This I Believe

Shelby - Leesburg, Virginia
Entered on May 29, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

In any given crowd someone is dying. Someone there is completely invisible. Someone is screaming for help at the top of his lungs and no one is listening.

I believe that in any given crowd there is someone who could use a hero. Just by paying attention it’s easy to find someone who needs to be rescued.

There was this one boy whom I never really talked to all that much. I guess you could call him an acquaintance of sorts. Anyways, I overheard him talking to his friends about how he’d jumped off his roof over the weekend, and how before he hit the ground everything seemed to move faster and slower at the same time. Not knowing the boy well, I ordinarily would have stayed out of the conversation, but then I heard the most horrible sound I could have heard at that moment: his friends started laughing. This I could not handle. Being a freshman at the time—and therefore lacking much tact—I dove right into the conversation. I backed up the boys claim of the apparent speed one feels during a near-death experience (scarcely a few months earlier I was involved in a lethal car accident and so I knew what he was talking about) and stared down his friends. The boy turned gratefully to me and I began to ask him questions about his situation. At first he didn’t want to talk to me about it, but after I pressed him he seemed more willing to talk. I knew I wasn’t capable of successfully handling a suicidal acquaintance, so I convinced him to talk to an adult about it. A few weeks later he told me that he had talked to his football coach about it and he was doing better now, if not feeling perfect. And then he thanked me for saving his life. All I did was get rid of his friends and convince him to talk to someone else, and he thanked me for saving his life.

You’d think more people would save each other if it were really that easy.