Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Lesson In Decisiveness

Have you seen this story yet? About Lai Jiansheng? The guy who got sick and tired of the jumper on the bridge? Who climbed up, shook his hand and pushed him off?

I love this story. It cracked me up. And here's why: It teaches us to stop sitting on our asses and take action.

There are lots of people yelling Attempted murder! and tongue-in-cheek comments of Assisted suicide! Neither actually seems to be the case. If you put the entire story together, the man on the bridge had been there for hours. He was approached by police and refused to speak with them or climb down. There was an inflatable emergency catch-pillow below him. Lai Jiansheng, on his way to the hospital for his prescriptions didn't attempt to murder him, he simply solved the issue. Don't get between a man and his meds.

For me, it is a global lesson in decisiveness. If you sit too long, someone is going to make the decision for you. Right or wrong, if you do not take action the choice will be taken from you.

This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend. A time of reflection. To think about what we have lost and to appreciate what we have. Folks, appreciate the choices you have. Whether it is in your job, your marriage, or what to have for lunch. There are always choices. Sometimes it is damned scary to go forward and commit to a course of action. If you don't, there are people who will do it for you. The coworker who jumps on the project and gets the promotion. The crossroads of a marriage that loom if issues are not dealt with in a timely manner. Feeding the soul or feeding your emotional baggage.

All of these choices are ours to make. Some of us need to be prodded into action, some of us need a shove. If it takes a shove, you can't be pissed that someone did it for you. Some do it out of love, some out of selfishness. When you hand that power over to someone else, you must deal with the consequences. Take action, my friends. Let that be the lesson you take from this story. Because you can only push a man so far, and he may not like where he ends up.


Anonymous said...

I've been out of the loop for a few days, so I missed this story. And what a nice, ass-kicking post you've crafted to go with it!

Just this past week, I've taken some actions that I'm particularly proud of. I've quit smoking, on my own accord, and it's going well. I've taken to walking. A lot. And just this morning, my wife and I had a much needed heart to heart, all in the name of unity.

And then this post. Confirmation that, sometimes, action is the best medicine.

Thanks, hon . . .

Irrational Dad said...

I almost wish the guy would have lived so that he could really think about what happened. As it was, he was only able to try to wrap his head around the fact that he was pushed to his death because people were tired of waiting for him to do it himself, for oh, say, 3 seconds before splatting.

Count me on team Lai Jiansheng.

Rassles said...

Oh, so great: Now I have a conversation starter. "If your life was put on hold because a stranger felt sorry for himself and was being a namby-pamby, would you push him off a bridge?"

But that story wouldn't makes sense, and I would be forced to elaborate, and talk more. Which I like.

restaurant refugee said...

I do love this story and the parallels you carefully drew with it. Well played.

A Free Man said...

I suck at decisiveness. I usually let decisions be made for me. Kind of prefer it that way, in fact.

Gypsy said...

I hadn't seen this, but your point is taken.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

I loved this story. And you made an excellent point. We must all be decisive or others will be so for us.

Love you, yet again!

Kelly said...

I hadn't seen this story, but I LIKE it! Do you know how many times I've had to sit in traffic on the Hernando-DeSoto bridge because someone went up there to jump?!?

Well, just that one time, but I really, really had to pee.

Gwen said...

That story really gave me pause when I heard it. I wasn't sure how to feel about what the guy had done. In a way, he probably helped the guy. When he felt that push and thought he was going to die, he most likely thought, "Shit. I don't really want this."

Not Afraid to Use It said...

@Cheek: Good on you for the walking and heart to heart talk. I hope things continue on the upswing for you.

@Joe: Unless things have changed, he DID live. With minor injuries. He's going to have plenty of time to wrap his head around this one. :)

@Rassles: I'd totally talk to you at a party about this topic!

@RestaurantRefugee: Merci.

@AFreeMan: That rather flies in the face of the decisions you have been making at your jobs. You've been quite proactive lately. Does this mean you wish you had not been?

@Gypsy: Always glad to make a point.

@CMGD: That is why you are on your HOA board, to make decisions for others. ;P

@K-Mom: I think needing to pee would be a valid reason to push, too.

@Gwen: I like to think what happened and his thinking "Shit, I don't want this" is much better than the alternative.

Patois42 said...

I was just telling my husband about the story last night. It called to mind, for me, the poor sap on the Golden Gate Bridge one night years ago who ended up causing me many hours of waiting and then rerouting to make it home. I was so ticked. The cops ended up shooting him down. Yeah, shooting him. He survived. Only to jump one year later.

Fence sitting. Shouldn't do it.