I don’t know about you, but I like to think of myself as someone who helps other people. When someone tells me that they need assistance of some kind, I try to stop, listen, and do what I can. Even in random encounters on the street or in public places, I try to be kind and patient. I hold the door for people. I stop my car at crosswalks so pedestrians can safely cross the street. I say “good morning” to people when I am out for my daily walk. I think that behaving like that makes not only other people’s lives better, but my life too.
So I am making a New Year’s resolution that falls in line with that outlook. I am going to learn to perform CPR, and I am going to freshen up my first aid skills too.
Why? In part, it’s because of an experience I had recently at the gym where I exercise. Back in November there was a commotion in the men’s locker room. I went over to see what was going on and saw that another member of my gym was lying on the floor. He had hit his head as he fell, and he was bleeding and woozy. Fortunately, another member of the gym was a well-trained healthcare professional of some kind – maybe a physician, maybe an EMT, I don’t know – but he knew what he was doing and took care of the fallen man until an ambulance arrived and took him to a nearby hospital.
If that caregiver had not been there, I might have been able to help a little. I could have taken a towel and applied pressure to his head to slow the bleeding. I do remember some of the principles that I learned the last time I took a course in first aid. But that was way back when I was in high school. If the man had suffered from a heart attack, I would have had no idea how to do CPR or help in any way. And if I am trying to live a life in which I try to help people, that is unacceptable.
So as 2013 begins, I am making a resolution to freshen up the skills I need to help other people – not only when they ask for help or when they seem to need it, but when they are in extreme need.
I am not someone who likes to tell other people what to do, or what their resolutions should be. But this is a New Year’s resolution that makes sense to me. Does it make sense to you too?