“Do Something!!!”

Back in the Fall of 1994, I was lucky enough to represent Oregon State University by being accepted to the Walt Disney World College Program.  The WDW College program offers non accredited business classes to college students while working at the Walt Disney World Resort.  I served my time at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground in food service.  I worked in the cast cafeteria, the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue dinner show, Crockett’s Tavern, and Trails End Buffet.  It was fun and a great experience.  Plus, where else does anyone get a chance to wear overalls and a red check shirt to work everyday?

While working one night in particular at the Trails End Buffet, we had a bit of an emergency.  A  family including kids, parents, and grand parents were sitting and eating at one of the larger tables in the middle of the dining room.  Suddenly, a little boy in the group got some food stuck in his throat.  I rushed over to provide assistance.  The child was coughing heavily.  The grandma looks at me and screams, “Do Something!!!!”  I was 19 years old at the time and only had brief Disney training on first aid.  Her scream scared the hell out of me.   Then I recalled the first aid instructors comments on choking.   “Do not do anything if they are coughing.  If they are coughing, they are breathing  and getting air.  Their body is working to remove it the obstruction.   If you interrupt it, you can create more problems by causing the obstruction to  fall deeper down their throat.”  So I stayed nearby and waited for the child’s body to do its thing.  And behold, a few seconds later, he coughed up the piece of food and was quickly embraced by his family.  A little scared, like everyone else around, but he was ok.

With tragic events in our society, whether they be political, economic, social, or environmental, we often act like that scared grandparent at dinner.  Being frightened is a natural reaction to any  terrible tragedy or episode.  We want to feel safe and secure. in our homes, at work, and within our borders.  And when we don’t feel that way, we want someone to fix it immediately.  But it is important for calmer heads to prevail when it comes to taking action.  If we act on impulse, very often more negative effects will result.  Just like with a choking child, we can do more harm than good.  We also must be watchful of those who are making the decisions.  They often do not have the needs of all citizens in mind.   Rahm Emanual, President Obama’s former chief of staff and the current embattled mayor of Chicago once said,  “You never let a serious crisis go to waste.  And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”  His statement in my option is wrong and very dangerous.  You never take advantage of peoples emotions during a crisis to promote your own agenda or desires.  And you never take away the rights of citizens to usurp more power for  government.  Many of our elected officials forget that their position is to serve the people, not to have power over them.    My name is Brian Heinrich and I am running for US Congress.

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