By now we’ve all heard about the escape and rescue of Amanda Berry and the other captives. We’ve also been introduced to the heroic and humorous character of Charles Ramsey. The video and audio clips are one sound bite after another and Ramsey is not camera shy or short on one-liners. But what stands out most is his willingness to step in and help. The quickness in which he sprung to action and alerted authorities is the type of unselfishness and honorable behavior we hope all our communities would demonstrate daily.
It’s hard to imagine all that went through Ramsey’s mind as a frantic woman appeared in disarray screaming for any help she could find. Unfortunately, in today’s society of me over we, many would have walked away or ignored the cries for help. How many times have you seen a stranded motorist and kept driving? Closed the blinds because they didn’t want to be bothered by the neighbor who may need help? Seen a stranger across the street and not said a word? How many times have you done it? Thank God for the Charles Ramsey’s of the world who still remember a neighborhood, a community, is only as good as the people who reside in it.
Hero is not a word that should thrown around loosely or bestowed on someone without serious consideration. Charles Ramsey is without a doubt a HERO! He defines hero in every aspect. He saw a need to help and was called to action. He aided the helpless and assisted in saving not only Berry’s life, but also the lives of Berry’s daughter, Michele Knight, and Gina DeJesus. He did not worry about his own well-being or how he would be perceived, but selflessly put all aside to rescue those that what were trapped. Say what you want about his comedic account of what took place, but when he looked out of his window, saw chaos, and heard a scream that Ramsey states is sketched in his head forever, he moved immediately. Is that any different than the fireman who runs into the burning building or the policeman who rushes to the scene of a crime? Is Charles Ramsey any less of a hero?
Ramsey was not the first to the scene either. Another neighbor, Angel Cordero, first noticed Berry pleading for help and approached the house. Cordero reportedly then said he wasn’t getting involved and moved behind Ramsey who had come running out of house. Ramsey said his only thought was “I did what I had to do.” Simple and profound all at the same time.
A hero lies within all of us and we may never be challenged to rescue our fellow citizen from impending danger, but if we all shared the philosophy of “I did what I had to do,” imagine the impact on our communities. A crime free neighborhood where kids could play safely, majestically manicured because all the neighbors take pride in their homes, pitching in together to maintain and build for generations to come. A novel concept to some and a plausible reality to others.
Charles Ramsey reminds us how one person can make a difference and also the beauty of mankind. I salute him for his efforts and thank him for valuing life even if it meant jeopardizing his own. He’s an example of the human spirit’s best attributes – care, service, fellowship, resiliency, selflessness, compassion… and a bit of comedy. Thank you Charles Ramsey for being a true hero!