A firefighter friend of mine conveyed two stories to me that happened recently. He was called to an elderly woman's apartment and much to his shock found that the woman had fallen and broken her hip and had been in this condition for four days. When he asked this poor woman why she hadn't yelled or attracted attention her reply was that she didn't want to disturb her neighbors by being a nuisance. Shortly after this call he had to rush to another call where a man wanted to be taken to the hospital, the reason was that he felt his heart was beating a little fast, because his boss yelled at him and so he felt compelled to dial 911. I'll give you a moment to let the contrast set in... OK so what does this show us?
In of themselves, each of these stories is valid. The elderly woman was able to overcome pain and discomfort for days before she was discovered all because she adhered to a certain code of being. Likewise the gentleman may have felt his life was truly in danger from an accelerated heartbeat, and felt compelled to call 911 as a preventive measure.
Let's go a little deeper, what is the initial reaction when we hear these stories? The guy is a wimp, wuss, weak and cant handle the pressure. The elderly woman is brave, stoic, amazing, and has immense fortitude to withstand four days in that condition. Its not surprising that we are so quick to judge. We place each of them against the stereotypes we have created or have been exposed to throughout our lives and for many of us the man falls short.
The bottom line is that we don't know what will test our mettle and when we face adversity we should be prepared to face it head on. Each dealt with the situation they were faced with in their own way. You will deal with adversity in your own way.
What we must remember is that at some point we will all face some type of adversity, but we must strive not just to survive it, but to overcome and triumph in the midst of adversity.
strong spirit-strong mind-strong body
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