There’s going to to come a time when you, going about your day in your normal routine, are going to find yourself in the midst of a dramatic and perhaps defining moment. It’ll come quickly and unexpectedly and how you respond in the crucial seconds depends on how you’ve prepared in advance.
Last night, my wife and I were having dinner in a popular area in Buenos Aires. There were many people out enjoying the pleasant summer night. It was nice and perfectly predictable…until it wasn’t….
I heard the sounds of the violence long before I saw what was going on. If you’ve never been part of or witness to a serious throw down fight, let me tell you that the thumping of fists on bodies is a unique sound. When you hear it, you know what it is right away.
I looked first at my wife, then turned 45 degrees to face the scene. About 30 feet from us we saw two men beating the living shit out of another man. The victim had been sitting outside the cafe throughout dinner strumming on his guitar. It was clear he was homeless and just trying to entertain to generate some money from the passing hordes of tourists. When I noticed him earlier, I figured the homeless guy was either high on something or just plain crazy. In any case, the guy certainly wasn’t aggressive or acting like a threat.
Two guys in there 20’s beating the shit out an older, crazy, homeless man. It was a bad scene.
Within a few seconds I was in the middle of it.
What never ceases to amaze me is that we, as humans, have become watchers of events around us rather than participants. After a min or two, I’d stopped everything and, frankly it didn’t take much.
When it was done… still on the ready, and fueled with a rush of adrenaline, I took a look at the scene around which the violence occurred.
The homeless man was bleeding from the mouth and nose, but standing (remarkably). The two attackers were still talking shit, making stabbing motions but now retreating. And around me stood dozens of watchers. Dozens of capable men, mouths slightly agape…just watching.
Not one of them, man or women did anything (except my beautiful, ballsy wife who was yelling something in spanish I didn’t understand). Would they have stood there and watched this homeless guy get beaten into a coma or killed? Would they have watched if, as I tried to intervene, I was overwhelmed?
I think they would have. Here’s why…
Our lives are so predictable, so normal and relatively easy that we don’t really worry about these moments even though they happen all the time.
I’m a strong believer that if you want to act a certain way in a particular situation, you need to think about it in advance. You need to prepare yourself mentally before the moment comes, so when it’s upon you… when you are witness to an accident, or see a man roughing up a woman, or a child in a dangerous situation… you don’t stand around like everyone else. You don’t just wait for the man with the uniform to show up and take care of it.
Instead, you act.
I decided long ago that I would act each and every time I found myself in these moments. And I beg you… literally… I beg you too to decide to act when the moments come.
Beg you? Yes, that’s right. The world needs leaders like never before. Real leaders, who in moments of need stand up while everyone else remains seated.
You are what you do when it counts.
As a Misc. item; Many people have asked me about where I own property in argentina. I actually own property in Cafayate argentina as well as Buenos Aires.