Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Someone Else Will Take Care of It

A friend of mine told me a fascinating and somewhat disturbing story the other day. She was traveling through the Denver airport recently when I fire alarm went off in her concourse.

The noise was deafening. The strobe lights going off were very disorienting. No one seemed to 'respond' to the alarm in any way, other than covering their ears to try to shield themselves from the noise.

My friend found a security guard and asked what was happening. He said it was a false alarm and someone was coming to turn it off. Eventually, the alarm was shut off.

Then it went off again. As was the case before, no one seemed to respond to the alarm. People went about their business. Kids started to cry. The noise was really horrible. It went on... and on... and on.

Finally, my friend was so disturbed by the noise/strobe lights that she left the concourse to get some relief. When she got outside of the concourse, she saw the same security guard whom she had spoken to earlier. She asked him how long it would be before someone turned off the alarm. He said, "Is it on again?"

No one had reported the second alarm. All those hundreds of people were suffering with damaging noise... and no one had alerted anyone in authority. No employees, no passengers... no one. Everyone thought that surely someone was 'doing something' about the problem. Wow.

How often does this happen in life and society. We see a problem and are certain that someone ELSE is going to take care of it. It troubles me how often this is the case. Even in my friend's situation, where the 'problem' was extremely disturbing and potentially destructive noise! No one took action to stop it or handle it.

What if it had been a real emergency? That is even more disturbing. People were ignoring the warning sign, because the warning sign didn't seem to mean anything.

Warning signs are meant to tell us something. If the warning sign is going off in error, that is telling us something else. If no one does anything about 'dealing with' the warning sign - whatever the reason it is occurring, there is information there for us as well.

Assuming that 'other people' will take care of a problem we encounter is a helpless, victim-like stance to take. We aren't taking control of our own destiny!

Assuming someone else will handle something that is negatively affecting us is not an effective way living life!

Someone in a relationship is doing something we don't like and we just wait for them to change it. That isn't going to work very well either.

Our job is unpleasant and our boss is unhappy with our work. We just keep doing what we are doing and hope it will get better. Oops.

We see signs of distress in some area of our body or our health, but we assume it will just take care of itself. That can be downright dangerous.

We see the suffering of others around us and turn the other way. What if we are the ONE who's supposed to do something about that!?

The list goes on and on.

Our world would benefit greatly from everyone dealing with what is in front of us to be dealt with. Take responsibility for yourself, your life, and the things that you observe need attention. You and I can change the world - one situation at a time!