This is one of those heart-stopping moments that you have to watch over and over again. You can't help but go back and see if what you just saw was real.
Luckily, for the bloodied and injured pilot in the video, the Los Angeles police officers rescuing him were real men.
They rushed into chaos and immediately began prying at the steel and aluminum fuselage that minutes earlier was an intact Cessna 172 airplane but that was now a heap of wreckage on an active railroad track.
I don't know about you, but moments like these force me to stop and wonder,
"If I was one of those officers, what would I have done?"
Of course, you'd want to believe that you would do the same. That you would have emerged a hero. That you wouldn't have sat back and watched.
Truth Be Told.
Things like this happen all of the time all over the world. But it's not too often that you get to watch it work out as it did here.
I believe that, thankfully, some men would have done the same. Some men would have tried to help if they could.
But I don't believe that, if given the opportunity, most men would have leaped into action and abandoned safety for the sake of saving someone's life.
Now, don't get me wrong, it's not that most men are not heroic. Or that they don't have what it takes. On the contrary.
God created man with great strength and zeal. He made us with deep passions to protect and an indomitable spirit to overcome challenges. Men were made for these sorts of situations.
But what God made in men still needs to be sharpened with extreme intentionality. And sharpening is not possible without being rubbed against something tougher and stronger. Friction and heat are a byproduct of it all.
Zebras and Lions.
In situations where we are called to risk, to act, to leap into chaos and create order, the average man finds it much easier to be a Zebra.
It's easy to stand around and watch someone be eaten. I know that's true because those videos get shared and reshared often. Why? Because the Zebras are the ones recording the damn thing!
Zebras will dwell in large packs and try to blend together in hopes that they would not become the next victim.
Men don't do it because they're heartless. They do it because they don't know another way.
Simply put, men don't know the fierce way of the lion. I'm not talking about the skills; those could be taught to money with enough time.
Men don't train the attributes of the fierce lion.
This Is The Way.
Listen, gents, you have to learn to get lethal.
No one is asking you to save a man from a plane crash as a train is approaching. But you've got to get the qualities of a man who can inside of you SO THAT if the situation ever called for you to spring into action, your knee-jerk reaction would be GO!
The only way to get dangerous is to test yourself under controlled chaos and train in that environment as much as possible. The military and combative sports have a way of providing that type of training for you under awesome leadership. But you've got to start where you are.
There are 10,002 ways to do it and a bit of resourcefulness will go a long way. One thing is certain, though, it must involve other men. You have to train in a community, with a community.
But not just training for the sake of getting it over with. Rather, training for the sake of developing the small things that are bigger than the big things.
"Big doors swing on small hinges."
You need to start by doing the little hard things right:
Take out the trash at work without anyone asking because it's never convenient.
Go into the longest line at the grocery store because you'll hate the wait.
Lift heavy things and put them back down a few times a week because it hurts.
Don't stop at 2 miles, go to 3.1 because it freaking sucks.
Those are the little things that will make you good at the big things that will make you good at yanking a bleeding man out of an airplane wreck just before a train runs it over.
Real men run towards danger.
They rise to the occasion.
They spring into action.
They save those in need.
They risk it all.
They ask for no rewards.
Get lethal. Stay dangerous. Don't be a Zebra. Get good at the small things.
Continue to march.