Involvement is key

  • Published
  • By Chap. (Maj.) Kenneth Reyes
  • 39th Air Base Wing chaplain
It happened more than 25 years ago. A woman, walking in an urban neighborhood was brutally attacked. Bleeding and with critical injuries, she cried out for help.

Her cries fell on deaf ears and she died. Investigators knocked on doors seeking information and discovered a tragic truth. While more than 15 people heard the cry for help, none of them responded. The reason, “I didn’t want to get involved.”

Of all the noncommittal and trivial phrases used today: “The check is in the mail,” “Go on ahead, I’ll be right behind you,” “You would like it when?” “Yes sir/ma’am, I’ll get on it right away,” none has been more lacking in love, compassion and common decency than “I don’t want to get involved,”or “It’s none of my business.”

I wonder, do we say those words because we are so “busy” that involvement in a person’s life is too time consuming? The experts say it’s easier to relate to “things” rather than “people.” Things don’t talk back, ask for commitments and criticize effort or lack of it. So that must be it ... because we are willing to work overtime, volunteer to go TDY, accept remote assignments instead of spending time with our families or nurturing relationships at work, or maybe, we just need to “get away” because people are getting “to close” to us.

Maybe involvement puts us at risk! Then let’s not drive our cars, raise our children, invest in our futures or even get out of bed in the morning.

Maybe getting involved isn’t on our list of priorities and responsibilities. When was the last time that “things” soothed the pains of the heart ... and lasts?

Maybe involvement doesn’t have enough payoffs. Who says we are not thinking of ways to get our piece of the pie? Whatever that “piece of pie” may be for you.

Maybe involvement in the lives of others does not meet with your “philosophical and life moral standards of personal interaction with homo sapiens. ...” Whatever.

Am I getting through? You see, people are our most precious commodity. Andrew Carnegie once said, “You can destroy my buildings, I can build new ones. Take away my people, than what use would I have for buildings?”

The lack of personal involvement in our world is the worst commentary anyone can write about. I’m not talking about the few whom day in and day out give of themselves to making the world for others great. I’m talking to those who think the “world owes them something.”

That they have a “right” to treat others badly, disrespectfully and unfairly. And why is that? Because they have been treated like that. Where does it end?

Friends, enough is enough. Get involved. Do what is right! If you want respect, earn it and give it.

I have no doubt that if one of those individuals helped that woman that night she would have lived.

Involvement means doing to others what you expect them to do for you. Involvement means seeking out the good of others because you desire others to see the good in you. Involvement means that sometimes sacrifice is the norm not an inconvenience. Involvement means helping others to smile and feel at peace because you desire it yourself.

Maybe the relevant question is not “What are you dying for, but rather what are you living for?” Get involved, not so that you can have that important “bullet” for your OPR/EPR. Just get involved!