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Hermia commutes
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm channel surfing, and there's a rerun of Extreme Home Makeover on. I normally flip through fast because I'm not a fan of such obvious attempts to tug my heartstrings. But I was watching the intro story, and it is one where they help a family whose house got wiped out in a tornado, and the story is that the mom is now paralyzed because she threw herself over the kids in the basement and then the house caved in on them. Kids walked away fine.

That is insane and tragic and amazing and all of those things. But they keep saying that they're impressed by her "heroism" (she denies the label.)

Here's the thing: I'm more impressed by the sheer animal force that drives a mother to protect her young. Ty whatshisface said something about "you made a decision as a mother." Decision my foot. That was eons of evolutionary life force that threw her on top of her kids. And that's the part that's cool.

Again, it's still a crazy tragic/happy story. Everyone lived, she protected her children, now they have a house again, etc. But I'm far more amazed by base instinct than by consciousness in this case....
 

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Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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Wow, you're quite coldhearted. :wink:

"Heroism" is an interesting thing. I think it's usually defined as doing something extraordinary to help others, at great personal risk.

But this mother probably thought there was nothing extraordinary at all about what she did. Her kids were in danger. She had to protect them. Nothing to think about. That's the almost base instinct you're talking about.

Question is, do you think a father would have the same base instinct to protect his children?
 

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Hermia commutes
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't know.

I had a longer response and I didn't like it and it boiled down to I don't know.... :)
 

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haole from the mainland
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I think there is something primal, but I think there's more to it, too.

She may not be a hero, but she was an ordinary person that acted heroically.
 

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Windrider (Stubborn)
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Does it matter what you label it?

The result is the same.

No one but her knows how long her "decision" took, what was the buildup to it, or how conscious it was.

It's a great example.

len
 

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Anti-Hero
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Pretty cool, but I'm not surprised by that at all- Even though I generally hate children, if I actually had one of my own, I'd totally be like the mama bear w/a cub... don't eff with the cub lest you be turned into human stew meat.
 

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I ride in circles..
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Same as when you consider base animal reactions of people in crazy situations.. small women moving a car to rescue loved ones in a desperate situation.

Pretty amazing really what we're programed for. I highly double she even consciously thought about the act of saving her kids.
Automatic reaction.
 

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Steaming piles of opinion
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I've stood between my dogs and danger - and they're a damn sight better adapted to dealing with it.

Clearly, thinking and heroism don't apply in these situations.

But they are the emotional equivalent of children in my case, so instinct applies.
 

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Frog Whisperer
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I'm with the mom, I wouldn't consider it heroism either. As a parent, that is our job, biologically, and morally, to protect the kids, I know I would do the same.
 

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DrRoebuck said:
Question is, do you think a father would have the same base instinct to protect his children?
I can't speak for all fathers--some of you just aren't worth crap--but in my case, the answer is absolutely yes. I have a son who's a leukemia survivor, diagnosed at age 2, now 28. At any point from his diagnosis forward, I would have traded places with him. If I could go back to June 2, 1983, even knowing that he'd survive, and spare him the ordeal, I'd do it without a thought.
 

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Captain Obvious
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Andrea138 said:
Pretty cool, but I'm not surprised by that at all- Even though I generally hate children, if I actually had one of my own, I'd totally be like the mama bear w/a cub... don't eff with the cub lest you be turned into human stew meat.
pretty much sums up my thoughts, but better stated.
 

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I agree that it's instinct- like the cat that kept going back into the burning building to save her kittens, getting seriously burned in the process.

Doesn't make it any less noble, though. You'd have to compare a bunch of mothers side-to-side. And I'm sure many people would go out of their way to protect a child in general, just because they're so inherently helpless, and haven't had a chance to live much yet.
 

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yup
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There are a plenty of examples where mothers choose to pick boyfriends or husbands or drugs or something over children (fathers too of course).
Instinct may be powerful, but it certainly doesn't override all other thoughts. So she gets heroic mother of the week award from me.
 

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Chatter, no kids, eh. HUH? Ask most parents and you'll find the same. They (kids) are something bigger, better than ourself. Something you would give yourself for. And people do. These stories happen all the time. Maybe not just tornados but fires, floods, hurricanes. I've two children, they always will come first. The consequences be damned.


And sometimes,on occasion, a total stranger will put their life in danger.
For a child.
No great secret why. As I'm sure you'd do the same if you had to make a terrible decision, of whether to watch a child die........or not.




