I believe that one of the most important things that people do for one another is to catch each other when we fall.
Catching yourself in the literal sense probably wasn’t the first thing that pops into most people’s minds when confronted with the phrase. For me, literally catching yourself took on a whole new level of importance around my nineteenth birthday. Friends and I had gone out to celebrate college style (aka drunkenly) on the Friday night before my Sunday birthday. At around 1:30 AM I tripped on an uneven part of pavement in front of the Texaco station on the main street in town. I ended up needing to go to the ER because when I fell I neglected to do one simple thing that would have made everything alright. I forgot to put my hands out when I fell.
Kelsey Lancos was rudely awakened by pounding on her door and it took one look at my bleeding, rapidly swelling face for her to tell that I need medical attention. Kelsey and the rest of the group walked with me to the ER just outside of campus and Kelsey went inside with me. Kelsey was there when I went into the CT scan and she was there holding my hand the entire time I had my wound cleaned. When I was finally discharged Kelsey took me back to her dorm and put me to sleep in her bed. She slept for about two hours then went to a makeup anatomy lab, running on about two hours of sleep.
Sometimes catching someone can also mean helping them get back up after the fall. A friend of mine recently went through a terrible breakup. She basically went numb so she wouldn’t have to feel pain and when that stage passed, she spent her time sobbing. No one in our group of friends knew what to do to help. We did what she needed, but always thinking we could be doing more for her. We sat with her while she cried, helped her get rid of all his things, and made her laugh. We didn’t know that what we were doing, what we thought was not enough, was all it took to help her heal.
I believe in helping people when they fall, whether that means trying to prevent it, being there afterwards, or helping them get back up. I myself had to learn this lesson the hard way and I will carry the scar I received from my fall for the rest of my life. My parents have offered to take me to the plastic surgeon to get the scar removed, leaving my face untouched by the pavement and my own stupidity. I told them no, that it was important to me to keep my scar. It reminds me of the spirit of humanity I see within the people around me. It’s the humility in us showing through because we all know that someday, somewhere, we ourselves will fall.