This incredible story ran in yesterday’s Washington Post.
What was incredible to me was that help was on the way. Police were on the scene. But someone – one person in a large crowd of beach-goers – decided to take action. And that one person and their one decision helped save at least one if not all ten of the people, including two children, who were stuck in a horrendous riptide.
There are a number of studies that show most humans will not help if they think someone else is going to step up to the plate. Those studies say if you want help and a crowd is nearby, you need to point your finger at one specific person and ask, “Will you help me?”
In this Florida riptide story, there was no finger-pointing. No one asked the initiator to commit to a solution. Everyone saw the problem, but only one person took action rather than feeling helpless and came up with a brilliant solution.
So what’re the takeaways?
- We’re all connected. If you see someone in trouble and can help, do it.
- The clearer your mind, the easier it is to think, prioritize, and take action.
- Working as a team is sometimes the only way to tackle a really big project. Individual efforts here were not successful. A human chain was.
- Sometimes it takes multiple tries to solve a problem. Just because someone ahead of you fails doesn’t mean there isn’t a solution.
- The stranger you won’t talk to on the beach may be the person who is going to save your life.
When I was traveling with my daughter last week she said I’d never survive in NYC (where she lives) because I talk to everyone. I like talking to everyone. Everyone has a story. And if I’m ever in need of help like this group was, I trust that help will arrive.
Sending you strong summer vibes and a glimpse of incredible beauty from the Gater Farm in St. Augustine, FL.
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