I believe in the power of one man to save many lives

Kevin - Pearl River, New York
Entered on April 7, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe Speech

I believe in the power of one man to save many lives. The decisions I make as a lifeguard have saved, and changed people. People’s decisions can save children from drowning, or save family members of the deceased from losing themselves in grief. This belief was proven to me one summer day as I was lifeguarding.

One day as I was watching the pool a young boy, Jason swam into the side of the pool. Jason was my student I had been giving him private swim lessons. He was one of my favorite students and dear to my heart, because of the energy he always showed. He swam into the edge of the pool, because his eyes were closed underwater. His mother already knew me from our lesson. She shouted, “Help me Kevin!” as she carried him out of the pool. Blood streamed down Jason’s head till it was hard to see his face. I brought him to the first aid station. I tried to apply pressure to the wound, but no matter what I did I couldn’t stop the bleeding. So I ordered another lifeguard to call 911. Jason was brought to the hospital and got stitches. He was fine, although he wouldn’t be going swimming anytime soon. After this moment I realized that my actions have consequences.

It wasn’t till later that day on my break that I thought about what happened. I found myself lost in thought, then I realized my decisions, impacted not only Jason, but also his entire family. If I had made a wrong decision, and Jason had died. Jason’s family would be irrevocably changed and harmed. The loss of a son is a terrible thing that could have changed that family and who they are today. My actions may have directly saved Jason, but they may also have indirectly saved Jason’s family from falling underneath a blanket of grief.

I realize that my actions have consequences, whether they are positive or negative. I may have risked losing a son, and condemning a family. But I did save Jason, and save his family. I found that ordinary people could save many lives throughout their lives using their own unique skills. Through this realization I found that I believe in the power of one man to save many lives.