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Archive for August, 2009

The price of wisdom

The Tolls of the Season Rain Down on the Depre...
Image by pixieclipx via Flickr

As I start to recover from the last two months of moving, another road trip for a wedding, and a steep learning curve for my nascent marketing/PR business, I’m trying to get back into the habit of reading my blog subscriptions. Can’t really be a good writer without reading, you know?

Anyway, this post from one of my favorite cop bloggers, The Roanoke Cop, caught my eye. He and a lot of other emergency services workers–police, fire and rescue–did a great job of talking down a suicidal man from jumping into the path of a train. He credits the job he did to this:

I was at a suicide once where the deceased left a note to his daughter, telling her he loved her. It angered me then because evidently he didn’t love her enough to live for her. Or at least that’s probably the perception she’ll have growing up. But it was a good experience for me because the guy tonight also had a daughter. I drew on that previous call and I was able to articulate that she needed to know he loved her enough to live for her. That past experience helped me tonight to talk to this guy, I knew what to tell him.

I wrote him that it’s too bad we have to live through a little piece (or more) of hell before we can help other people. I thought of a lot of things when I wrote that:

  • The dispatcher I worked with, who I watched talk down a would-be suicide over the phone. I was in awe (and a little jealous) till she told me she’d made an attempt as a teen.
  • The friend whose ex-wife, who has a few mental health issues, is trying to get almost full custody of their three kids. He has a unique opportunity to help guide them through living with her… tough as it will be.
  • The computer forensics folks I work with who have seen all manner of depravity on people’s hard drives. They don’t have to go into many details; they bear a tremendous burden to keep other kids safe, try to save the ones they see.

There’s always a price for wisdom — just wish more people realized that. Instead, it’s so easy to get caught up thinking everyone else’s life is so much better. If more people accepted their lot in life and went with the lessons it was trying to teach… what kind of world would we live in?

Or is it that bad? Sometimes I think there are a lot of people who accept life the way it is. We just don’t hear about them because they’re not sexy or psychotic or exciting. They’re too busy helping other people get through the rough spots. Is it even possible?

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