BY CONTRIBUTOR BRITTANY DEBEIKES
Have you ever experienced a moment in your life when you were called on to be courageous? I’m not sure I can fully answer “yes” to that question, but I would like to think that I would respond should I be called upon. It’s been hard to turn on the TV or log onto the Internet without coming across the terrible tragedy in Boston. So many conversations have been fueled by the bombing and fear is being instilled back into the American public.
I was listening to the radio in my car the day after the horrific event and much of the broadcast was focused on eyewitnesses recounting their stories. I nearly changed the channel after feeling like I couldn’t take any more of this terrible news when an everyday hero was introduced to the show. He began his story by saying that he was only blocks away from the scene of the event when he heard the boom. He then mentioned that he used to work on an oil rig where he was required to undergo CPR and trauma training, so he felt inclined to run toward the blast rather than away.
He arrived at the scene and was surrounded by victims suffering horrible injuries. There was no guarantee of the threat being over, yet he placed himself in danger for the sake of helping complete strangers. He was able to help a young girl by creating a tourniquet and then remained her partner through the disaster, helping her keep her head up and eyes open until medics arrived to take her to the hospital. The radio show host said that the girl he helped had inquired about his whereabouts to the medics stating that he saved her life.
The host then went on to ask, “What compelled you to run toward the scene and utilize your limited medical training?” The response was simple. The man said he felt an overwhelming call to be strong and replace fear with courage. He then shared that he was an unemployed Boston local and when the event happened, he knew immediately what his faith and integrity were calling on him to do. My eyes welled up with tears. I was humbled by his story and immediately thought, “I’m not sure that I would have been strong enough to show such courage in the midst of disaster.”
We don’t need a global event to call on us to be courageous. There’s opportunity in our daily lives, but it requires us to live with our eyes wide open. Courage isn’t a stand alone character trait. Rather, it is a building block set upon a foundation of humility and integrity. So this week, I challenge you to be your best self by focusing on humility, which leads to integrity and eventually courage.
Image courtesy of Bakersfieldcalifornian.com