Giving when you least expect it. Every now and then I take a circuitous route from work to home or to visit friends. Along the route I take notice of a particular house that unto itself isn't so special.
Yet, in fact, the house brings back a meaningful and satisfying memory. More than 20 years ago, my colleague Eric and I were taking the back road home. We had been ride sharing. Until this one eventful early evening experience, just two guys heading home after a long work day.
Suddenly, we were confronted by two youngsters who flagged us down from their roadside perch. Do we stop or justify continuation of our trip home? This momentary moral dilemma criss-crossed our collective psyches.
We made an abrupt turn toward the home. Both children were screaming, and we were challenged to make clear their pleas in an intense drama. We followed the children into their home to confront the source of their dramatic outpouring of emotion. Their older sibling had a severe laceration from a broken window. Eric coolly found a phone, called 911 and took compassionate care of the two youngsters while I helped the victim stay conscious and alert. We kept the blood loss at bay until rescue personnel arrived. They took over the entire scene as we left quietly with no fanfare. I'm not sure when my heart stopped racing. Neither Eric nor I made too much of the experience. Yet, I know both of us were shaken and relieved. I recall a quick stopover sometime later, maybe days, to follow up. Knowing that the victim was all right provided some closure.
While accidents of all nature occur daily somewhere to somebody, are there really accidents speaking from a higher spiritual perspective? What do any of us get to learn about life about ourselves in such an experience? I laugh at myself in remembrance of a childhood hero - The Lone Ranger, beyond the racial profiling that did not confront me as a child. I did, however, take notice of two men, he and Tonto, who unselfishly without agenda came to the aid of troubled victims. While psychologists can find a real agenda assigned to the two heroes, as a child, I saw only two people willing to confront unhealthy situations that could have been easily ignored. Yes, rescuing folks was their lot in life and they performed well.
Rescue people such as firefighters and police personnel do this for a living. Yet, anyone at anytime may be confronted with a similarly dramatic or maybe far less dramatic experience when another person needs helps. The help needed doesn't get defined in only the physical experience. Someone may need a good listener not to rescue, only to listen. Good listening skills are often acquired after years of practice. You don't have to be a professional to be good at listening - no judgment, no backlash, no drama. Being warm, kind-hearted and loving may help an emotionally-laden person to see things more clearly and calmly. Not everyone needs rescuing, just a loyal heart. That is the spiritual experience at its highest and best.
Best of health. Be well.
Marshall Greenstein holds a master's degree in marriage and family counseling and is a licensed marriage and family counselor and a licensed mental health counselor in New York state. He has regular office hours at Hutton and Greenstein Counseling Services, 501 E. Third St., Suite 2B, Jamestown, 484-7756. For more information or to suggest topics, email firstname.lastname@example.org.