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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Would You Stop Running a Race to Help a Competitor?

Seth Goldstein, Last Place Winner

Thought for the day: What would you do? Would you stop & help a competitor while running a race or run on like the rest of the pack? Are we running past people in need without even realizing it?

Today, I saw a story about a 17 year old Tennessee High School senior, Seth Goldstein, (pictured above) who was running a cross country race when he saw another competitor drop to the ground. He was the only runner in the race to stop to help the student from another high school. He called his parents & had them dial 911. He kept his wits when he saw that the boy was bleeding from the mouth & turned him on his side so that he would not choke on the blood. When the runner began to have a seizure he held him, told him he would be all right & reassured him that help was on the way. After the paramedics came, he stayed till he was sure the boy was all right. Then he asked if he could complete the race. The paramedics had not even realized that the young man was in the middle of a competition. He came in last, but he in my mind is the real winner of the race.

We all would like to think that we would stop & help someone in a similar situation, but don't really know until a situation arises. As I thought about this incident, other less obvious situations came to mind. Several of my posts have addressed the psychology of bullying & bi-standers who do not step forward to help someone being bullied, even when they disapprove. Our lives at times become like races. We run from place to place, taking care of work and family obligations. In this day & age, when people are anxious about their jobs or unemployed, the race becomes even more hectic. As we run the race of life, do we sometimes pass by those in need of assistance? When we hear about a charity or a worthy cause, do we feel too poor or too busy, with our own troubles to help someone with greater needs than our own. Working with the nonprofit organizations featured in my book and others I have been supporting since writing my book, I know that many nonprofit organizations are struggling to raise funds in these tough economic times.

Over the past few months, I have written about some of these amazing organizations that help people reach for their dreams. Most recently, I posted "It Takes A Cell Phone To Raise a Child," a call to register your cell phone to help keep children, disabled & elderly citizens safe from harm when they go missing. A Child Is Missing has facilitated the safe return of over 1,000 missing people. It does not cost a penny, just some time to give them your number. Did you stop your race to register your cell phone? In another post I raised the question of whether social media is leading to social inaction. Another post talks about two organizations using dolls as therapeutic tools for homeless children & children struggling with Cancer.  In another post I wrote about, Simon's Fund, another organization featured in & benefiting from my book, helps screen children for otherwise invisible heart conditions that can be life threatening if they are not detected. Voices Against Brain Cancer is working to try to end a disease that is taking so many people. My list goes on & there are many others.

I hope you will be inspired by Seth's selfless act of caring for someone in need & stop to take some time to read about these organizations & find a way to help them. If you can't afford to donate money, donate some time. I am building teams of volunteer interns to help. Let me know if you would like to help with social media or other activities.
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