A few days ago, a situation happened that I can't get off my mind. It took me a few days to figure out why it bothered me so much. The more I thought about it, the more the whole situation made me question beliefs I had about myself. Beliefs about my core values. I felt compelled to share this story in hopes it might impact others the way it did me.
Last week, Cori and I were going into the Home Depot in Redmond, when we heard shouting coming from the other side of the entrance. We walked around the corner to find a stand-off going on! There was a middle-age man trusting a knife at a taller, younger man, shouting and threatening him to not get closer.
How would you respond here?
What would you do?
Please take a second to respond in the comments or using the button below.
I would love to know your honest responses.
My gut reaction was to stay out of it.
I stood back, with all the other people that were within earshot, watching the scene roll out. A few people had called the cops, but most were just standing there watching. Keeping a safe distance. That’s when Cori handed me her coffee and walked right into the scene. I was so mad. I couldn’t believe she would just walk up in the middle of a knife fight and get involved in a situation that she had nothing to do with.
But, she did it....
She walked right up to them.
She was super calm as she approached and just started talking to the man with the knife as she stood next to his intended target. She put her hand on the target’s shoulder as she talked to the knife holder. After a few minutes of calm talking, rationalizing and slowly getting closer, she created a safe enough space that the man put his knife away at her request. She was able to calm him down and talk rationally, as they all patiently waited for the cops to arrive. As they continued to talk, she put her hand on the knife holder’s shoulder and told him "everything is going to be ok". Then she stood in between the two of them, weapon put away, calmly waiting for the cops to show up and resolve the problem.
I was so mad that she would do this.
Why would she put herself in danger for a stranger??
A stranger that could hurt her!
The cops came running up, guns out, ready to take over. Bystanders were telling the cops the man was still armed (wasn’t true). Cori stood there with him to make sure that he was safe too. She told him to stand with his arms out away from the sides of him body. He did what she instructed him to do as she told the cops that his weapon was put away and he was no longer a danger to anyone. As the cops took over, Cori calmly walked back, grabbed her coffee and said “OK let’s go”.
When we got into the car, I asked her why she would do that. I couldn’t wrap my brain around it. My gut instinct was so different.
I felt fear.
I was afraid of the man, the situation, the knife. As much as I’m embarrassed now to admit it, my reaction was “not my problem, protect yourself and stay out of it”.
Her gut reaction was so different.
Her answer to why she would do this blew me away.
…She said “the guy was just scared and needed a little compassion".
"Clearly he is going through some thing in his life. Why let a bad day ruin the rest of his life or anyone else’s.”
I was so surprised by her answer. My brain did not even go that direction. Yes, I felt bad for him, both men involved, but at no point did I have the thought, he must be going through some thing and just needs compassion.
I was literally speechless.
“All I did was talk to him, make sure he knew he wasn’t alone and let him know it would be ok. Anyone standing there watching could have done that. People just need to have a little more compassion.”
I was in awe.
What a beautiful human!
What a beautiful heart!
Her empathy and love for other people, people she doesn’t even know, was such a beautiful thing to witness.
As I think about the incident later, watching the cops come running up with their big guns drawn, I understand why it was so important for her to get the man to calm down and put the knife away. Things could’ve ended so differently had she not stepped up. People would have been hurt. Families would have been shattered.
She saw and cared about all of that in an instant.
We can all only hope that on our worst day, we have someone like Cori to stand there with us. To let us know that we are not alone and that things will be OK. Imagine how beautiful our world could be if we all thought and acted as she so naturally did. I wish the world could be filled with more people like her. I wish I was more like that.
I am so beyond grateful for this incredible human that I get to share my life with. Being with her makes the world more beautiful. Less scary. She’s a warm, soft, love. She’s a light in this world of so much dark. She’s just an incredible person. I can’t wait to see the impact she has on other people in her lifetime. In just the short time we have been together, she has already impacted mine in so many ways. I’m honored that I get to be the one to love her.
Everyone went home safe that day.
Thanks to my crazy, brave, loving, super compassionate girlfriend.
To Cori, Thank you for always being you. Thank you for choosing me. You inspire me to be a better person all the time. My world is a better place with you in. I love you so much.
Thanks for reading!