My Friend: Eula M. Guest


Are You Proactive or Reactive

What running a business and the year 2013 has taught me is I don’t always have control over situations that come up in my life, but what I do have control over is how I am going to handle tough situations. 

What I am most proud of and what I learned these past 12 months is that to stop, think and decide in a calm mental state what my next move is going to be.  I learned this from chess and learning how to calculate my next moves and not to rush a move but to think it through.  I had situations come up recently that could have escalated quickly where I didn’t have control over what was going to happen next.  

There was a situation when I was on a NYC bus where it was pretty crowded. I had my daughter with me, and I sensed that something was wrong. I wasn’t near an exit, and I knew that if something happened there was no way my daughter and I were going to be able to get off fast enough. There was a woman in front of me that turned around and looked at me. She must have had the same sense that the man in the front was gong to do something.  I told her to stay calm, and I held my daughter’s hand.  I whispered to the lady that the bus driver was going to call an emergency code that is going to flash  911 and not to move. My daughter was getting antsy, and I told her to hold my hand and don’t try to run. She wanted to get off, but I told her not to worry because help was coming. Within seconds, the bus was surrounded with police, and they pulled the man off the bus. 

The lady in front of me asked me how I knew what was going to happen. The bus drivers reaction told me what was going to happen. Most people who sense danger will try to get out of a situation or try to put distance between them and the person who they are in fear of. He did neither; he just calmly said, “I am not going to argue with you,” and he didn’t move the bus. This told me he had pulled the alarm.  This driver was an older gentleman who was probably trained for this situation. If he had been younger and or a reactive person this could have ended a lot differently.  The driver knew that he was not only responsible for his life but the lives of everyone on that bus, and he kept a very cool head. Everyone clapped when the police came on the bus. This was when my daughter and I got off and that was when I had time to react.  I knew if I showed my daughter any fear, she would have tried to run and that would have started a panic. 

The next time you are in an emergency, are you going to be prepared?  Will you be proactive or reactive?  Will you be able to be calm and think quickly on your feet?  Plan now because the next emergency is coming.  Are you prepared? 

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