It seems too commonplace these days that our world is filled with tragedies. Some from nature and those from the forces of terrorism and evil. Amidst all the division, drama, and diversities we see the goodness that lies in each of us to help our fellow man. We are our brother’s keeper and to witness the heroic strengths that surface from ordinary citizens to help and even rescue their brothers and sisters, gives us hope that good always prevails. Sometimes one single glimmer of hope can bring a person who has lost everything to a place they will survive–with the assurance they have people who care that they will overcome. Yesterday, 10/02/2017, we witnessed the most horrific violence one lone gunman has ever caused and we are left feeling helpless. However; we are not hopeless.
This morning on TODAY, two gentlemen were reunited. Tom was shot after helping his wife over a fence during the shooting in Vegas. He was shot doing so. Another heroic man, James rushed to his rescue. He stayed with Tom and helped him get to the hospital. Without the help of James, Tom would have lost his foot. Total strangers, united in the goodness of brotherhood and love of life.
One of the 59 confirmed deaths from Sunday night’s mass shooting at a Las Vegas country music concert was 23-year-old Jordan McIldoon. His final minutes were spent in the arms of a total stranger who never left his side, reports CBS News’ Adriana Diaz. There were dozens of stories like McIldoon’s Sunday night. People with little in common except for being caught in the crosshairs of a killer. Sonny Melton of Tennessee reportedly was running with his wife to safety when he was shot and killed. Charleston Hartfield was a 34-year-old Las Vegas police officer off-duty at the time of the shooting. Angela Gomez was a cheerleader from California.
As Sunday night led to Monday morning, the attack became the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history with 59 killed and 527 wounded. University Medical Center of Southern Nevada was one of many hospitals that were overflowing. “Every bed was full,” Dr. Jay Coates (trauma surgeon) said. “We had people in the hallways, people outside and more people coming in. I didn’t even know who I was operating on.” In private cars, in ambulances waiting four or five deep, from the walking wounded to the barely alive, they arrived in droves. Once again, citizen helping citizen played out before our eyes. The natural reaction to protect and provide help became so much larger than the many rounds of bullets that filled the arena.
Jonathan Smith is likely to spend the rest of his life with a bullet lodged in the left side of his neck, a never-ending reminder of America’s deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Smith, a 30-year-old copy machine repairman, was shot Sunday night while trying to help save people after a gunman opened fire on the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in Las Vegas. He knows he’s one of the lucky ones to be able to walk out of the hospital, even with his severe injuries.
According to the magazine, Scientific American, acute stress may help remind us of a fundamental truth: our common humanity. Understanding our shared vulnerability — life makes no promises — may be frightening, but it can inspire kindness, connection, and desire to stand together and support each other. Acute stress, as unpleasant as it may be, may also be an opportunity to experience the most beautiful aspects of life: social connection and love.
People who rush into harm’s way to help their fellow brothers and sister are not heroes. They are ordinary humans with a heart. The strongest people are the ones who take time to help others even though they are struggling with their own demons. None of us need a reason to help others. We have many reasons why we shouldn’t.
It has been said that helping your brother not only brings hope to him, it is good for your soul. “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone,” Ronald Reagan.
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