I’m Calling Out Humanity: The Promise to The One

Ken and Debi Day

 

Here is a video of this post if you prefer to watch

 

My friend, perhaps the nicest person anyone’s ever known, Ken Day, died on Monday.  He had fallen a few days before when the train he was on jerked and he lost his balance.  Hit his head and went into cardiac arrest.  Bleeding on the train floor, his 13-year old grandson asked the only other person in the train for help and if she had a cell phone he could use.  “Don’t have one”, she said flatly, and stayed in her seat.  This boy then sat on the floor cradling his poor grandpa’s bleeding head and could feel he was not breathing.

Next stop finally comes, doors open, people stream in.  One person asks what happened and leans down to check for a pulse.  Nothing.  “Someone call 9-1-1!”  And then everyone just sat there, kept talking, waiting for the train to keep going.

I don’t know the situation of each of the people on this train, I don’t know if they are unaware that a man is needing oxygen and his grandson needs help, but what I can say is after 10 minutes of not having a pulse, the emergency responders finally arrived and performed CPR for 10 minutes before taking him to the hospital, and because of lack of oxygen for so long he was not going to make it.

My question is this: Why did no one breathe for my friend?  Why did no adult spring into action and help?  Even try CPR? 

One guy checked his pulse, one person called 9-1-1, and then did nothing.  Is that enough?

I’m calling out HUMANITY on this one.

This was in my hometown, my chosen state, with the reputation of having the friendliest most helpful people in the world, and no one did really anything.

I’d like to ask you something: If you saw this scene, what would you have done?

Can you honestly sit down and just start zoning out on your phone?  Turn a blind eye?

My friends and family who read this blog, I am calling us all out.

Are you that person who will promise to stand up for those in need?  Promise to help even when you don’t know what to do?

Are you The One? 

 

Here is my post and tribute to Ken from Facebook: 

Our hearts are broken tonight and have been since Thursday when our dear friend Ken Day lost his balance on Trax, hit his head, and has been unconscious ever since. Today he took his last breath. This man influenced me greatly by the love he showed everyone. I pray to be like him. Here is what I shared with his family –

My lasting memory of Ken Day was the last time I saw him. I was wandering around the filled rows of the chapel at adult session of our last LDS Stake Conference. Ken spotted me and with his usual greeting, stood, threw open his arms, and embraced me. I counted down for the kiss coming my way and he kissed my hairy bearded cheek! We sat and sang the hymns together, laughed and nudged each other when something struck us as funny, Debi of course right in the middle of it. I received a text from my wife on my iPad, a picture of her in a swimsuit. Ken went “woah!” 😂 And then they opened it up to Q&A. Debi was the last to stand and bravely asked a question and expressed a sentiment most would be too hesitant and private to share. As pillars of our community you could feel the entire room wrap it’s arms around Ken and Debi as they cried through the closing song. We huddled together and cried and expressed our love and friendship. Then he kissed me again and held my face with one hand just looking into my eyes like I was his best friend. He did this with everyone he ever met! What manner of man is this? The greatest God has given us. Debi and family, we love you. We thank you for making us feel as family, for helping raise my Tami as her bonus parents. To know he is gone only makes me want to live like him enough to join you on your street in heaven, next to your mansion with the perfect lawn and ever-present welcoming smile.

Honored to be asked by my sweet friend, Debi Day, to create a medley of a favorite LDS Church hymn, “I Believe in Christ”, as well as ‘their song’, “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” by Stevie Wonder, for her wonderful husband, Ken’s funeral, Oct. 20. Here is the recording, playing the piano, harmonica simultaneously, while singing as well. This is not an impression, rather an expression of love and hoping to bring the spirit, in honor of a great man

~ jason

Jason Hewlett, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame, is a Keynote Speaker for the largest corporate events in the world. His primary message, The Promise, is essential for Leadership, Management, Sales, Marketing, Direct-Sales Companies, and is a combination of engagement and entertainment meets inspiration.  Jason has even received standing ovations from IT guys.  He has been acknowledged as life-changing by Conference Attendees, C-Level Executives and Hollywood Elite.  jasonhewlett.com

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Comments

  1. I am so sorry for your loss and that of your dear friend’s family. A beautiful tribute, Jason, and a penetrating question. Ken’s example, your written and musical tribute, and your challenge give us much to consider. Thank you.

