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Help is NOT Coming

Between the elevator and stairwell, there’s a signMonday night, I stayed at the Comfort Inn in Shawano, Wisconsin, (Free breakfast, free internet access, btw… in relationship to my posting yesterday.)  A reasonable substitute for my preferred choice when no Hampton Inns are nearby. The Comfort Inn also had an interesting sign next to the third floor elevator and stairwell.

It reads “Rescue Assistance Area.” When I first glanced the sign, I thought it said “Resistance Area.” My brain blended the first three letters of “rescue” and substituted them for the first three of “assistance.” Rescue Area? With braille?

I imagine the posting of the sign was the consequence of mandated regulations. And  yes, that’s braille under the letters. It would naturally follow that it has a braille translation. I think a better message in braille might have been “use the stairs you can’t see to the right for emergencies to get the heck out of Dodge!.” If the sign addressed people who know in advance they are physically impaired and cannot negotiate elevators or stairwells, ground floor lodging might be a prudent decision to avoid third floor rescues. But I’m not in charge of those decisions, only my own.

Unfortunately the bureaucrats who insist on the signage aren’t coming to help during an emergency. And people who read the sign, and decide they’d better stay in the designated “rescue area, should think twice because signs don’t rescue people. Action rescues people. It’s not our call to design or mandate the sign, but it sure as heck is our call to decide what to do.

We almost always have a choice. But if we depend on others to rescue us when problems occur, we’d better get used to disappointment. The choice is to wait for “rescue assistance” from someone else or decide to use the area we find our problems in to begin to create “resistance” by finding our own solutions.

If help arrives, great. If it doesn’t, working on your own rescue may be your only hope.

“Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.”

People still decry the government’s lack of response for Katrina. I was there as a volunteer in Mississippi. It was beyond words and the ability of anyone or organization, government or otherwise, to “rescue” everyone affected by the storm. But the troops sent by the government that I encountered were incredibly helpful and I am forever grateful for the assistance they rendered.

Today I read about the legal preparation for the Katrina spawned deaths at the St. Rita’s Nursing Home. I can’t even begin to imagine the legal maneuvers or the versions of the “truth” that will be spun. But I do know that if I wait for the government to solve any businesses problem, healthcare or otherwise, I’d lay odds I’d also drown if I waited for help at the expense of creating my own solutions.

What will you choose? “”Rescue Assistance Area” or “Resistance Area?”

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