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Because It Was The Right Thing To Do

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posted on Jan, 10 2007 @ 07:26 PM
I woke up early this past Saturday, much earlier than usual. Nothing was on television, ATS was a little too quiet, and my cats were ignoring me. I searched for something to do, and I thought it was a great time to dig into some new DVD's that I had picked up over Christmas. I had seen it before, but I felt compelled to pull out Oliver Stone's, "World Trade Center". I have to say that I absolutely loved this movie. We were not inundated with terrorism, conspiracy theories, or any of that other jargon the media feeds us on a daily basis. This movie was based on the premise of, "Doing the right thing". If for no other reason than it was, "The Right Thing to do".

For anyone who is familiar with the movie, it is the story of John McLouglin & Will Jimeno, who were two surviving Port Authorities of the Trace Center collapse.

As they are finally pulled from the rubble, almost twenty-four hours later, you can hear the voice of Nicholas Cage saying that people did what they did on this day, simply because it was the right thing to do. As soon as I heard this, it took me back and put me in one of those moments. A moment where everything in the world made sense.

After watching and hearing this, 9/11 underwent a transformation. It was no longer an act of terrorism, it was no longer a dark spot on our history where thousands lost their lives. It was a day where we as humans joined together for a bigger cause, and decided to fight back. We all put our lives on hold, we dropped everything we were doing, and put all of our own lives at risk to save the life of another comrade.

It can be depressing from time to time when we see so many people rapped up in their own life, where they do not do the right thing. It is unfortunate that it takes a tragedy like September 11th for some of us to realize how minimal some of our problems in life are. Days like 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, SARS break out in Toronto, etc., for us to realize how important life itself is. The thought of an individual sacrificing their own well-being, for a complete stranger, it inspires me to a level that I can not even begin to comprehend with words.

Some of us have discussed ideas like, Paying it Forward. When asked why we took the time to do something, we can only respond with, "It was the right thing to do".

Our system is based on the punishment of negative behaviour. We have a standard that we expect the average citizen to abide by. If you fail to abide by this standard, we have a process that decides to what prison sentence or fine you will be served with. We punish a negative behaviour. The idea of rewarding a positive behaviour is the ideal situation, in my opinion, and I wish we as a citizen could do more for people who actually do "the right thing".

Rape, Murder, Robbery, Assault, etc., these little headliners are what we are filled with every day on television and in the newspapers.

An article like this one, is something I wish we would see on a regular basis.

When Wesley Autrey saw a man who had suffered a seizure fall onto the subway tracks, he jumped in to save the stranger.

As he tried to pull the man to safety at the Harlem stop, Autrey looked up.

"I saw the two white lights, and said, 'Whoa, you ain't got no time,'" Autrey said.

Autrey, 50, grabbed Cameron Hollopeter, 20, in a bear hug and the pair landed in a shallow trough in the track bed, with Autrey on top.

The screeching train went right over the pair, missing them by inches.

"In my mind, I believed, I hoped, the train had enough clearance," Autrey said. "It didn't hit my head; it just nicked my cap."

Police said at least two cars passed over the two men before coming to a halt.

Good Samaritan Saves Life On Subway

Someone putting their own life on the line, to save someone else, only because it was the "Right Thing To Do".

At this point, I don't really have much else to say on the subject. I am interested to hear on what our other members think of this.

How does it make you feel when you hear of someone doing the "Right" thing? I know it leaves a feeling inside of me that supersedes almost everything else in life.

What about you?