  2. Eric Spencer

    Wow. Thanks for writing those words, Jason. I’m quite certain your friend would have loved them.

    I’m not sure what anyone would do in a situation like that, but I like to think that I would step it up and take action.

  3. Sad – so very sad. I feel horrible for Ken but feel worse for all his family and friends left behind and particularly his grandson who had to endure this tragedy and live with this for the rest of his life.

    Grief – it’s the price we pay for LOVE…

  4. Shelly Stegall

    Jason,

    So sorry for your loss. I have to believe that most people in this world would have stepped forward and helped to save this man’s life. Timing can be everything. Simply put, god had a better plan for him. I didn’t know him, but I do know you. He surrounded himself with good people. Your one of them. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jason Hewlett

      Yes that’s all that can console them at this time, is knowing God’s timetable is more correct than ours. Thank you for this comment!

  5. Craig

    Sorry about your friend Jason. So sad. Seems like people are getting more detached and less kind every day. To answer your question, yes I would have given CPR. There’s no excuse. Even if someone doesn’t know how, it can be Googled fast enough to save a life.

    • Jason Hewlett

      Totally right. People are detached, even though we’re so “connected”, it is becoming a true epidemic and the world is not getting better, so it’s up to us to call them out, and to be the ones to run to those in need.

  6. Jason, thank you for sharing this with us. We all need the reminder to wake up! I am dumbfounded that no one helped these two. My father-in-law went down with a heart attack on the street a couple years ago and I was comforted in knowing that a stranger held him and tried to help with CPR as he was taking his last breath. She even tracked us down after the fact to tell us he was not alone when he died. My heart breaks thinking of this young boy and how frightened and alone he must have felt. I trust God’s loving arms will surround him with good people and a strong heart to get through this. My condolences for your loss. Again, thank you for being willing to call out humanity. Good call indeed.

    Much love,
    Jackie

    • Jason Hewlett

      Love you Jackie, you are so amazing. I’m sorry to hear of your father in law, yes, we need someone there trying to help in that situation. God bless you friend.

  7. I’m so sorry to hear about this Jason. Unfortunately I’m afraid this situation is symptomatic of a much larger problem in our society – the lack of concern for others and the belief that it is up to the government or someone else to solve our problems (i.e. the lack of personal responsibility and accountability). It’s a belief that I find very troubling that is promoted in the schools, the media, and by politicians that seems to brainwash us into learned helplessness bit by bit everyday.

    I was raised in a different time and place where you helped others whenever the situation required it. When someone got hurt on the farm or out in the woods or whatever you had to help them or they could die. Small town training I suppose. In the military, in Boy Scouts, and on the job as a butcher I was trained in basic first aid. Although I have never been a first responder, I have been first on the scene on many occasions and treated gunshot wounds, accident victims of various types, and have probably saved a life or two in the process. I don’t say this to toot my own horn but to illustrate a mindset that I’m concerned is getting less common and the lack of which, from your account, may have cost your friend his life.

    My only point is this. I believe each of us need to look at ourselves, take a serious look at our attitudes and preparation, and then, get the training and make the attitude adjustments, if needed, to be able, willing, and aware of when we may be needed (i.e. get your nose out of your phone often enough to be situationally aware). I think the question each of us should ask is, “Am I REALLY by brother’s (sister’s) keeper or am I just a disinterested spectator and am I ok with that?” If you are ok with being a disinterested spectator then you are part of the problem not part of the solution.

