What's the best thing you've ever done?

Inspired by this thread, which will probably be more fun, but what the hell. What is the kindest or bravest act you have committed or witnessed?

I got married.

And that was kind or brave because…? Was she being held captive by orcs? Did she have the illusion of some horrible disfigurment until you wed her?

Methinks you should choose your titles a little more carefully.

Although it pales in comparison to the doctors, nurses, EMTs, firefighters, etc… on this board, I have hepled save a few lives during my short stint as a volunteer firefighter. The most memorable/most serious was a gunshot victim at 2 AM in the morning the night before my last day of work. There’s a thread about it somewhere.

I saved two kids who were on the same playgrounds as my kids. One had just fallen and I caught him in mid-air. The other time, the kid cut his hand badly on the climbing ropes at Sesame Place. I climbed/carried/applied direct pressure to get him off the ropes. No thank you from management. No thank you from his parents either.

This is no time for facts. If the facts do not support my argument, I shall discard them.

I actually started to title the thread “bravest” thing, but I didn’t want to omit kindness, nor did I want an overly long thread title, so I chose to try to explain it in the post itself.

I chose not to brag about my heroic deeds on the internet.

At Buckingham Palace, I pulled this guy off a woman he was near-crushing into the bars because he was pissed off that she cut in front of him. (If I hadn’t stopped him, he could have hurt her pretty bad.)


I don’t have anything particularly heroic, but one time at work, we received a tube of bone marrow whose cap hadn’t been put on properly. It came off during shipment, and the bone marrow had spilled all over the inside of the container. That’s bad enough, but the sample was from a six year old girl, and the test that had been ordered indicated that she’d just had a bone marrow transplant. So this little girl had had leukemia, gone through chemotherapy, then a bone marrow transplant, and now her latest bone marrow sample (which are Not Fun to collect) had been splattered all over because someone in her hospital had been careless.

Well, normally we would have rejected the sample and requested a new one, but I spent a couple of hours getting creative with a centrifuge and pipettes and finally managed to get enough of it together for us to extract and test her DNA. I didn’t want to make her go through another bone marrow draw.

It was January, and I was driving home from work after dark and stopped at a gas station. As I was filling up, I became aware of a young-ish adult African-American male with a gas can in hand, approaching car after car. Having been recently lectured about the dangers females driving alone may face, I resolutely decided on the spot that, should he approach me, I’d say, “I’m sorry. It’s my policy not to give rides to people I don’t know.”

I got ready to pull out of the station thinking, “Whew! I’ve just avoided a potentially awkward situation,” when there was a tap-tap-tap on my window. It was him.

I rolled down the window, and he said, “My car ran out of gas, so I walked up here and borrowed a gas can from the station. Would you be willing to give me a ride to my car? It’s just…” and he gave me the location, which was quite a hike on a January night.

And without hesitation, I said, “Sure! Hop in.”

I drove him to his car, feeling awful about all that had run through my head initially. So I stopped at the State Highway Patrol outpost not too many miles down the road and told them there was a stranded traveler they should check on.

I hope whatever karma points I earned by helping a stranger cancelled out all my initial reactions to that guy looking for a ride on a cold night.

There are two medical procedures on my list of “please don’t let my son ever have to endure these.” One is a spinal tap. The other is having a bone marrow sample taken. My incredibly stoic and laconic older brother had to have that done, and even he said would not want to go through it again…

Smeghead, you deserve HUGE karma points.

Once while unemployed and down to my last few dollars, I found an envelope with $3200 cash and a deposit slip inside. I returned the envelope with the cash to the rightfull owners. Turned out the money was from the sale of a car that had belonged to their son, he has died a few months earlier from cancer. The couple gave me a nice reward plus some work around their house to make some money.

I was my dad’s primary caregiver/night nurse/walking assistant/bathroom aide/encourager/etc. until the situation with him at home became unmanageable even for me.
I took as much stress and burden off of my mom as I could, for as long as I could.

I moved here to Arizona from North Carolina 10 years ago on a Greyhound bus, with $150 in my pocket and nowhere to live. I had my reasons. For me, that was exceedingly brave.

The best thing I’ve done?

Not done yet. Hope I can.

My brother whom I love has not talked to our Mother, whom I also love, for a year.

Stupid bunch of bullshit. My brother was screwing up, my Mom could not take it anymore and she let him have it with both barrels. Our Mom is 78 years old. She told him what she thought. Up untill then, they had been very close. We are all real close.

I’m in the middle. It sucks. I’m trying to get my bro to mend fences. My Mom is perfectly ready for this and had no idea that my brother would react so extreamly. He knows he has be screwing up is my guess. Can’t face it though. This 49 year old ‘man’ is acting like a petulant, selfish child. He got his ego bruised I guess.

