about that moment often, as a reminder.

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    1. Scary stuff. I definitely prefer pools to the ocean too. Experiences like that never go away, but they make great fodder for writing, eh?

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  10. It is so good to hear about random acts of kindness. Makes the world seem right.

    Jai @And then...

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  11. What an inspiring story! Those acts of kindness can form chain reactions where the one helped helps another and that one another... Just think of the difference that would make in this world!

    Thanks for this wonderful post. :)

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  12. Things like that make your day, don't they? Here from the blog hop. Have you written that musical or are you in it as a singer?

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    1. Hi Vanessa! Great to meet you. Yes, I wrote the musical, and yes, I am a vocal performer, and yes, I even sang a few tracks that are on the website 5 months pregnant. Fun, eh?

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  13. There are a good many good people out there. I think we forget this. We shouldn't. We can be that good person, too.

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  14. I love this story! I wish I could be like that, too. Sometimes I just get so focused on myself and doing what I need to do I forget about others. Thanks for the reminder! I guess I can start by paying attention to my cat. She really wants to lay on my keyboard right now. ;)

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  15. Thanks for participating in the hop! Hope you met lots of new people. :D

    Mel at Writings Musings and Other Such Nonsense

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    1. Thanks for hosting it, Mel. It's been great.

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  16. When I hear the stories of people needlessly getting hurt or suffering because nobody looked outside themselves and had empathy for someone else, I am so disheartened. Luckily, there seem to be more acts of kindness than not. Thanks for sharing two of your experiences. The ones where it's the other way haunt me.

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  17. What a nice story. I'm always happy to hear about people doing good things. I often hear location has alot to do with it. We midwesterns always look people in the eye and therefore we see them. I'm told that's not a good idea other places, so it's must be hard to show kindness if you don't see people. I'm sorry to read your daughter almost drowned, that had to be scarey for you. You didn't mention her age. I ask because my daughter while in daipers (young), stood between my husband and I at the edge of pool. We were at my bosses house, we were having an office party. I managed the office so needed to be the first to arrive. We were just talking about how to set things up, when in a flash, my daughter stepped off the edge...in the deep end. My boss who's a superb swimmer, had been on swim teams etc. says....she's fine Mom, don't panic she'll come back up. Don't scare her, she'll be fine. We watched her go down a bit, and immediately start coming back to the surface. He reached down(had long arms could get her first and wanted things to be calm) plucked her out of the water as she's smiling and laughing. He says calmly Chrissy, have Mom put your bathing suit on. We were floored. So glad he was there, think I would have over reacted and because that didn't happy, she wasn't scared, got her suit on, had fun in the water, turned into an awesome swimmer...on the swim team. Long post...but your's brought back the memory.
    Oozing Out My Ears

    He later told me all kids know how to swim instinctively when young, and unlearn it, thus need the lessons later on.

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    1. Interesting. Yeah, my daughter was 6 at the time, and tall enough to "touch" in the shallow parts of the pool. It was definitely scary, but she's since learned to swim. Thank goodness!

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  18. Hey Crystal..
    lovely space you have. Looking forward to read more from you :)

    Loved your post.. there are good people all around. We keep complaining about so much bad that jeep happening around.. But, I guess because of these people only.. place is still worth living !!

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  19. I think that is just wonderful. I am not always as kind and thoughtful as these women. It is nice to know that there are still nice people out there. Thank you so much for following my blog. I have been a follower of your blog for a while now.

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    1. Sorry, Murees. I'm a little slow sometimes at the followbacks.

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  20. What a refreshing look at humanity. Would that we were all so selfless.
    tm

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  21. I recently had a long discussion with my class about the theme of the novel, Number the Stars: Any person, no matter how ordinary, may be called upon for courage. We finished the book right around the time of the bombing in Boston, and we discussed how people's lives were saved by strangers who just happened to be standing nearby.

    It gave me pause for thought, too, because I am often impatient in crowds. I would like to un-learn that behavior.

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    1. I'm right there with you. I learned several lessons while living in NYC I'd really like to unlearn--like how to be in a crowd and be completely alone.

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  22. What a beautiful story! These both would have fit perfectly into the random acts of kindness blog hop from Memorial Day, so touching!

    Thanks for connecting with me, and following! I have returned the favor and will certainly be back around in the future!

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    1. Yay! Thanks for popping in, Bev. I didn't hear about that hop, or maybe I did and I ignored it because life is INSANE! Or maybe I'm just insane because of life? That's like asking which came first, the chicken or the egg.

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  23. "Walkin' the Talk." I suspect this is a reflection of how you live your life, too.

    Excellent post.
    love & love,
    -g-

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    1. I wish. These women far outshine me. =)

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  24. Wow. Yes we remember these people because they "wow" us. Sometimes I think I fail, because I don't think the worse is possible. Hubby sees a woman with her head over her plate and thinks stroke and leaps to action. I think, wow will he feel like tool when she's just praying. Turns out I am the tool.

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  25. I always enjoy your posts Crystal - you have a talent of spreading positive energy :-)

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  26. Its people like that who inspire my faith in humanity amidst all the bedlam and chaos in the world. Such good people. I hope I can be like that, able to look past myself to help fill the needs of others. How inspiring those women are, and what great examples.

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    1. So true. I think on a level, that's what we're all hoping to become. =)

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Hit me with your cheese!