06
Nov
09

A RIDE IN THE ELEVATOR

I was walking down a corridor and noticed a light under one of the doors. As I opened the door I found a young woman holding a baby in her arms. The child was quiet, pale and motionless. The woman looked up with eyes that were shot with red and circles underneath them. As she looked up at me she silently pleaded almost as if to herself, “They have killed my child. Help us!” My reply was simple and emotionless “Someone will be in, in a moment.” I then backed out of the door and closed it behind me.

As I continued down the hallway I was troubled, not with what I saw,  but by my lack of caring and sympathy for the woman and her dead child. I had no remorse for not even trying to help her. I just left and felt nothing. How strange!! When did this start to happen. Days, weeks, years ago. I can’t remember.

As I turned the corner I came upon a waiting room and a young man was sitting in a chair. As I looked again, I found him to be weeping as well, his face was in his hands and his body was bent over. I came toward the door and at the sound of my footsteps the young man looked up and exclaimed “They have killed my father. Do you know why?” As before, I simply replied, “Someone will be in, in a moment.” I then backed away as before and continued down the hall, only a little slower this time.

I was once again confronted with the fact I was emotionless over the young man’s agony. How could I have been so uncaring for someone else’s pain. I don’t remember ever being like this before. My curiosity was now very strong for my own uncaring condition.

I stepped into the elevator I was waiting for without much thought. I pushed the button for my floor and the doors closed. While waiting for the elevator to ascend I again remembered the mother and the young man. After a few moments I noticed I had not arrived at my floor. What should have taken only a few seconds seemed to have taken a few minutes. I pressed my floor button again and the elevator jolted and dropped. I fell to the floor and became very concerned for my own safety. What if this doesn’t stop, will I die?

I suddenly felt guilty for not trying to console or do more for the pair above me. Should I die like this, knowing I refused help to someone who needed me? This was such a terrible thought to me I began to cry at my own selfishness and insincerity in life. How could I have let myself become like this. My life was supposed to help people and heal, but when I was needed I rejected them.

The elevator suddenly stopped. I hit the floor again while sitting, and in that moment I thought “It’s over, this is the end of my life. I’m not ready, I can’t. I still have more to do, more people to help, and now I want to. I need to for my own sanity.”

The elevator showed it was almost to the floor where I had gotten on. The elevator chimed it had reached its destination and when I looked to see what floor I was on, it was the one I had just left.

As the elevator doors opened I was anxious to make right what I had been neglecting. People were again my priority. I left the elevator in a hurry pushing past people waiting for the doors to open. I did not care if they grunted or whispered that I was rude. There were two people that needed my immediate attention, and that was where I was headed.

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