Sunday, April 22, 2007

Massacre at Virginia Tech

Horrors beneath tranquility: who would believe this serene place can be the site for the most gruesome mass slayings in the history of USA?

What a shocking loss of human lives, the senseless massacre in Virginia Tech University serves another lesson on how fragile human lives can be, and although death is a certainty for all of us, we can never know when it'll happen.

But IMHO, the deepest tragedy in this very dark episode is how we continue to ignore or neglect those who are suffering from mental problems. To make matters worse: we laugh, tease or bully those whom we perceived to be "different" from us, adding to their misery and anguish. Have we become so perverse that we take pleasure from teasing or bullying people till they break down and become festered with delusions, anger and hatred. Who is more responsible here: a society that doesn't care or a loner who's delusional and cannot tell right from wrong? Could active pre-emptive action like compelling or coercing him into therapy radically change the outcome of this tragic episode? I think we owe this much to ourselves and those killed to at least think and reflect on this matter, for the betterment of our future generation and to preserve the sanity and sanctity of our existence as human beings in this world.

We can certainly do with more understanding, compassion and loving kindness in our world today, esp. to those suffering from mental problems and anguish. Perhaps this is best sum up in a letter to the killer, Cho Seung-hui on his memorial stone in Virginia Tech campus: "Seung Hui, I hope that if I ever meet someone like you, I will have the courage and strength to reach out." - signed David.

PS. To Err Is Human, To Forgive Is Divine. May we find peace through forgiveness.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

First Aid and CPR course

Just attended a certified First Aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) course in Hospital Pantai Indah. I would like to thank my fellow gym buddies (Vince & Albert) for encouraging me to sign up for this useful course.

Initially I was hesistant to sign up for this 2 full days course coz I imagined it to be a dry & boring course. Well, was I wrong! The first 10 mins already pique my interest when Fideal answered wrongly on what to do when you have a deep cut on your wrist or forearm - do you know torniquet (a tightly tied band applied around a body part, eg. an arm or a leg) has been banned as First Aid procedure sometime back? It's a dangerous technique so only hospitals used them in the surgeries nowadays. After hearing the many case studies presented, I can only conclude one thing: ignorance can kill! It's better not to do anything if you do not know First Aid. That's the strange thing about delusion and ignorance, people still think it's bliss!

All in all, we learned about First Aid treatments for wounds, bleeding, amputations, fractures, burns, shock and finally CPR. Definitely a useful course. I think many of us take our lives for granted (me included) and think that help can arrive on time whenever there are emergencies. Actually the first few mins in cases like choking, heart attack, severe bleeding, drowning are crucial in determining a victim's survival rate. My instructor said, "...bring to us 70% alive, then we can do something." Even ensuring that the victim's breathing airway is clear can make the difference between life and death - head tilt, chin lift.

Again it proved that I should never let my feelings ruled over my good instincts or common sense. I should always endevour to do good no matter how bored or tired I feel. Learning life saving skills such as First Aid and CPR might prove to be invaluable one day, echoing the common saying we used for learning martial arts: "better to know and not need it than need it but do not know."