Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Power of One

Chen Si spends his weekends searching into the eyes of those traveling the Nanjing Bridge spanning the Yangste River in Nanjing, China. He is searching for desperation in the eyes of those he meets, the kind of desperation and depression that would cause someone to fling themselves over the bridge railing and into the water below.

So far, Chen Si has saved 99 people from jumping to their deaths. Many times by simply spotting their desperation and talking with them, other times by grabbing onto their arms or legs as they cross over the railing and literally dragging them back to safety. The Nanjing Bridge is the longest road and railway bridge in the world and suicide is the leading cause of death for Chinese men between the ages of 15 and 34. Chen Si can only be in one spot on the bridge at any given time.

Not only does Chen Si take on the responsibility of saving lives, he also feels he must try and make life better for those he saves by offering hope.

"What should I do with the people I save? I don’t have that much money," he says. "When I save people, I don’t want to just cheat them into living another day."

"Give me some time," Chen Si says. "I’ll think of something."

Quotes by Chen Si taken from a story on NPR's Morning Edition


Blogger Trev Diesel said...

Wow, what a story! Makes me think of the conversation in The Power of Myth where they're talking about the reason someone would grab onto someone who is jumping off a bridge and risk his/her own life/family/dreams to save the "other."

Their conclusion: "Because we are all one." There's nothing that happens to someone else that doesn't happen to you.

Pretty inspiring story. (You gotta love NPR).

2:39 PM  
Anonymous BarBarA said...

Wow...awesome story. Thanks for sharing it.

3:21 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Wow... a truly humbling and inspiring story... thanks Isaiah, for sharing this...

Om Shanti...

6:04 PM  
Blogger anonymous julie said...

I understand that sort of desparation. It's strange that a society produces it in people en masse. What happens to desperate people in other parts of the world?

Thanks, Tommy.

8:25 PM  
Blogger rama said...

What an amazing guy! And whatever personal experience impelled him to start this, that must have been some experience! Thanks for sharing this inspiring story. Best, rama

4:06 AM  
Blogger Jon said...

I came in on the middle of this story this morning. Thanks for sharing it.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Zach Young said...

Great story. I guess I need to remember to turn on the radio more in the mornings on the way to work (I've been oddly been forgetting lately.)

5:32 PM  

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