I’ve learned that no matter what I do, someone will find fault with it. Therefore, I need to always be true to myself and my beliefs.
Much of my adult life has been spent in the pursuit of gaining others approval. In fact, the reason I have waited until now to share my writing with the world is due to the foreknowledge that some will disapprove. This is a lesson I am perpetually working on.
To prove my point today, we will consider the Good Samaritan Law. That this law even exists is a testament to today’s society. If you are not familiar, in the United states all 50 states and the District of Columbia have some form of Good Samaritan law. This law was enacted to protect those responding to life-threatening situations from being held liable in the event of unintended harm caused by their assistance. In other words, they cannot be sued.
Let me illustrate. Imagine I am driving home from work and involved in major traffic accident. I am pinned in my vehicle and unable to extricate myself. Paramedics arrive and smell gas leaking from my car and fear the possibility of fire. To save my life, they yank me from the vehicle, cutting my leg and breaking my shoulder. Under the law, I should not be able to sue the paramedics.
This is an extreme example. If I found myself in this situation, it is unfathomable to me to imagine that I would then want to sue the paramedics. If they had not arrived and rescued me from my car, I would now be charcoal.
Unfortunately, many people have done exactly that. Some kind-hearted individual helped them in a time of extreme need, and they, in turn, filed suit against the person that provided said assistance. Does that make any sense to you? Me neither.
Even with this law on the books, thousands of lawsuits are filed every year against doctors, hospitals and first responders who are guilty only of trying to provide the appropriate care in a difficult situation.
Meditating on this and the many other instances of acts of kindness being met with anger and hostility have reinforced this lesson.
My grandmother often said, “Some people would complain if they were hung with a new rope.”
“Yes, I would,” I used to tell her. “I would want an old, brittle one.”
Even as a child I could not keep my mouth shut, but that is not the point. Have you heard the expression, “No good deed goes unpunished”? The words are generally credited to Clare Boothe Luce. She understood that in every situation, someone would complain. Spend a few minutes on any social media site, and you will quickly see this to be true.
What course of action does this leave for us? Do we stop doing good deeds? Do we stop saying good things? No, we learn to accept that negativity permeates much of the world, and we stay true to ourselves and our beliefs. Ignore the naysayers and complainers. Do what you know is right. Make the world a better place. Hopefully, if enough of us make positive steps forward, we can produce real change on a global scale.
In closing, if I ever see you trapped in a car about to burst into flames, I promise I will pull you out, even if you do choose to sue me afterwards.