Tuesday, 25 March 2008

If not you, then who? If not now, then when?

On December the 31st 2007 I made a resolution, but it wasn't a typical resolution, you know how those go:

"I won't eat chocolate on weekdays"

"I will go to the gym at least three days a week"

"I must not swear"

It was nothing like that at all, at the end of last year I made the resolution to live by the following statement;

If not you, then who? If not now, then when?

So far it has worked wonders for me and this year Ive found myself achieving alot more in alot less time. Things like leaving taking out the recycling 'til later or putting off a piece of work until "I can be bothered" are almost a thing of the past. But yesterday, I did something that if im brutally honest made me really dislike myself a little bit.

On Sunday a close friend was admitted to hospital after collapsing whilst getting ready to go to work, so naturally I went to visit him the next day. When I arrived at the hospital there were absolutely NO staff, atleast no visible members of staff to be seen, not even a receptionist! As I walked through the hospital trying to locate my friend's ward and room I only saw patients and relatives.

I understand it was a bank holiday but unless accidents, illnesses, injuries and diseases have started paying attention to calendars, hospitals dont have days off. Now Im not slating the emergency services or the crucial work that they do but I was shocked to say the least, even more so as I stood infront of a map in the middle of the hospital trying to work out where to venture off to in search of my friend. Whilst reading the map I vaguely heard - or at the time, initially thought, I'd heard a voice saying;
"hello....anybody....hellooo...."
but I put it down to background noise and didn't pay much attention as I continued to study the map, then once again I heard the same voice;
"hello....anybody...help...anybody??? ....help"
It was now clearly somebody, a patient, asking for assitance, I looked around and still there were no visible members of staff so I walked up the corridor abit to see if there were any about, but nothing. I noticed the calls were coming from the male public bathrooms, but I wasn't about to walk in and find out what the problem was "I'm not prepared to deal with what ever that might be, what could I do to help?" is what I told myself. So I walked back to the map, found out where to go and walked away, leaving that person to face whatever predicament they may be in, alone.

I didn't think too much of it after that, I saw my friend and laughed about "other stuff" and told him to rest up and focus on getting better. But as I embarked on the long, icey-cold walk home I remebered walking away from that person aking for help. I tried to justify my actions by assuming it couldn't have been "that bad" if the person wasn't screaming and was coherent enough to call out for assistance, but that doesn't make what I did acceptable.
What happened to "If not you, then who? If not now, then when?"
If not me, assisting that person in whatever way I possibley could, then who? Seeing as there were no staff in ear shot of their calls for help.
If I don't take action, and I didn't, how long did that person have to wait for someone who was willing to?

It made me sick to my stomach and lastnight I made another resolution:
  • I will not walk away again, I will take action - even if it's making sure I find someone who is equipped to assist in a way that I can not.

My resolution is useless, null and void if I am the only person who benefits from it.


- Mr. Devo

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