Friday, April 17, 2009

Salute to the level-headed

Sometimes, there are stories that make the soul stir. I found this to be one of them.
In the aftermath of the earthquake that recently shook the central Italian city of L'Aquila to the ground, a 98-year-old woman, one Maria D'Antuono, found herself buried under the rubble of her home. She was trapped for thirty hours before rescuers came to her aid.
She passed the time knitting. She knew she wasn't going anywhere fast, and that it wouldn't do to panic, so she poured all her emotion into her crocheting.
Under similar circumstances and equal duress, I can imagine myself playing Sudoku as calmly as I could manage, concentrating on that as a way to survive, just as Mrs. D'Antuono did with her knitting. Or so I believe.
But the truth is, no-one can predict how they will act during an emergency. Would we be paralyzed with fear? Would we panic? Or would we keep a level head, ensuring our survival? There's more to the story than one's personality—the strong and confident stand as much of a chance of meeting their fate as the shy or the weak.
It's what's inside you that counts—and that, to a certain degree, is unchartered territory. It makes you wonder, what if?!
Mrs. D'Antuono's story made me reflect on the amazing capacity for life that some people are blessed with. She certainly humbles the panickers in our midst and serves as an inspiration to all. I'm glad she survived.

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