Saving Another’s Life

What does saving a life do to the life of the one who saves it? It seems clear that the one saved feels gratitude and has their life extended. Maybe that person lives the remaining years differently because they are “free” years that they would not have had– but maybe not.

But what about the person who does something heroic to save another? What do they get? Does their life change?

This is what ran through my mind as I read this story in the Chicago Tribune. The facts are that a Chicago police officer went to extraordinary lengths, risking his own life, to save a man trapped in a burning apartment building. The Officer, Timothy Gould age 54 and an 18 year veteran, heard cries for help. He tried to reach the apartment where the voice was coming from but was turned back by flames, kept his head and went around the back, breaking the window climbed in calling to the man and shining his flashlight. By now thick smoke filled the room but he never gave up eventually reaching 68 year old James Wesley and then carrying him out of the building.

A life saved.

So an article in the paper, a mention in a few blogs and maybe a day of fame.  I can not envision myself going into a burning building to try to save a stranger. I hope I would but I have strong doubts.

So what about Timothy Gould?

I can only hope that this man has a sense of pride that enhances the rest of his life. If I were king, people like him would receive a more tangible reward. Something that would be life changing. Why not.

It is not that the deed should not be its own reward, it should. But so many people make tons of money for becoming celebrities with no real talents, making no real sacrifices and adding little to our world. Why not share some with people who make a difference.

What more can one do than to save a life?