Edit: bbcode

[edit on 10-1-2007 by chissler]

posted on Jan, 11 2007 @ 02:12 AM
Great post Chissler, i agree seeing these sorts of story's give you a nice fuzzy feeling inside, perhaps there's hope for us after all.
The "right thing to do" moments need not be big ones like those youve illustrated either, the cliched helping an old lady across the street, opening a door for someone with their arms full of grocery's, volunteering to help out at your local school or community centre.
There are a heap of Canadian fire fighters here in Australia at the moment helping to fight bushfires in Victoria, i'm sure there here because it was the "right thing to do". So to all of them thanks.
These are also the "right thing to do" moments imo.

posted on Jan, 11 2007 @ 08:25 AM
Chissler as usual this is an awesome post. Doing the right thing is not always doing the easy thing. It may not always be the popular things however, it is still always the right thing. Actions speak louder then words an individual may talk the talk but if not willing to walk the walk the talk is rendered meaningless. A person doesn't always have to risk their lives to do the right thing sometimes the action is smaller and may even go without notice or unacknowledged. I believe that morals or the right thing should be done not only when the world is watching but when no one is around.

I've said before the legal action may not necessarily be the moral action.

posted on Jan, 11 2007 @ 08:53 AM
I live in NYC and when I read the story of the subway heroics it really made me think about what I would do. When Autrey was on Letterman, Dave set up the introduction by saying something along the lines of "hearing this story makes you wonder if you would jump in front of a train to save a man. I definitely would not." He got the laughs he was looking for but again I started thinking about it.

When we are thrust into a situation where death is a viable outcome, we either act or we don't.

A few years back I was with my wife on a beach in Mexico. We were taking pictures in front of the rocks and waves and one larger wave came in and suddenly she was pulled out to sea. We had been warned of the dangers of these waters and yet I found myself waist deep, trying to get her to move. She panicked. She got smashed into the rocks and she gave up. She was frozen and when the next wave hit us we both got tumbled. I managed to right myself and found her floating face down. She had given up. That was her reaction. Mine was to live. I somehow managed to fight the wicked currents and drag her out.

Would I have done this for a complete stranger? I don't know. Everything was moving in stop motion and I remember thinking about how my daughter would never be alone. Not on my watch. Without that motivating factor, would I have gone in? I have no clue.

Autrey had already come to the man's aid when he first had a seizure on the platform. Heroic act number 1. When the man then stumbled onto the tracks, Autrey said he didn't want his two young girls to witness the man getting run over by the train. Motivating factor for action? Absolutely. Would he have done the same thing if he was alone? Probably. However, his mind would have given him another motivator. It's what the brain does when you are "wired" for that kind of action. For people like my wife, I would imagine she would have thought "don't look."

After I saved her (us) we talked about it every night of the trip. Partly because people came up to us on the beach, by the pool and at the hotel's restaurants to say they saw me run in and save her etc. (lots of free drinks that week). We also talked about it because we had cheated death and the concept was both exhilirating and frightening. She was somewhat upset over her body's total shut down. She wanted to know what would happen if she was alone with our daughter (son wasn't born yet) and there was an emergency of any sort. She worried that she wouldn't be able to act and save our daughter from whatever danger might be at hand. I told her she would. she would do what every parent does and shelter our child from harm. It's an instinct we cannot control.

I was hoping more than stating this but I didn't let her know that. The truth is, she might not be capable, in a pinch, to act in the heroic manner.

Fight or flight? She'd flee.

posted on Jan, 11 2007 @ 09:01 PM
Crakeur, I believe your wife would fight to save her children. You are correct instinct would take over. A mother's love will compel her to sacrifice her own life to save her children's. There are many examples of that in nature; for instance I've seen birds pretend injury to draw a snake away from the nest coming very close to being eaten by said snake. My Grandfather told me of a mother antelope in Arizona who fought a coyote to save her baby (she won). We're compelled to save our kids maybe it's hard wired into our brains. Parental love is one of the strongest forces on earth we will do what we have to do to save our children indeed in most cases any child.

posted on Jan, 12 2007 @ 02:47 AM
Right is just another person's desires and ambitions carried out in accordance with whatever scheme they have planned.

Was it right to attack Iraq?

Is it right to spend money on NASA when children go hungry?

Is it right not to help the homeless?


Whatever you think

posted on Jan, 12 2007 @ 07:27 AM

Originally posted by gallopinghordes
Crakeur, I believe your wife would fight to save her children.

