The stakes were high.
Each side wanted to win.
No side had any desire to lose. They refused.
And both sides thought this issue, this event, this moment in time, was most necessary to bring home a victory.
… We can’t be too sympathetic. We can’t give too much. We can’t totally listen nor give up much. We must stand our ground. We must support our side only…
And then it happened.
The man fell to the ground.
No pulse. No pulse.
Make no mistake about it; the man was a fan of only one side. He only rooted for one. And he rooted fiercely. He clearly sided with one over the other — maybe even uttered a few expletives. He firmly believed the opposing advocates were way off base.
One woman then loudly summoned all those in the audience. “Help!”… Her same-side supporter was now slumped over in his seat. “He’s weak,” another said, in realization that in the middle of this whole, fierce debate, help from any side was needed.
And help now.
A man had fallen to the floor. His life was in jeopardy. Would all those on opposing sides realize his life was in jeopardy? Would they react promptly to help him? Would they keep what’s most important, most important? Could they even see that?
Or would they let their support systems get in the way? … would they block what’s right? … and skew perspective?
I admit… the passions run deep… legitimately deep.
Let me diminish not anyone’s passion.
Those near started chest compressions. One of the men, in fact, leading the care for the stricken supporter was actually a supporter of the other so-called side.
He performed mouth-to-mouth… five to seven minutes… until medics arrived.
“He started breathing on his own a little and his pulse came back, and we were fortunate we were able to revive him,” said the supporter.
That word strikes me… he knew we were fortunate… even… from the other… side.
The dividing lines run deep.
I wonder how many would have refrained from helping simply because of the side from which one hailed. That is a sad commentary on today’s culture… even upon today’s intelligent…
The University of Florida and Louisiana State University share a fierce, competitive rivalry. There is often a public back and forth, negative feelings shared, with little expressed compassion. They are both incredibly, athletically talented and competitive. And they want to win. Because of their continual, direct competition against one another, those Gators and Tigers don’t like each other very much. Sometimes we even hear the word “hate.”
This past week the two regular season, co-SEC champions squared off for the annual College World Series, and surprising to no one, the fierce rivalry continued. It was tough. It was rough. It was full of passion and deeply held opinion. Some of the words expressed on the playing field should be heard by no one.
On the night before game one in the best-of-3 series, an 87-year-old Florida fan apparently suffered a heart attack and had no pulse. The father of a star LSU pitcher helped revive him.
Thank you for being an excellent example to the rest of us. Thank you for focusing on what’s most important…. thank you for knowing when individual passions should be set aside… thank you for knowing when the name calling should be nonexistent… and thank you for knowing when we should each be shaken to our core, remembering that there is better and more that binds us together.