In Appreciation of Life

I woke up today, Saturday, February 23, 2019, very thankful for the fact that I am still alive. I thank God for his protection and his very special gift called life. Many times we take life and God for granted. But today, I believe that I was given a new lease on life. Please hear my story. It is unique to me, however, I think we all have had something happen to us that changes our perspective on life. Some stories have even deeper and more painful consequences, but my hope is that the message will have a positive effect.

Let me share with you what happened to me on Friday, February, 22, 2019.

The day started as a chilly yet clear and beautiful day in Southern California. Everything was going smoothly and the day was progressing very nicely.

At noon I was invited by San Bernardino County to attend a luncheon workshop on Digital Disruption In Supply Chain And Export Logistics. It was very exciting to meet some of the organizers, especially since a few friends whom I have not seen for several years were there. Everything appeared to be going fabulously and I was conditioning myself to enjoy the information that was about to be shared by the presenters.

Since it was a luncheon workshop, lunch was provided. I went to the food table and chose the smallest chicken salad wrap, since I had just eaten breakfast a couple of hours earlier with my wife and a friend. I looked forward to tasting the wrap as I walked back to my table. When I took my first bite, something weird happened. Something got stuck in my teeth and pricked my gum. I thought maybe it was a stem of a sort. When I took it out and put it on the plate, I discovered a metal wire with sharp edges that was concealed in that bite.

Immediately, I called one of the organizers of the work shop and showed her the object. She snapped a picture of it and then took it to show it to the caterers.

Within a few minutes, I began to taste a metal taste in my mouth and felt very nauseated. I decided to leave the workshop quietly to attend to this urgent matter without causing any disturbance. Since I do not have good health insurance, I went home and applied every home remedy that I could think of in order to prevent any infection or escalation of the symptoms.

In addition to the physical symptoms, what really affected me the most were the psychological and emotional feelings. I kept thinking about what could have happened if I had swallowed the bite. I had visions of the wire object getting stuck in my throat or tearing my throat as it goes down the esophagus. I even wondered what would have happened if it had passed my throat into the stomach area. I had a nightmare of it tearing my stomach and intestines. Whether these things actually happened or not, Friday afternoon turned out to be a very life-sobering moment for me. I was reminded of the cycle of life and death. It prompted me to think how a peaceful and beautiful day could be turned into a nightmare in an instant. I kept thinking about what could have happened? What would have happened if the paramedics were called? Would I have ended up on the operating table? Or in the morgue?

Thanks be to God! The nightmare did not materialize and I am still alive and enjoying the breath of life.

Friday afternoon passed without escalation of the physical symptoms. The nausea abated, but the thoughts still reigned about the “what could have happened” scenarios.

I also wondered who the caterer was. Had the organizers talked to the caterer?

That evening as I was going over the events at home with my wife, an amazing thing happened. I received a phone call from a restaurant in the area. The person on the other line, the restaurant manager, asked for me. I wondered: Why would a restaurant manager call asking for me? To my surprise, the manager referenced the incident. The organizers had communicated with the caterers about what had happened. The young manager was very human and very empathetic. He did not try to justify what happened. He was very concerned about my health and several times reiterated that if I need to go to the emergency room, or urgent care, or see a doctor, the restaurant will take care of everything. He even added that he had informed his headquarters about the incident should anything happen to me in the coming days. I told the manager that I was feeling better and I did not need to see the doctor. But should any symptoms worsen, I would.

It is really rare to find a business enterprise that takes the initiative to contact an injured person with this great human approach. Many will try to protect themselves from any liabilities. However, in my estimation, honesty and transparency is the only currency that will mitigate any risk.

I told the manager that I was very impressed by his honesty and his initiative to contact me to inquire of my health and well-being. He also added that he wanted to make things right by inviting me and my wife to eat at the restaurant and to give us a gift card so we can enjoy their food. In fact, the restaurant is one of my favorites in the area. I told him that I will come and see him on Saturday, February 23, 2019.

Saturday, was another chilly but beautiful day in Southern California. My wife and I went at noon to meet with the manager. But before meeting with him, another gentleman welcomed us and was very grateful that nothing bad had happened since he too had seen the object and said that if it had been swallowed a great danger would have ensued.

The manager was on break at the time. When he returned he welcomed us very warmly. He was very gracious and still showed great concern. He gave us the gift card and invited us to eat lunch as his guests. The food was delicious. We told the manager that unforeseen circumstances happen. And since I am alive and breathing and since the restaurant took the initiative to contact us and showed us human concern, the issue is resolved.

When I lived in Jerusalem, my mother taught me that when people do their best to show their humanity, care and concern, things get resolved peacefully. And this is what this manager succeeded to do. He created peaceful conditions to deal with an explosive situation. If the manager had opted for other than the human and transparent approach, it could have led to unpleasant consequences.

I wanted to share with you this incident to highlight our humanity and to not take God, our life, and our loved ones for granted. We need to enjoy every minute that we have on this very beautiful earth and breathe kindness, compassion and appreciation for all that we have.

It seems that in these days, as we watch the news or experience the world around us, the negative gets way too much attention. I hope my story will affect the positive in us, as time and unforeseen occurrences could befall anyone of us. It is how we respond to these events that make the difference.

So let us all show our appreciation for every breath of life and find good in each and every day, even in the little things. Let us be the person who listens and acts compassionately to those we encounter every day, relieving their stresses, sorrows, and anxieties. And let us always give thanks to the Almighty God for his goodness and mercy.

Eddy A. Sumar, MBA, CCE, CICE, and CEW, is the Founder of ERS Consulting Services in Rancho Cucamonga, California; he is an International Trade Financing Consultant; a Consultant for the Center for International Trade Development (CITD); a member of the Guidepoint Global Advisors, and an Associate of Quote 2 Cash (Q2C). Mr. Sumar is a research consultant, author, and a public speaker and enjoys writing and traveling. Contact: e-mail: ealberto@aol.com.

 

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