I tell myself that but I've seen her when the elevator stops between floors. It ain't pretty.

posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 09:06 AM
It is an interesting question. Is it a question of character? Nobody can say for certain how they would behave in these situations, until they are thrusted into them. Most often, it is without warning. Twice in my life I can think of a situation where I had to Fight or Flight, on someone else's behalf. One time when some friends and I were camping, a man almost drowned. He had consumed some alcohol, and drugs I am sure, then tried to go swimming. The location is well known for it's current, and within seconds he was off in it. A friend of mine and I both dove in after him and luckily found him before anything happened to him. He had quite a scare, but walked it off. I think back to this night, when the two of us dove in after him, and both of our lives were at risk. We had both had a bit to drink, it was very dark, and the current was treacherous. In the end, it worked out all involved.

The other time was when my step-father had suffered a heart attack. I had found him lying on the floor unconscious, and my mother in an uncontrollable fit. Before I knew it, I was on the floor trying to assist in any way I could with 911 on the phone. It is all a bit of a blur because everything happened so quick, but I can remember my mother in hysterics. I believe if I had not been home, she may not of even realized to contact 911.

This is no measure to her, nor anyone else's character, as I believe the Fight or Flight to be an innate behaviour.

The problem with our society though is that this "innate behaviour" fails to act too often. An individual should not have to be in a life or death situation in order for our instincts to kick in.

Fight or Flight, it is a very interesting phenomenon.

posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 10:18 AM
Doing the right thing is like one of man's most basic instinct, but it is also an instinct that is lost in today's world. I mean it's like this, you see something like a pretty serious looking car crash occur. That instinct kicks in to go see if can help or not. That is when you seen the gas tank leaking with someone trapped inside the door. You know that the gas tank could go up like a Roman candle at any minute. I have heard countless stories like this over the years. Do you fight knowing that if that gas tank goes up, it could be the end of both of you? Or, do you take flight and possibly let someone die right in front of your eyes? Personally, I would try my best to help get that person out of harms way.

Chiss, you brought up a good point about the events of 9-11. Most of the firemen, medics, and police officers knew that they could have been killed at any moment. They did not leave the job that they had set out to do. They knew that there were people down there that were in dire need of assistance. When the first three alarm boxes were transmitted, you could tell on the audio that it was bad when Chief Pfifer radioed in the first third alarm assignment. The serenity that was shown on the Naudet Brothers documentary was replaced with numerous calls for members of the service down. Those men knew that if they did not do their duty, many more would have perished than the over two thousand people that did.

Not only that, I have always had this feeling if something bad, like a train derailment, were to occur here I would be one of the first ones helping out. My town is basically split in two by the railroad, so when and if a derailment where to occur, it could be bad. Consider this, our fire department is less than fifty feet from the tracks. That spot alone is one of the worst places here in town as to where it can happen. With the proximity that some of the houses are to the tracks, some even closer than what the fire station is, it can be a whole lot worse than what people here my town actually think.

The last major derailment that occured here in town was way back in 1971. Unfortunately, we are way too long overdue for another derailment. Hopefully I am wrong and we will never see another derailment as long as I or anyone else that I know in this town is still alive.

posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 10:35 AM
In your opening sentence you have said it is a bit of instinct and a bit of character. I would agree agree on the instinct aspect, but disagree on the character. If I may, could you elaborate on how you feel our character can be measured on this "Fight" or "Flight" phenomenon?

Are we to think less of a person who refuses to put their life on the line for another individual? Some of us may quickly answer yes to this question. But let's say this individual is a single mother of five small children. Would we still judge her for thinking of her children and not wanting to risk her life to she can assure them an adequate life?

The events of 9/11 showed us how extreme we as humans are willing to go. Men and women who had small children at home still pushed on and gave up their lives for a cause. We can not begin to say enough about these individuals. But to those who did not do the same on 9/11, are we to speak any less of them?

In my opinion, I do not think so.

Fight or Flight would be a poor way to measure an individual's character.


Allow me to adjust that statement slightly. In the eye of danger, if someone chooses to stand and fight, this says a lot about their character. However, if someone chooses flight, I believe it says very little of their character. We can not fault someone for not inheriting an innate behaviour.

