The Hero’s Journey: Risk
You may see it often and others may never see it, but it happens around us everyday. If you don’t see it then you’re choosing to ignore it. Everyday people are taken advantage of, hurt, abused, bullied, threaten, mistreated, lied to, deceived or tricked by their fellow humans. We see this everyday and most of us do nothing. There are many reason as to why…. why get involved with something that has nothing to do with you? Why risk getting hurt? “I don’t want to interfere, it’s not my problem.” We say to ourselves: I’m not risking my life for that person…. that human?
I recently witnessed an attempted rape of a homeless lady, in broad day light on a residential street in Los Anegeles. I think back to that day and how I just happened to be in this place at that time. My day started normally 5:30am rise, gym, coffee, shower, dress, and head to work. This day I decided to go back to my apartment to grab something. Upon my return I heard and saw a commotion between what I thought was just two homeless people fighting over possessions. I thought nothing of it at first. The woman was yelling a bit and as I walked into my office I heard a cry for help! I looked back to find the woman on the ground and the large man down next to her. Still I thought it was just another homeless struggle over cans or bottles (you see this often in cities). “Help me!” she cried again…I looked back again and yelled at them “Stop it! both of you!” Upon a second look I saw them in a spooning position, the man behind her attempting to rip off her pants whilst at the same time pulling his down!
Without hesitation I ran over to save her and smash his fucking brains in (my true feelings). I managed to separate them and protect her from any further assault. I guarded her behind me and stood face-to-face with this scumbag, willing to do what ever it took to protect this woman I don’t even know. He asked, “Money, Money…” with a zombie like stare he took a step closer in an attempt to get her. I stepped closer to him with my hand extended out, the other hand protecting the woman. Again, like a zombie or demon possessed body with crazy eyes that don’t blink: “Money…where is it?” “It’s down there, get out of here”, I said. He came closer. I stepped closer, this time one arm extended towards him and the other cocked and ready to fire into his dead-eyed face if needed.
This whole time I was calm, Zen like. Completely in the moment. I felt fear but the feeling of saving someone’s life overpowers the fear. I knew all the risks. He could have a weapon, he was completely high and could overpower me. But still, I took this risk to save a person I don’t know. How many would turn a blind-eye?
I saw her as a human being, as a part of me, my friend, my brother, my mother, my wife. Would I ever allow that to happen to them…to me? I achieved the flow state!
I looked backed and rewound the moment in my mind as if I had a 360 aerial view of it. I remember the parking lot attendee watching but doing nothing, the service guy in his truck across the street just tune it out, the women in nearby offices just kept looking at their phones! Anyone could have just said, “Hey, stop!” That would have bought some time. They say when you’re in trouble you should yell, “fire” rather than “help!” People tend to respond to something that can impact their world as well.
So here is when you can rise to the moment and realize that we are all the same. We are all connected and if someone in this world feels fear or pain then it can effect you directly. Just the same as when you’re around positive people and positive energy, it can effect you. We all have a friend or a movie we like that even when you’re sad can change your attitude, if only for a few seconds, making you a little happier.
I felt only compassion and anger at first. Fear tried to sneak in, but love and compassion prevailed. I loved that woman in that moment. She became everything to me in those few minutes. I was willing to risk my life to save a stranger… she’s a human being, therefore she was my family and I protected her.
The guy ran off and together with the cops we chased him down and captured him. Later, the cops said thank you and called me a hero. “We know Sarah well, thank you for what you did.” I just did what should always be done. Sarah was a friend to people.
Everyone’s life takes a rough turn and if you don’t have positive support around you, you can be on the street. I could be Sarah if not for the family and friends in my life. Sarah still has a purpose. She may never know it but she changed my life forever. As I write this, in a dark room, alone, listening to The Naitonal. I’m grateful for her in my life. Every negative situation has a positive side to it. I’ m not happy Sarah had to experience that fear and pain. I’m sure her life has been full of it. To be living on the streets, in this dangerous world, alone, hungry, without family. If I spared her from a little less pain in this life, then I am happy.
I see her occasionally now as I walk the neighborhood. It turns out the she’s a local homeless person. She looks better and I saw her having a conversation with some friends recently. She does not recognize me as I pass by her, but I always look and think about introducing myself. Maybe getting to know her. Maybe I will, soon. There’s a connection between us now. As if the universe brought her and me together at that exact moment.
What is a hero? I did what my primordial instincts told me to do. Protect! I’m no hero but aspire to be one. Maybe this is part of my journey on the path to becoming one. Can I continue to help, inspire, guide and make a positive impact on the world? Maybe? But I know for a fact that I won’t let fear get in my way. Never let fear tell you what to do. Let love guide the way and you’ll be safe!