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This is an amazing and a fact narration revolving the lives of two heroes who happen to survive the worst experiences of life. Aron Ralston’s ordeal, an American mountain climber, and a public speaker by profession became famous when circumstances forced him to take off his arm to relieve himself from a boulder. Relatively, Abdulrahman Zeitoun is another hero, who’s kindness turned to be a nightmare, when he was arrested without a reasonable explanation and accused to be a terrorist after he saved his neighbors and their belongings from a storm. This was because of the heavy down pour that had invaded their town. Zeitoun is a Syrian American by origin and a Muslim, by religion.
Starting with Aron Ralston’s incident, the accident occurred while he was having an adventure in the pack, when unfortunately a rock fall under his arm and the only way to free him, was to use a blunt knife to cut his arm. This was back in 2003, when he stepped on a loose rock that eventually dislocated, injuring on his right forearm. The worst thing is that he had not informed anyone when he left for a walk and no one bothered of his whereabouts. He saw death coming his way and the only thing he had was the 350 ml pack of water that helped him to survive in five days while he was nursing his arm. On the fifth day, he had no more water left to relieve the pain he was undergoing. The weight of the rock was too heavy to bear. The only way to save him from this agony was to terminate his arm, no matter the consequences. The following day, he did the amputation using a knife, a process that took him about thirty minutes. The process was complete but at that instance, he had no means of communication, not even a cell phone, except his car. He was however lucky ins that, he met rescuers who had been alerted about the situation and rushed him to the hospital using their helicopter. This was approximately six hours after he had cut off his arm. To him, that seemed to be a wise decision he had made; choosing to die alone in the park.
According to Tom Browkaw, his remaining arm was retrieved from the rocks by the pack management, with the help of a winch, a hydraulic machine and thirteen people. Ralston’s arm was cremated and returned back to him. Ralston later returned to the scene accompanied by Tom Brokaw and Dateline NBC journalists, after six months on his 28th birthday Anniversary. He had two objectives in his mind, first to film the accident report to the NBC media and to retrieve his remaining ashes, claiming it was only there where he could find them (Ralston 98). After the incidence, Ralston still climbed the mountains and he was even crowned the pioneer in 2005 to have climbed 53 of Colorado’s mountains, which ranges as high as 14,000 feet in elevation.
So far, he has climbed mountains like Denali in 2008 and Mount Kilimanjaro based in Tanzania in 2009, and still hopes that one day, he will climb Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world. His story is featured in films, the popular one known as 127 hours and directed by Danny Boyle, who was nominated and received six awards and voted with the best video and actor James Franco, in the movie.
Back to the story of Abdulrahman Zeitoun. He owned a painting and a contracting company in New Orleans. It was one day that he decided to pay a visit to his hometown, using his second hand canoe. Little did he know what was awaiting him on the way, that he started his journey. That is when he bumped into the disaster, where the harsh storm and heavy down pour had invaded his neighbor’s premises, sweeping away their belongings. Zeitoun was touched by the pathetic site and decided to help his neighbors. He ferried their belongings, transferring them to a safe place, and also assisted children who were unable to walk by fear of being carried away by the floods (Eggers 105).
All was going on well until when the police arrived and arrested him without any reasonable explanation. The police accused him of being a terrorist, just because he differed with them, ethnic wise. He was mistreated and denied medical attention and was not allowed to use his phone to communicate with his family concerning what had happened to him. This was complete torture, as Zeitoun did not deserve at all the manner in which they paid him even after having mercy and assisting them. It reached a point his family and friends gave up on searching for him, assuming that fate had already come his way.
From these two episodes, we learn that life demands us to be responsible not only towards self, but when relating with others. By doing this, we maintain equity in our society. According to Professor Ian Gibson, when we practice social responsibility, we improve our social life too from poverty conditions, at the same time we increase our life span. Social responsibility focuses on improving the society status by maintaining justice, freedom, and equality.
Participating democratically is one of the vital aspects when it comes to social responsibility. This is done by voting where different parties come together to present their views and also exercise their rights. Citizen’s social responsibility also involves volunteering, that is by assisting the aged people, cleaning the environment, and planting trees. All these should be done through organized groups, which will implement ways of carrying out their duties. Self-regulation is another factor, which implies that citizens should always behave well even if they are not instructed to do so. Through interpersonal attitudes, it helps us build mutual understanding and respect towards one another. Social responsibility can also be fulfilled as a result of global citizenship where by citizens come together to share ideas and adopt cultures that are beneficial to them.
Living a good life differs depending on people and their lifestyles. Good life can be defined by the happy moments people share with others, how one struggles and achieves what he desires most; above all the character that is left behind if it can be emulated. It is all about appreciating the duration that one has managed to be alive, keeping in mind that life is the most precious gift we have been given by God. Doing the reverse of this, is living just a good life as opposed from the real good life. To spice up the good life, simple activities like sleeping well, eating healthy meals, laughing and using well our five senses need to be incorporated.
In life, we face tough circumstances, the same way Ralston and Zeitoun went through, but the only solution is to persevere and treat others well in whatever the situation we face. Therefore, to lead a happy life we should watch our behaviors and how we relate with others and this will always open ways to our desires.