[edit on 14-1-2007 by chissler]

posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 11:06 AM
By that I mean, if we stay and fight we care about the person or persons an event is happening to. If we were to take flight, it just shows that we do not care about those people. If people have seen that you have done good, then they will see you as a person with good character in you.

posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 11:06 AM

Originally posted by chissler
It was a day where we as humans joined together for a bigger cause, and decided to fight back. We all put our lives on hold, we dropped everything we were doing, and put all of our own lives at risk to save the life of another comrade.

You know, you're right. I was fully prepared to walk to the closest hospital in order to donate blood. I'm a universal donor, so I always give, but on that day... it could have been dangerous. NY'ers weren't entirely sure we weren't being invaded, so I guess I would have been risking my life for strangers... if I had gone. Of course, my mother shot that idea down pretty quickly.

I wish we as a citizen could do more for people who actually do "the right thing".

The only people we 'reward for good behavior' are convicts.

How does it make you feel when you hear of someone doing the "Right" thing? I know it leaves a feeling inside of me that supersedes almost everything else in life.

What about you?

I feel the same way... like, maybe this is the little bit of God that resides in all of us, you know? The thing that connects us. That spark of feeling for another human being totally unrelated to you.

I do all the little things, helping old ladies, holding doors... I figure, why not? For example, it only takes a few seconds to help someone with their groceries, and they don't have to be old. I'll help anyone. Those two seconds of my life could mean a great deal to somebody on a fixed income, who can't afford to re-purchase the breakables, should they fall.

My point is, you never know another person's circumstances. That random smile you give a stranger could be just the thing that keeps him from committing suicide later that day. Hey- maybe God even hooks it up so you run into them, and are given the opportunity to help. You never know...and that's why I'm nice to strangers. (A strange 'personal theology', I know, but it works for me.)

My two cents.

posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 11:40 AM

originally posted by chissler The problem with our society though is that this "innate behaviour" fails to act too often. An individual should not have to be in a life or death situation in order for our instincts to kick in.

I'm not sure thats really the case. How many Firemen/women, policemen/women, doctors etc put their lives on the line for complete strangers everyday. Just yesterday a man pulled his neighbour from a house fire in a nearby suburb, it got very little media attention, when interviewed the man said he did not know his neighbour very well but he couldnt bear to think he may have been able to do something. Unfortunately the mans wife died as she was in a different part of the house and he could not reach her after saving the man.

My point is why was this not a bigger news story. There must be thousands of these story's every day around the world, they are just not sensational enough for the mainstream media to run with. Bad news it seems sells better than good and therein lies the problem imo.

Example: How often is this the case.
Lead news story a man arrested for murdering a stranger in a fit of road rage.
Story tucked away on page eight, man saves neighbour from house fire.

Why is it not the other way around?

posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 12:00 PM
Fire fighters, police officers, etc., all individuals who have dedicated their lives to altruistic help for complete strangers. They do not need to save a life to be a hero, the fact they are in the field they are indicates their level of heroism.

I'm talking of the standard citizen. The regular joe walking down the side walk.

Originally posted by HarlemHottie
The only people we 'reward for good behavior' are convicts.

Well said.

Originally posted by gimmefootball400
By that I mean, if we stay and fight we care about the person or persons an event is happening to. If we were to take flight, it just shows that we do not care about those people. If people have seen that you have done good, then they will see you as a person with good character in you.

But should an individual be faulted for caring for their own loved ones first? I am the first one to stand and say we need to help one another, for no other reason than the fact it was the right thing to do. But I am not prepared to fault someone who did not want to turn their backs on a loved one to help a stranger. I would much rather see someone make the effort, but someone who does not should not be criticized.

C has told a story of his wife and her inability to choose Fight. Should she be criticized? I would have to say no. Again, we have agreed that this is an innate behaviour.

How can any of us fault someone for not being born with an innate behaviour?

posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 12:32 PM

Originally posted by chissler
I'm talking of the standard citizen. The regular joe walking down the side walk.

