I was having a discussion the other day with some ladies, one of whom had just finished an intensive disaster preparedness seminar, in which she learned all kinds of things about what to do in case of earthquake, snake-bite, poison ingestion, choking, seizure…you name it, and she regaled us for several minutes with all the horrors of “what could happen”.
And as she was talking I was feeling some distaste, not for her (she’s lovely), but for the whole world of “disaster preparedness”. So often I feel like seminars about disasters are contributing to a kind of generalized fear…about disasters. There’s so many what if’s and get ready’s being thrown around, I don’t know…something about it doesn’t sit right with me.
And then I immediately thought about how silly it was for me to have any kind of issue with being prepared. Because, isn’t it important to be prepared? Shouldn’t we know how to un-choke someone who is choking? Haven’t 100’s, 1000’s of lives been saved by exactly this kind of pre-disaster know-how?
And then I thought of two things…
I thought of a story I’d heard in which a man in some seminar had fallen to the ground in distress, and another man, unrelated to the first, had jumped up and tried to help, and for reasons unbeknownst to him, this second man had felt the urge (and followed it) to bite down hard on the compromised man’s index finger. It turned out that the man who had fallen to the ground had been having a heart attack, and the other man (the biter) had bitten down at exactly the place where some artery or meridian ends and his bite had acted as a kind of defibrilator. And the first man lived. Again, the biter had no idea why he’d felt the urge to do this…he just did.*
Where’s THAT covered in the emergency preparation course?
(*umm…is this even medically possible? Or have I been had by one of those “tumor in the chicken sandwich” myths like the ones from my youth?)
And the second thing that came to mind is how we have all of these talks and drills and practice runs of the worst stuff that could possibly happen in our lives, so we all know exactly what to expect, how it’s going to go, exactly what our chances of survival are and aren’t…but we have nothing comparable when it comes to the awesome stuff.
Is it just because we think we don’t have to be “prepared” for the good stuff…because the good stuff we can navigate via our intuition? And if that’s the case, why wouldn’t the same apply to the emergencies (see example number 1 above, about bitey and the bitten)…why is it that we have to run the worst case scenarios over and over in our head, meanwhile giving no attention to all the possible awesome outcomes in our lives? Is it simply because we BELIEVE more in the inevitability of bad stuff than of good stuff?
We all know that we’re going to die, and that we are going to lose people in our lives whom we love. We all know that’s inevitable. (And I’m not arguing it, obviously.) But, how many of us feel that same sense of inevitability about experiencing, even just once in our lives, deep and miraculous magic? Or a total stunning transformation of our minds and our hearts and our souls?
And if we DO believe in it…why aren’t we “planning” for it.
Which leads me to the question, what would YOU do in case of awesomeness? I want to hear your best What To Do in Case of a Miracle checklists, EJ-ers…leave a comment here and tell me what I should have handy…
Just in case…
hot on elephant
July’s Full Moon in Capricorn: The Heart wants what it Wants. The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. Our Soulmates are Rarely Who We Expect. A Letter to my Children: You do not come from a Broken Home. Men, Let’s Stop Fooling Ourselves: Size Matters. To the One Who Tried to Break Me. An Open Letter to the Fixers. Mom, can I Call her Mom, Too? How your Stored Memories in the Amygdala can lead to PTSD. Jon Stewart makes first appearance since retiring—”it’s not your country.”