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Jan 12


Jan 7

This is a bit off-topic, but one of the things that the tragic events that occurred over the weekend in Arizona got me thinking about is diversity.

Allow me to explain.

Here at Dan’s Plan we regularly recommend that individuals seek out a diversity of foods and a diversity of movement. These recommendations are based on scientific findings, the opinions of experts, and the fact that different foods and different types of movement offer different types of benefits. Personally, I also believe that there is value in surrounding oneself with diverse groups of people. A diversity of ideas, cultures, beliefs, backgrounds, upbringings, and experiences enrich our lives. The coming together of disparate ideas has even been proposed as a necessary component for innovation and the birth of new ideas.

So, how does this relate to the weekend’s events in Arizona? It is difficult to tell whether radical political motivations, mental illness, or a combination of the two are largely to blame for the death of those six people and the wounds that many more received. However, I think it is worthwhile to reflect for a moment on the diversity of the heroes that emerged on that day.

1. Daniel Hernandez is a 20-year-old, gay, Hispanic man who rushed to the aid of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords after she had been shot in the head. His quick thinking and smart actions helped save her life.

2. Patricia Maisch is a 61-year-old woman who was one of the three people who helped stop the shooter when he was trying to reload his weapon. She tried to wrestle the second batch of ammo away from the shooter and was wounded. She very likely saved peoples’ lives by preventing the shooter from reloading.

3. Peter Rhee is a 49-year-old surgeon and chief of trauma at the University of Arizona who also helped save Giffords’ life.

Although we can speculate about what each of us might have done in a situation like that, it is near impossible to say how any of us would have actually responded. Clearly, Dr. Rhee’s training and experiences on the battlefield prepared him to respond to these events, but who knows what kind of life experiences might have led to Mr. Hernandez, Ms. Maisch, and the other two men (Mr. Sulzgeber and Mr. Zimudie) who helped subdue the shooter and save innocent lives act as they did. However, no matter what caused them to respond in the way that they did, their actions demonstrate that anyone can be a hero.

This week, I will honor the heroes of last Saturday and the heroes that emerge every day by reflecting on their diversity and the potential benefits of diversity across a variety of aspects of our private and public lives.

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