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Ordinary People Do Extraordinary Things

Yesterday (Friday, October 8), while I was surfing around the web as I often do, I saw a headline a few times about a Coach Guides Team Bus to Safety After Driver Blacks Out. I didn’t really think that much about it at the time until I visited the Bowling Green Daily News when I realized it was the Women’s Volleyball coach at my almost alma mater, Western Kentucky University (almost alma mater as I spent five years at WKU learning a lot of things, not all of which dealt with going to class all the time).

A college volleyball coach is being hailed as a hero for guiding a bus to a stop Thursday after the bus driver collapsed.

Western Kentucky volleyball coach Travis Hudson grabbed the steering wheel of the bus, traveling on I-65 through Limestone County, Alabama, and guided it to a stop.

Only afterwards did he learn from drivers behind him how close they were from a serious accident.

Although, the driver wound up dying from what apparently was a heart attack, an ordinary man responds first and manages to save his team from a far worse accident.  . . .

This seems to be the way so many times with folks who perform heroic actions. As I mentioned in this diary from April, I have a lot of respect for individuals who have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. No matter my personal feelings about war, and fighting (and I do find it abhorrent), I still have to honor those who perform selflessly. Many of the awards are made posthumously for a reason. (This site from the Army allows folks to read the actual award citations going back to the Civil War). I think invariably, if we were to ask MoH recipients if they were heroes, most all of them would deny it and claim they were only doing what the moment required.

First responders such as firemen and police would probably also say this, even when the human inclination to fire is to go the other way. I’ve mostly avoided the story of the firemen in Tennessee who let the home burn because the home owner had forgotten to pay a $75 annual fee in time. I haven’t spoken of this to any of my friends and acquaintances who are firefighters but from my knowledge of them and their prior actions, most of them were probably horrified at the actions of these "firefighters" who chose to let a residence burn. Fight the fire and then present a bill for the costs of responding to the homeowner afterwards? Absolutely. But to do nothing and just let the place burn seems to fly in the face of everything I ever learned about firefighters and firefighting going back to the days when I completed my Firemanship Merit Badge when I was a Boy Scout (apparently this merit badge has been changed to Fire Safety since 1995). I will say that the fact that the wife of the homeowner is not blaming the fire crew for letting the home burn speaks more to her graciousness than it does the correctness of their actions.

As one further example of an ordinary person doing extraordinary things, I would like to mention Mohammed ibn Laith, who was shot and seriously wounded a few weeks ago while protecting Christians going to their worship in Irak on a Sunday. This young man, who has already had to deal with much horror that most of us would crumble under, lives the teachings of Jesus and Mohammed in a way that brings to life the teaching of Allah/God/Yahweh yet from my few interactions in comments at FDL and The Seminal, I suspect that Mohammed ibn Laith would not and does not consider his actions all that extraordinary but just the actions of an ordinary man doing what he feels is necessary.

An ordinary person doing extraordinary things.

And because I can:

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Small town Kentucky country boy lived all over the country. Currently in Ruskin, FL