Ruby Bayan is a freelance writer who likes to inspire and motivate.

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How Many Lives Have You Saved?

by Ruby Bayan - 09/15/00

My partner and I were just talking about the time he saved someone's life. He rushed his roommate to the hospital when he noticed that the guy was suffering from what seemed like a stroke. His roommate constantly thanks him for having been there... otherwise...

I admitted to my partner that I don't remember having had the opportunity to do something like that Ė to be "there" and prevent the loss of human life. I almost felt inadequate. But it dawned upon me that a person doesn't have to be in a life-or-death situation to be "saved" and people could "save lives" in ways other than giving CPR or grabbing the hand of a man sinking in quicksand.

To me, these are some of the ways we can "save lives":

  1. By driving defensively. Imagine how many lives we risk from the moment we pull out of our driveways. We risk our own, as well as the lives of all the motorists, passengers, and pedestrians on the roads we drive through. By taking all the necessary precautions like seat belts and child seats, by keeping our vehicles running efficiently, and by following traffic signs and driving defensively, we save lives by not putting anyone in danger.

  2. By being a mentor. They say that when you teach what you know you live on forever. They also say, give a man a fish and you feed him for the day; but teach a man to fish and you feed him for the rest of his life. When we share what we know, we give guidance, we equip another human being with new skills, we help clear the path to a future. By mentoring a child, a junior employee, a friend, or a family member, we not only save lives -- we also build futures.

  3. By lending a hand. We're constantly surrounded by people who struggle with the challenges of life. Many of them come to us for help. We can't help everyone who needs us, but we can extend whatever assistance we are capable of. We may think that the lending hand we extend is practically insignificant, but to the lives we affect, the simple gesture of giving directions to someone new in town or picking up groceries for a sick neighbor could make all the difference.

  4. By lending an ear. Sometimes people just need someone to listen, a broad shoulder to cry on. Sometimes we don't even have to lift a finger to "save" lives; we simply have to listen to other people's stories. By lending an ear we say that we're there, that we care, and that we want to help ease their burden. By just listening we express that we donít want them to throw their lives away.

  5. By sharing a kind word. We all know how well we remember and dwell on every compliment we receive. Imagine how many lives we affect every time we say something nice. Our words can motivate, inspire, and at the very least brighten someone else's day. How can these kind words, whether spoken in the company of others, written on a greeting card or e-mail, or scribbled on a napkin, not somehow affect or even save lives?
After I thought of all these simple ways to positively impact other people's lives, I felt better about myself. Even if I have never had the chance to pull a child out of a fire or rescue someone from drowning, I have saved some lives. Havenít you?

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