When Rosina Hernandez was in college, she once attended a rock concert at which one
young man was brutally beaten by another.
No one made an attempt to stop the beating. The next day she was struck dumb to learn
that the youth had died as a result of the pounding. Yet neither she nor anyone else had
raised a hand to help him.
She could never forget the incident or her responsibility as an inactive bystander.
Some years later, Rosina saw another catastrophe. A car driving in the rain ahead of
her suddenly skidded and plunged into Biscayne Bay. The car landed head down in the water
with only the tail end showing. In a moment a woman appeared on the surface, shouting for
help and saying her husband was stuck inside.
This time Rosina waited for no one. She plunged into the water, tried unsuccessfully to
open the car door, then pounded on the back window as other bystanders stood on the
causeway and watched. First she screamed at them, begging for help, then cursed them,
telling them there was a man dying in the car.
First one man, then another, finally came to help. Together they broke the safety glass
and dragged the man out. They were just in time -- a few minutes later it would have been
The woman thanked Rosina for saving her husband, and Rosina was elated, riding an
emotional high that lasted for weeks. She had promised herself that she would never again
fail to do anything she could to save a human live. She had made good on her promise.
Bits & Pieces, June 24, 1993, pp. 20-21.
You must get involved to have an impact. No one is impressed with the won-lost record
of the referee.
John H. Holcomb, The Militant Moderate.
In Elmer Bendiner's book, The Fall of Fortresses, he describes one bombing run
over the German city of Kassel:
Our B-17 (THE TONDELAYO) was barraged by flak from Nazi antiaircraft guns. That was not
unusual, but on this particular occasion our gas tanks were hit. Later, as I reflected on
the miracle of a twenty-millimeter shell piercing the fuel tank without touching off an
explosion, our pilot, Bohn Fawkes, told me it was not quite that simple.
On the morning following the raid, Bohn had gone down to ask our crew chief for that
shell as a souvenir of unbelievable luck. The crew chief told Bohn that not just one shell
but eleven had been found in the gas tanks--eleven unexploded shells where only one was
sufficient to blast us out of the sky. It was as if the sea had been parted for us. Even
after thirty-five years, so awesome an event leaves me shaken, especially after I heard
the rest of the story from Bohn.
He was told that the shells had been sent to the armorers to be defused. The armorers
told him that Intelligence had picked them up. They could not say why at the time, but
Bohn eventually sought out the answer.
Apparently when the armorers opened each of those shells, they found no explosive
charge. They were clean as a whistle and just as harmless. Empty? Not all of them.
One contained a carefully rolled piece of paper. On it was a scrawl in Czech. The
Intelligence people scoured our base for a man who could read Czech. Eventually, they
found one to decipher the note. It set us marveling. Translated, the note read: "This
is all we can do for you now."
Elmer Bendiner, The Fall of Fortresses.
The forests would be silent indeed, if no birds sang except those who sang best.
Commentary and Devotional
This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There
was an important job to do and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody
would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry because it
was Everybody's job. Everybody thought Anybody would do it, but Nobody realized that
Everybody wouldn't do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what
Anybody could have done.
Charles. Swindoll, Strengthening Your Grip.
Edward Everett Hale, the distinguished poet and former Chaplain of the U.S. Senate,
eloquently captured the essence of every American's duty: "I am only one, but I am
one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, that I ought to do.
And what I ought to do, by the grace of God, I shall do."
Edward Everett Hale.