Those Who Run Toward Danger

August 10, 2018 § Leave a comment

In a post I titled Running Toward, back in 2014, I called attention to those at the Boston Marathon bombing who ran to help the injured, oblivious to the danger, instead of running away. There had already been two bombs that sprayed the crowd with deadly shrapnel. Who knew how many more there were?

Recently I ran across this moving piece in The Sun magazine:

Early one morning several teachers and staffers at a Connecticut grade school were in a meeting. The meeting had been underway for about five minutes when they heard a chilling sound in the hallway. (We heard pop-pop-pop, said one of the staffers later.)

Most of them dove under the table. That is the reasonable thing to do, what they were trained to do, and that is what they did.

But two of the staffers jumped, or leapt, or lunged out of their chairs and ran toward the sound of bullets. Which word you use depends on which news account of that morning you read, but the words all point in the same direction — toward the bullets.

One of the staffers was the principal. Her name was Dawn. She had two daughters. Her husband had proposed to her five times before she’d finally said yes, and they had been married for ten years. They had a vacation house on a lake. She liked to get down on her knees to paint with the littlest kids in her school.

The other staffer was a school psychologist named Mary. She had two daughters. She was a football fan. She had been married for more than thirty years. She and her husband had a cabin on a lake. She loved to go to the theater. She was due to retire in one year. She liked to get down on her knees to work in her garden. . . .

Dawn and Mary jumped, or leapt, or lunged toward the sound of bullets. Every fiber of their bodies — bodies descended from millions of years of bodies that had leapt away from danger — must have wanted to dive under the table. . . .

But they leapt for the door, and Dawn said, Lock the door after us, and they lunged right at the boy with the rifle.

Dawn and Mary, Brian Doyle, August 2013

http://www.thesunmagazine.org

I commend The Sun to anyone who sees value in having their assumptions and preferences challenged and questioned.

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