There’s an old Chinese proverb that says, “If you save a life, you are responsible for that life.”
But memory is a funny thing. Whether the fault lies in time, distance, or something else, the saver and the saved just might recall a life-saving incident differently … or not at all.
Case in point:
Some years ago, I was working at home when the phone rang.
Our physician neighbor had climbed atop his roof with his wireless phone when the ladder he’d used to get there toppled over.
Leaving him stranded without a way to get down.
‘Could you please help?’ he asked.
I rushed to his house, righted the ladder, and blushed through his exuberant praise while he climbed down to safety.
Now maybe that’s not really “saving a life.” I mean, he might have been able to find another way down or waited until his family got home to rescue him or even jumped (it wasn’t that far).
But he sounded a bit panicky. Perhaps he had to rush to the hospital.
Afterward, he and his family moved clear across the country, but they returned recently and stopped by for a brief visit.
When I asked him if he remembered the roof rescue, he gave me a blank stare.
I’d have thought one would feel indebted to have his life back. I know I do.
Decades ago I slipped on wet rocks at the Ft. Worth Water Gardens and was pulled to safety by my then-boyfriend (who probably doesn’t recall this either!).
Maybe it’s a gender thing and females’ memories are stronger?!
Anyway, what’s more important, I took away a valuable lesson — don’t get caught in an untenable situation without a rescue line.
Have you ever been the saver … or someone saved by another?