If you think the number 13 is unlucky, think again ... (Hexagram 13, COMMUNITY)



Thirteen trucks aligned under a bridge, atop which a man stands, poised to jump. Thirteen drivers, rallied by police to shorten the distance from leap to landing. Thirteen souls allied to save the life of one. 

The Metro Detroit division of the Michigan State Police received a call a few days ago, on behalf of a man who was feeling compelled to jump to his death from a highway bridge. 

Love in communal action:
the essence of Friends Gathering.

The nuances of Hexagram 13:
Benevolence
Joining with Others
A Union of Forces -- and Friends -- for the Good
Companioning
Fellowship
Common Interests

No matter what role we play in our profession, our deepest vocation is to befriend. We shorten the fall for one another, if one is compelled to fall. We reach up and around; we hold and hold on. We join together in kindness.

Here, in this moment, the common interest: to tend and befriend a soul in pain. To curve the arc of one man's life toward staying alive. To unite a group for the betterment of one ... and all. I wonder how the police officers, other first responders, and the truck drivers felt as they moved on into the rest of their lives, knowing they'd played a part in the salvation -- the saving -- of a so-called stranger. 

One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life others, by means of love,  friendship, indignation, and compassion.
~ Simone de Beauvoir

Indignation! -- Yes. These people banded together in a form of it -- in a refusal to ignore a cry of despair. Public, communal service: a practical and life-saving form of friendship.  Someone called the police; the police called the trucks to a halt, and called a soul in despair away from the brink.

This is humanity ... humaneity. 

He lived. The man on the bridge walked off the bridge three hours after police received the call, and was taken to hospital. Did the trucks standing guard pivot him back from the edge? 

Did he count Thirteen...thirteen...
in an onrush of awe
at the sight of those trucks
lined up for his life? 

 

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