My Mom gave my brother an absolutly, fantasic deal on the house that my Mom owned(after 25 years of struggling to make payments) that my brother lived in. Payed rent. She quit claimed it to him. The agreement was $100,000 intrest free. One thousand a month from my brother to my Mom. That’s what he said he could afford. The house is worth about $200,000. My bro then went out and mortgaged the house for about $140,000. Did a few improvements, and then bought toys. Including TWO top of the line Harleys, and a $14,000 entertainment system. It’s one hell of a TV :rolleyes:

My Mom got a little pissed. She screwed up IMHO by practicaly giving the house to my bro (she knows he’s bad with money), and he has no idea what a deal he got. It’s really none of her business what he does with his new found money. But really, my Mom struggled through the depresion, she hates to see money just thrown around like that.

We won’t talk about the sail boat my bro bought with grampa’s inheritance that hasn’t been in the water for 5 years.

Or his last 6 internet girlfriends that have been nothing but leaches and tramps.

I want to slap him.

I’ve written him. I’ve talked to him face to face. I’ve emailed him. I just tried calling. I suspect that he has written me off too.

Mom, Dad and my bro live a 100 miles away.

It’s so damn complicated. My father lives right next door to my brother. But I can’t stay in his house when my Wife and I visit. My Dad is a ‘horder’ I guess. I might be able to stay a night in his house, but I usually stay with my bro when I visit.

Spent a weekend this summer shoveling out my Dad’s house. With some help from my bro. I know how difficult it is to live next door and to help my Dad. I got a 20 yard roll off dumpster to clean out my Dads house, and filled the thing. My brother is neat as a pin.

My brother has pretty much thrown up his hands when it comes to my Dad. And I think, because I do have to make a special trip to help him, my Dad lets me do it. But really bro, call me, I’ll help. Just tell me when to be there. I shouldn’t have to organize all this shit when you live right next door.

I’m walking a very thin line. I’m the younger son. My Mom has asked me not to abandone my bro like he has abandoned her. Yet It’s OK with her that I try to help fix this.

My bro and I have always been very close. We work absolutly great together. If it needs done, from giving a cousin CPR, to building an addition, you would be very glad to have us around.

But right now, I’m very close to telling him to go piss up a rope.

But I have my Mom and Dad to think about…

The best thing Iv’e done? Nothing yet. But I’m still trying.

Not intending to hijack, just want to give **enipla ** a big, manly hug and tell him, “Chin up, dude, you’re doing the best you can with family.” Family is messy. Show me a family that isn’t dysfunctional in some way and I’ll show you a bunch of uptight assholes. I have three brothers, all younger. Among the four of us we have two cases of alcoholism, one drug addiction and five divorces (there was an anullment, too, but we don’t count that one – there was gunplay involved and I had to bail my brother out of jail on my birthday. God, I love that man!)

Which is probably the only truly giving thing I’ve ever been called on to do – gave up a wonderful evening with friends in celebration of my 40th birthday to go bail my brother out of jail, get his valuables from his apartment (or, as the Boulder PD called it, the “scene of the crime”) and get him settled in at my place; then called Mom and Dad, filled them in, yadda, yadda, yadda. I hear it was a great party, but I missed it. But I know he’d do the same thing for me.

Way back in grade school (7th or 8th) these two dick-head twin brother jocks started beating up my best friend (we were both “unpopular dorks”). Without thinking, I jumped in and started swinging on one of them, and they stopped. Probably out of sheer surprise or amusement.

This guy told me (some 20 years after the fact) that was the coolest thing anyones ever done for him.

I’m surprised I didn’t get my ass kicked.

I also saved a little kid from drowning, but that was more luck than anything. Right place, right time.

I with my colleagues, organized a national conference for disabled people in Iraq. This meant having to bring Shia, Sunni and Kurds together. It meant making sure that the local militias wouldn’t slaughter the other ethnicities when they came. It was a logistical nightmare.

Also, Iraq had a bureaucracy a lot like the Soviet Union’s. That means that disabled people were never really asked what they wanted, how they wanted to do it. In the past, a conference on disabled people meant a bunch of party hacks talking at some retreat. This was a real, honest to God conference of disabled people. Disabled attendees, disabled presenters, disabled people working a the conference setting up sound, working the lights, you name it and all of them Iraqis.

The last day of the conference the attendees were making speech after speech saying no one had ever asked them what they thought before, they had big plans for the future. People in the audience were weeping, it is one of the best memories I have.

But the day after the conference was 1 April, 2004 when the first really big uprisings started so it all kind of went to crap.

I got stuck outside of Baghdad. I was kind of driving around Iraq looking for a safe house, when I just drove to the Turkish border walked into Turkey took a cab to the next city and flew to Istanbul, found a flight to Chicago and then on home to DC.

I once saved a duck from drowning…honestly I did.

It had its head jammed in these underwater roots and I could see its feet paddling furiously in the air so I reached in and untangled it.

By way of showing gratitude it pecked at my hand before swimming away quacking like mad.