    Sorry about the rant but that’s my “2 bits” worth.

    • Jason Hewlett

      Totally with you brother, thank you for sharing. You are right, it seems it’s something from another time where we helped one another as such. This is hopefully just a clarion call to those that haven’t considered the fact that they CAN do something if they choose.

  8. Adam

    Jason,
    I am a newcomer to your blog and weekly messages but they are an inspiration to me. I am so sorry for your loss but I know that Ken is in a better place and that good will come from sharing your story. Thank you for your testimony and the way you spread the good word. You are a promise keeper.

  9. Heather

    I still cannot believe that really happened .. That no one came to his aid and that women who sat there just blows my mind.. this is so horrible and I’m so so so sad for their family and that poor little boy who had to deal with that kind of stress and watch this happen. I agree completely with you about what is happening to our world. It’s shameful and horrible and I hope and pray I can raise kids to be caring and loving towards others as they grow into adults. Such a horrible loss. I’m so so sad about this Jason. Thank you for writing this wonderful tribute to this sweet sweet wonderful man. Love you

    • Jason Hewlett

      Thank you Heather. I know you are that kind of person, we were just raised that way, and continue to be on watch whenever we can to help. Love you and your example.

  10. Lynn

    Jason, I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. When I’m out in public, it is almost to the point that no one wants to be involved. I’m from the South, where we talk to strangers in the grocery store, and that is changing even here.

    I heard you speak at the ASMC this year. Your heart and spirit are inspiring.

    Thank you for sharing your gift with us.

  11. Sue Lund

    Oh, Jason…I had no idea that was how the accident went down. I am horrified that, at the very least, someone didn’t try to comfort a scared young boy during this chaotic and terrifying incident. I am that “one”. I could never sit by, and I have had the opportunity several times to prove that…whether I know what to do or not, I am going to try, or at the very least, be the one comforting someone that looks like they need to not feel alone in the situation. I agree with you – I am shocked at the lack of response, right in the middle of what should be the most compassionate people in the world….why were none of them on that train? They can do better. I can do better. We ALL can do better. Ken was a wonderful man. He will be sorely missed. 🙁

    • Jason Hewlett

      I know you’re that kind of person my friend. It is disheartening but can help us realize there is a need to be that person in this world nowadays.

  12. Alenae

    I’m so sorry for your loss and the grief of his family and friends. He sounds like someone worth knowing and loving. I find it incomprehensible that anyone could ignore their need. I can answer most definitely that I would have helped had I been there, because I have helped strangers in the past, even when I felt like it was way beyond my abilities, and turns out beyond any earthly help. Thank you for the reminder of how important it is to do what we can to help those around us. My heart goes out to his grandson and the ordeal he went through. May God bless him and his family with peace and comfort.

    • Jason Hewlett

      Thank you Alenae. I think as long as we put it in our minds that we would be The One then we will at least do something if the opportunity presents itself.

  13. Yvonne Ackerman

    Thank you for sharing. I’m so sorry for your loss and the circumstances for which Mr. Day was a victim. I feel for the grandson, who will always hold those moments of helplessness. They will forever scar his heart. I just hope that he will be able to rise above his own grief and understand that he was not at fault, understanding that our society is not the loving place it used to be.

    Love prayers to Mr. Day’s family and friends.

    • Jason Hewlett

      Yes Yvonne, I agree with you, I feel the most for this boy as Ken is in a better place. He seemed quite stoic at the funeral, I am going to take special care to be a friend of him as he grows into a man. Thank you for your comment.

  14. Ellen North

    What a great example of someone who loved with his whole soul! Your post about your dear friend not only made me want to have known Ken (and Debi) but to have been there so I could have helped him. Maybe this touching video will nudge someone to think differently next time they see where they could be of help (which is everyday if they are in tune with the Spirit).

    I love your emotion, sentiments, songs, and everything about you! Everytime I read your posts, I think how could he get any more special to me…but you always do.

