Kenmare ND - Upside Down Under

Real People. Real Jobs. Real Adventures.

Upside Down Under

By Marvin Baker, a new weekly column in The Kenmare News


Recognizing those who deserve it...

Posted 9/17/19 (Tue)

OK, so three Walmarts get shot up or terrorized in a week, some crazy decides he’s going to take out as many people as he can at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, then there’s the Russian dude who decided to see what people’s reactions were if he walked into a Walmart with a loaded AR-15.

Reporting the news means who did what, how many fatalities, where and when did this happen and the biggest question we’re still trying to figure out since Columbine is why?

Ironically, there is heroism at each and every one of these catastrophies including Sandy Hook and Parkland High School.

The heroism reminds us of what the United States is supposed to be about, one person helping another in time of need. We often loose track of that and tend to focus on the shysters.

Perhaps we should devote more time to the first responders who are making sure more people don’t die during these senseless shootings.

We’ll often hear about an off-duty nurse stopping the bleeding or an off-duty cop gunning down the suspect or, as in the case of the Russian dude in Springfield, Mo., an off-duty firefighter holding him until police arrived.

These people, who include paramedics, ambulance drivers, trauma doctors and even clergy who have medical knowledge, are there every day, on the front lines. It almost reminds us of a MASH hospital.

The police are also a spoke, a big spoke, in this wheel. When we in the general public find out about some of the things our neighborhood cop has gone through today, we have to marvel at the courage of these people to put on their uniform and do it again tomorrow.

Of course, this isn’t limited to mass shootings, although when something like that happens, good people simply react and their reaction is often to help those in jeopardy.

Trauma could include auto accidents, farming mishaps, movement to a critical care facility or something similar.

Yes, our first responders are special people. Not everyone can do it, but for those who do, we need to thank them for what they do and that they are protecting the public at large.

And regardless of what your opinion may be on this, nursing home employees, those who care for the developmentally disabled and special ed teachers are special people in their own right.

Have you ever talked to a nurse or CNA who works in a nursing home? Their jobs aren’t gravy, in case you think they are.

Hospital nurses get all the glory because we see so many TV shows depicting nurses in big city hospitals. Nursing home employees are largely ignored and they shouldn’t be.

Their work is just as difficult if not more so. They see and care for residents every day and when one of those residents passes away, it affects everyone because, let’s face it, it’s an extended family.

But like law enforcement, they will put on their uniform tomorrow and do it all over again.

Those who care for the developmentally disabled often have challenges because the human mind can be very unpredictable and not everyone rolls like the general public.

As far as special ed teachers, they’ve got a tough job too because of some of the lessons they are attempting to teach. It’s never easy, but they have to keep trying in order to get their students to learn what is required.

That despite being bit, spit on, tackled to the ground, hair pulled and even the “stealing” of food off a dinner plate.

And special ed teachers turn around and will do the same thing again tomorrow.

Think about these jobs and the people who fill them. Do you have the patience it takes to be in one of these positions?

Do you have the patience to constantly be on the lookout for criminals, to go behind a closed door when you don’t know what’s on the other side, to walk into a burning house to look for survivors, to bathe someone who is uncooperative, to apply a turniquet so the victim doesn’t bleed out and to have the courage to notify next of kin when someone is killed in a car accident or a mass shooting?

Do you have the patience? I don’t.

The next time you’re having a tough day, thing about how much more difficult it could be, how much more stress you might have to be dealing with or how many families will change based on a decision you make.

We think we have it rough sometimes, but we really don’t. Think about your own stress level. I’ll bet it doesn’t compare.