June 2021 | Courage To Help

Seek to Help Others

by Sean Vanslyke – sean@gosemo.com

While my wife Debbie and I were standing in line to board Southwest Flight 1966 from St. Louis, a young lady approached me with two boarding passes and asked how boarding worked. I explained the process to the couple. They took a seat, not far from where we were standing, to wait their time to board. Eye contact. Conversation ignited. It was the couple’s first flight. To say they were nervous was an understatement.

I offered to use their phone to take a photo saying “there is only one first time.” Soon afterwards, boarding began. We said “enjoy your flight and your trip.” We lumbered back to row 17 so we could get an aisle seat and a middle seat as the flight would soon be full. Boarding continued. We watched for the couple. The plane was quickly filling up as about 75 more fliers boarded. Finally, we saw the couple enter the plane. Debbie and I looked at each other. The window seat was still empty beside her and, in God’s will, a flight attendant was standing in the aisle across from me. Quickly, we identified the first-flight couple to the flight attendant and invited the couple back to row 17.

We offered the window seat for better viewing, but the aisle seats were preferred. She sat next to Debbie. More nerves. Debbie started talking to her. Apprehension. The plane began to back out away from the gate. Tears. Debbie explained the take-off process. As the plane’s engines started to roar, more tears. The plane rushed down the runway. And then it happened. Hands touched. Two souls became one for a few moments. No more tears. Soon, the first-time flier was enjoying a Diet Coke at 35,000 feet in the air. And, shortly thereafter, asleep.

When we seek to help each other, differences can become similarities. As a side note, I enjoyed the window seat for the first time in many, many years. And I "held it" for more than two hours. LOL.

We want to help keep the fun in summer water activities by sharing this message, “If you feel a shock, swim away from the dock.” It’s better to share the message than attend a visitation or funeral. The hidden hazard is called electric shock drowning (ESD).

Electric shock drowning occurs when electric current is present in fresh water and passes through the body of someone in that water. This causes muscle paralysis, which leaves the affected individual unable to swim to safety. It’s a particularly dangerous hazard because it’s impossible to tell by sight if the water is energized. Outdated wiring and a lack of proper safety equipment on boats and docks can cause such situations where electricity “leaks” into the water.

According to the Electric Shock Drowning (ESD) Prevention Association, between 10 and 15 milliamps, which is just 1/50 the wattage of a 60-watt light bulb, can cause drowning. Safe Electricity recommends that individuals do not swim around docks with electrical equipment or boats plugged into shore power. Let’s play safe and enjoy the summer. Share the message.

Book of the Month: “Social media is as powerful as a major news outlet when it comes to framing a reputation. One social media post, no matter where it originates, can enhance a reputation or trash it if it goes viral. Your reputation is as valuable as it is scarce – you only have one.” Indestructible by Molly McPherson

Keep pushing forward! Be smart. Act safe.

CEO Sean

Vanslyke is general manager and chief executive officer of SEMO Electric Cooperative. 


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