Have had 2 or 3 instances myself.

1) Truck on fire at an aux. gas tank (gas fueled welder) with flames from the fuel fill. A welding glove over the fill smothered the flames. My buddies I worked with were hiding around the corner. All 3 were vol. firefighters. I was stupid, they were smart. Worked out. They asked if I wanted to join.:D :D No BS.

2) S10 Blazer ran into stopped traffic from behind at 55+ MPH. Checked the 2 cars who had been run into and assessed. Encouraged all to remain calm and still. Went to the Blazer on its side, climbed in for the passenger who was in bad shape, only to stabilize and encourage while waiting for EMS. Her boyfriend (driver ) was walking around outside exclaiming how it was not his fault. She made it OK. Although a bit cut up.

Windshields Have no friends. By the way, wear your seat belt. Read that last bit again.

Her boyfriend was driving drunk, and I was glad to point it out to the Troopers at the scene. The whole reason I climbed into the truck? There was a baby seat in the rear.No idea if there was a child inside or not. Had to check. Fortunately it was just the 2 dumbazz adults. But its' a biotch scouring through all the crap people have inside thier cars, looking for what might be a baby. With gas on the ground. My (then) wife came over to see what was going on, asked her to go back to my truck. Away from the gas. And back to our two sons, neither older than 5 at the time.

3) Helped pull 4 guys from a sinking boat in pretty bad seas, no, not Coast Guard type stuff, only 4-5 feet but it was late Nov. on the Chesapeake and they were in the water for a while. (maybe 45 *)Instructions were not getting through. Yes,they were hypothermic. Problem was, a 40' boat was trying to get them from the front of his boat. Imagine a bow pulpit slamming up and down over these guys head as they clung to the overturned hull. And the 40'operator could not see how close to them he was the closer he got. Nearly being killed by the supposed rescuer. We waved off the 40 footer and backed in from the windward side and threw lines to them and hauled them over the stern. They were galad to be on somewhat firm footing. Me being the biggest, I was throwing and dragging them aboard. The other guys were not getting the job done. people were falling off into the water.

4) First responder on the scene of a M-cycle accident. The bike went off the road into an area that the week before had been cut under the power lines. With brush cutters. Until you see the stumps cut on a 50 degree angle and people laying in the midst thereof, well, we'll leave it at that. Both survived due to people being on the scene immediately. Pressure points... pressure points. But how many hands do you have??

Yes, I'm trained in how to handle emergency sit's like these. Worked for the govt. for.....a long time. Many, many CPR classes. Green cross, Red cross first aid, you name the color. I had to retrain every few years. Sometimes every year. Even was Haz-Mat response certed at one time. Have been first responder where no one made it, motorcycles suck. But still tried to make the difference.:(


And I think that training is it. The training comes in on just how to handle each situation. And it takes over. You don't need to think, you know what to do. And when the situation presents itself, I think you'd try to make a difference also. She,in the tornado made a huge difference in her families lives. And they owe that to her. It'swhat parents do,if they can
 

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Hermia commutes
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
no fair. I wasn't saying I wasn't amazed by what happened, or that i don't think it's awesome or that i wouldn't do the same thing for any small child without even batting an eye.

What I was saying is that I'm amazed by how that primal instinct to protect young can make it through all of our modern societal evolutions, and amused by how they were trying to hold it up as a conscious act, which even the woman involved denied. We're afraid of instincts, I think. But sometimes they're a really good thing.
 

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chatterbox said:
no fair. I wasn't saying I wasn't amazed by what happened, or that i don't think it's awesome or that i wouldn't do the same thing for any small child without even batting an eye.

What I was saying is that I'm amazed by how that primal instinct to protect young can make it through all of our modern societal evolutions, and amused by how they were trying to hold it up as a conscious act, which even the woman involved denied. We're afraid of instincts, I think. But sometimes they're a really good thing.
Youre right, no fair. And not what I meant. My bad choice of words.

See what you are sayin' and it is amazing, as you said, the primal instinct. Did not intend to make it look as if you would not take care of your own or others, I doubt that to be true. What I meant is everyone has something deep down inside. If only to help, and that I knew you had that also. May not have been clear enough. Being a man of few words.:) But trust me, there is a bond between kids,that you may not realise until you have some of your own. But did not mean that to read you would not jump in where needed, as neccessary.
But please do not take that as if I was trying to disparage you. I was not trying to do that. Not at all. Was only saying like you, we all have that inner urge to help.

and when called upon, we will.
 
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