I think my points still valid that we dont hear about a lot of the regular joes heroic actions because its not newsworthy enough for the mainstream media.

Of course your right that the basic fight or flight is innate in some more than others and those that may take a backward step in these situations should not be criticised.
I'd like to think that i'd pull my neighbour from his home if it was on fire even if i dont know the guy all that well. But then until your actually faced with that maybe i'd think about what my kids would do if they lost their father and just step back. Tough call.
I still believe that heroic actions of complete strangers is more common than we believe or maybe i just hope thats the case.

posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 12:52 PM
Unfortunatly, in the current climate in the USofA (take that as the last several decades) you got about 50/50 chance of getting either sued, arrested or both after doing something like that.

Sued for a buckwad of money for slightly injuring the person in the process and offcource the oh so much used "long term emotional damage" claim.

Arrested because the prick who's life you just saved presses charges against you because instead of being kebab on the front of the train they got a bruse on their ass and side from hitting the ground.

Chivalry, honor and being a gentlemen are things in the current society that get you arrested, killed or sued.

No matter though, I still try to live by all 3 standards and keep fighting back whenever someone hates me for it. When I'm right, I'll stand by my rights and duties as a human being, no matter what society dictates.

posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 07:33 PM
I honestly do not believe that an individual should be faulted for caring for their loved ones first. When the time eventually rears its ugly head, people should react they way that they believe that is the right thing to do. Of course people will tuck tail and run, but they shouldn't be faulted for that. Nor, should anyone who cares for the well being of their loved ones first.

Take the following few lines from a song that the group Molly Hatchett did some years back. It comes from their song "Fall of the Peacemakers"

A wise man told me there’s something you should know:
The way you judge a man is you look into his soul…
And you’ll soon see everything.
A voice from the past cried, “Give peace a chance!”
He paid our price now he’s free at last; And imagine -
We called him a dreamer.

posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 09:10 PM

Originally posted by mojo4sale
I think my points still valid that we dont hear about a lot of the regular joes heroic actions because its not newsworthy enough for the mainstream media.

Don't get me wrong, I entirely agree with the point you are getting across. Our media inundates us with this crap on a daily basis. Headlines are flashed, "Rape", "Murder", "Robbery", "Serial Killer", "Terrorism", etc., and they install their fear into the general public. Yet on a daily basis, there are real hero's out there and deserve to have their story told.

When I acknowledged the police/fire fighter comparison, I only meant to say that the act of entering this field, is an act of heroism in itself.

I have sat down on nights and watched an American newscast and followed it with a Canadian newscast, and I can honestly say the differences are quite obvious. Both shared some of the big stories, but when the initial ten or fifteen minutes passed, the shows differed greatly. The Canadian broadcast transferred to heartwarming, feel good stories while the American newscast kept up with the feeding of "crap".

So believe me, I entirely agree.

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 11:52 AM
I forgot to mention the deed that I did here a while back.

Here a while back, I had to flag traffic at one of the railroad crossings here in town. The gates (barriers) had been down for a few minutes. I first thought, "That's odd, a train hasn't went by here within the past hour and a half." So I go over to the store on the corner to use the phone. Call the railroad and reported the caught gates at the crossing. I went back out after I got done and crossed back over the tracks.

So, instead of walking up the street since it was my original intentions, I stayed there and flagged traffic for over an hour. That was until a signal maintainer from the railroad, CSX, showed up and fixed the problem. During the time I was there, I actually had a train pass by my position. If it wasn't for me staying there after making that phone call, someone could
have possibly drove around the gates in front of the train.

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 12:36 PM
Their are two experiences in my life that spring to mind of acting without thinking to help someone and putting yourself at risk also. In both cases I never had time to think just acted, if I'd actually had time to think I maybe would have bottled out of doing something as it was only afterwards, when I had time to think, that the potential consequences of what I did really hit home. There's a fine line between action and inaction and a thousand and one things can influence what you do.

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