We often cross paths with people who have stumbled and fallen. We have a decision to make – go ahead and “walk by on the other side of the road,” or stop and give them a hand. There have been dramatic instances recently of people who have done the right thing.
In the Summer Rio Olympics, a moving scene occurred when Nikki Hamblin, a New Zealand runner in the 5,000-meter run, tripped and fell. Running behind her was Abbey D’Agostino from the USA, who tripped over Nikki. While Nikki was lying on the ground, Abbey stopped and grabbed her by the arm and said, “Get up! We’ve got to finish this race.” Abbey helped Nikki continue the race. They finished last and next to last. While some people felt the gesture of helping Nikki might have cost Abbey a medal, she strongly indicated it was more important to help someone. She did the right thing!
One of the most grueling Olympics contests is the triathlon. That’s a tough race. You have to swim .93 miles, then bike ride 24.8 miles, then run 6.2 miles. Two brothers from England, Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, won the gold and silver medal, respectively, in Rio.
Following the Olympics, the brothers competed in a World Series event for triathlon competitors in Mexico. Alistair and Jonny were leading the race. When they had only a few meters to finish, Jonny started staggering and fell. Rather than going ahead and capturing first place, his brother Alistair stopped, picked him up and helped him move along at a slow pace to cross the finish line. Their biggest competitor passed them and won first place. When the Brownlee brothers came to the finish line, the Olympics gold medal winner Alistair made sure his brother Jonny crossed the line before he did so his brother could finish in second place.
I love the comment that Alistair made when people asked how he could carry his brother to the finish line. With his British accent, he quoted the great song, “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.” He did the right thing!
In August of 2015, 20 Syrian refugees were crossing the Mediterranean in a flimsy little boat. When the motor suddenly stopped, Yusra Mardini, a teenager, dove into the water and pulled the little boat for over three hours to the island of Lesbos. Everybody was saved.
Mardini eventually reached Germany. For the first time in Olympics history, a refugee team was recognized. Mardini made the team and swam in the recent Rio Olympics. 19 refugees owe their lives to Yusra. She did the right thing!
During the recent flooding along the East Coast, 36-year old Jason Barnes went to his toy store in Ellicott City, Maryland to try to stop the flood waters from running into his store. He saw a woman trapped inside a car floating down Main Street. He tried to go through the thick, high water to her car, but he was knocked off his feet and swept down the street. When Jason regained his footing, he raced back to his store, got some friends to form a human chain, and holding on to each other, he was able to pull the trapped woman to safety. He did the right thing!
Read in Luke 10:25-37 the story Jesus told about the Good Samaritan. A Jewish man was robbed, beaten and left on the side of the road. Two religious figures passed by on the other side of the road, but a man from Samaria, enemies of the Jews, came along and didn’t consider the consequences of helping the Jewish man. He stopped, helped him, carried him to an inn where he could recover, and offered to pay for everything. He did the right thing!
Will you do the right thing today?