A woman was walking along a bridge and noticed a man standing near the edge. As she approached, the man called to her,
“Excuse me, ma’am. Can you please hold this rope for a moment?”
The woman, wanting to be helpful, easily agreed without giving thought to her busy schedule, her destination or the dreams that awaited her on the other side.
“Hold the rope tightly, please,” the man instructed.
She grasped the rope tightly. She began to wonder what exactly her purpose would be, and she became concerned with time. She had a million things to do, all of which would open doors to personal success and long-awaited opportunity. Yet, she made no mention of the time for fear of what the man might think. She wanted to appear helpful, selfless, compassionate and kind.
So, she stood there holding the rope, gripping it tightly.
Suddenly, the man leaped off the bridge. The weight of his body dropping to the depths below pulled her violently to the edge. Stopped only by the safety railing, she found herself staring down at the man who now dangled precariously from the rope she was holding.
Little did she know, while she was thinking about her dreams that awaited her on the other side, the increasing scarcity of time and finding herself perplexed by her obvious need to set boundaries versus her tendency toward people-pleasing, the man was busy affixing the rope to his body. Now, she found herself in charge of this man’s safety. His life was literally hanging in the balance, and the rope to which she was now grasping was his only hope for rescue.