Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Responsibilty is something we must earn, not a right we are born with.

When we listen, and I mean truly listen, we get a sense of the feeling, the emotion, or even just the moral of their stories. I know that I personally love to hear people’s stories. I think it is a wonderful thing to experience someone else’s take on a situation. What may have happened to you could have been something monumental to someone else. I think that in a small way, we as a people have the general life events that set us apart from one another. How someone grew up in a small town, versus someone in a city, or a child with one parent, versus having both, make the difference in our individual character. We only see the small part of the world from our backyards, yet some people are content with that being enough. I think it’s impossible to believe that just because you live in the era of the internet, we still aren’t as connected as we should be. It doesn’t take much to listen when someone has something to say, yet we close off our views of the world just as easily as we begin to grow.
I have many, many stories in my repertoire that could sum up my life, or tell why I am who I am. For instance, I was in lifeguard training three years ago if I am not mistaken, I have never explained to people why I never joined a pool as a lifeguard once I got my certificate. My Mom would get so pissed that I had spent the money and the time to get the training, let alone the gas to get to Tempe from Queen Creek and I wouldn’t go get a job at the pool. I never told her, or anyone for that matter, that I had already had an experience with my training.
I used to swim competitively for my school and for a program outside of school in the off season. I got my training, I think it was junior year about this time, and was finished after three weeks. I helped my school team swim coach, who was also the coach of the off-season program, teach/coach the younger kids in their swim lessons. One day, not during a practice, it was just a few of us at the pool. Quite literally 3-4. There was a small kid there with us too, I cant remember his name, but since it was the off-season, and we were renting the pool, there were no lifeguards and we had free reign. The coach wasn’t there and we all jumped in the pool. We get a call later saying she is late, something came up, practice is canceled. Everyone else leaves, except I stay with this kid in the pool messing around because he says his Mom won’t be there till practice was supposed to end. Its scary to think that the impossible happened, but he was in the pool when I was doing laps, and started choking I guess. By the time I noticed it, we was face down in the water, not moving. I though it was a joke. I was wrong.
The lifeguard that worked there, and basically just opened the pool, sat in an office, and wasn’t watching us obviously. I did everything by the books. I swam to him, probably faster than I think I ever went before, and did the proper rescue in-case he hurt himself. I got him on the pool deck, performed the CPR and got him to breathe again, luckily it was him just barely into drowning. I don’t think I was ever any more scared or relieved in my life. The kid literally almost died while I was there. It was my fault, I shouldn’t have done my swimming with him in the pool. I know in the end it was my problem, and I then had to explain to his mom what happened. The kid was fine, she was more relieved that I was able to know how to save him. He wasn’t hurt, and didn’t have to go to the hospital and only for the reason that I did each and every procedure perfect (I know this because the other lifeguard was an EMT and checked him out for me, not guesswork lol). He could have died. That thought has always stuck with me. That is also why I didn’t want to become a lifeguard. Just watching one kid in a pool was hard enough, but being responsible for kids who didn’t know how to swim, or adults who couldn’t either, no thank you. I am not proud of what I did, nor have I let it go as just an accident, but I realized that if I am going to do something life-changing, to be proactive in our society, I wanted to be more responsible. I wanted to know, without a doubt that I could be the one people could rely on, or be the one people could trust before I tried again. I know I am gaining more responsibility daily, slowly becoming more and more bogged down with life events, but they are making me better. With full certainty, I can handle anything that comes at me now, but knowing just a little more today, will help me tomorrow, for that I am glad I can now call myself “responsible.”


Miss Chris said...

Jeremy -
I so enjoy hearing your views, opinions and letting us look into the windows of your world. I think of our 20 minute van ride and how I pegged you as a 'responsible' student early on. You do keep growing/learning daily and as your responsibility grows - at home, work or school - I too know you can handle it.

Dr. V said...

WOW! I don't know what I would have done in this instance if I was that same age. Completely freak out! But you turned this into a learning experience (which I say all the time). I sometimes wonder if you listening to me but now I know you are trying to learn and listen at the same time...I guess I'll just remind you to keep learning the next time..