  15. Scott Wood

    Jason, thanks for sharing. It’s sad to hear about the loss of a good man and the lack of humanity. I, too, like a lot of your readers am disappointed of the non-action that was taken to help in this situation. Like Nike said, “Life is NOT a Spectator Sport” Let’s all promise to get involved and try and make a difference. Keep up the good work you are doing!

  16. Kimberley Ulmer

    I’m sorry for your loss, and it sounds like the world lost a great man. I know for a fact that I would have tried to help, even if it was just talking to the young boy to try to keep his mind from what was happening. I’m the kind of person that makes my husband stop to pick up a lost dog that is running loose in the middle of the intersection while we are all dressed up on our way out for date night in the pouring rain, or just yesterday made my son stop in the middle of the road to help get some ducks to cross the road while the rest of the people were hardly slowing down and honking, but not willing to stop their lives for one moment to help a living breathing thing get across the road to safety and it’s family, because they were in to much of a hurry or on their phones (while driving). It crossed my mind yesterday that people are so caught up in their own lives, that they have forgotten about all the other living, breathing beings on this earth. It’s sad, and it angers me that humans are so quick not help, that “things” are more important, that they are so caught up in their own ever day life, that they can’t even see a cry for help anymore. I don’t know when or where it happened, but the human race has lost it’s empathy for each other and it’s very sad. I also believe that just like everything else, it starts at home, teaching our children to show empathy for all living creatures, big and small. I’m sorry for the loss of a good man, and My heart breaks for the young man who watched something horrible happen to his grandfather, but mostly I’m sorry that he was witness to the lack of empathy from the human beings surrounding him. I’ll pray for him and all involved, I’ll even pray for those who did nothing.

  17. Jason-1) I am so very sorry for your loss. 2) Shocking story. I can’t understand it. Are people so NUMB? Or perhaps AFRAID? 3) I PROMISE I would’ve been there and will be there for anyone in need like this. And I have been there for people — we are all connected. 4) I cry for the loss of someone so loving and loved.

    • Jason Hewlett

      Yes, it is certainly a sad story, but at the same time it’s incredible the strength the family has taken from it, as they feel it is in God’s hands, which is beautiful. Hopefully we can all be The One for those in need. Thank you Andrea, good to hear from you!

  18. Rachael Allred

    This is so sad. My neighbor is his cousin so heard about thru her. I worry about the 13 year old. My neighbor said that they are great parents and wonderful people. I’m so disappointed that people weren’t more pro-active. Just a tragedy. Thanks for posting this Jason. Good to hear about you. You’ve grown up into a wonderful man. I’m sure your mother is so proud!

    • Jason Hewlett

      Wonderful to hear from you Rachael. Yes, a sad loss is an understatement, and yet the family has such strength that they feel he was prepared and it is in God’s hands – they are so amazing. And yes, the boy, he is a hero, so brave in such a challenging moment. He is adored by all of us and his parents are incredible, he has a great support network in the Days. Thank you!

  19. Vicki

    Jason,
    My sympathies for the loss of your precious friend. As much as that breaks my heart, I was stunned by the lack of fundamental care or concern exhibited by people as that poor boy cradled his beloved, bleeding grandfather in his arms. When confronted by such horrific circumstances, we need to ask if someone needs help. If we don’t know how to help, 9-1-1 will talk us through what we can do until professionals arrive. All we have are each other. My words are insufficient to convey how my heart hurt when I read what happened. I pray if I am confronted with an opportunity to help, I recognize the moment & act. Let me, please, not be one who stands by and does nothing. Let my best (however humble that may be) show up. God’s grace cover all in this. Thank you.

  20. Danier Sabolchick

    Jason, I am so sorry about your friend! It is so shocking to hear that people could be so cold and sit there and do nothing! My heart hurts for that boy! I will be praying for him and all of Ken’s loved ones! Let us all resolve to be someone to act when someone is in need!

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