There Are No Emergencies

February 8th, 2010

For some reason I started thinking this morning about something I learned years ago when I was 19. Basically that even in the emergency room of a hospital, there are no emergencies.

I was on a three week wilderness hiking trip with Outward Bound. Our leader was a medical doctor and accomplished mountaineer. In the evenings we would gather and he’d talk with us and share wisdom about being in the outdoors and life in general. It may have been having to do with dealing with an injury that he mentioned this.

He told us that even in the emergency room there are no true emergencies. I can’t remember the specifics, but took away from it that there are no occasions in life where freaking out is an option. Someone may come into an emergency room with a split open gut or severed back or whatever, but there is always time to assess it and determine rationally how to deal with it.

So next time you are tempted to freak out about something and start acting without thinking in order to deal with some perceived emergency, stop for a second, remember that it probably isn’t truly an emergency, and proceed with a level head. Chances are that if you do proceed without clarity, you will regret it later.