Trying Is Always Worth It

“Who can tell me why it’s important to do CPR?”

My fellow students and I at the CPR training class stared back at the instructor blankly.

It was early and I hadn’t had my coffee. I shriveled in my seat.

She repeated question again:

“Anyone? Who can tell me why it’s important to do CPR?”

Finally, one brave student ventured, “To save someone’s life…?”

The instructor smiled.

“Correct. To help save a life in situations where someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped. Why else is it important to do CPR?”

Total silence.

“What if CPR isn’t enough?” the instructor continued. “What if the ambulance does not arrive in time? What if, despite doing everything correctly, the person cannot be saved? Is it still worth it to attempt CPR? Should you still try?”

We nodded, catching on, slowly… though not quite knowing where this lesson was going.

The instructor proceeded to roll out three damn good reasons to try — no matter what the outcome may be.

1. Because people will see you in action. Bystanders will see someone (you) acting courageously in spite of nervousness, adrenaline, and chaos all around. These people might think to themselves, “I wish I was empowered like that. I want to learn how to do that.” They might sign up for a CPR course, get trained, and save someone’s life in the future. Because you tried.

2. Because you will provide greater peace of mind to people who are grieving. Family members won’t have to agonize, wondering, “But what if someone had known CPR?” They will know that every possible action was taken to save their loved one. Because you tried.

3. Because somebody else might get to live. Even if your victim is dead and cannot be revived, performing CPR helps to circulate blood through the victim’s body, which means that some of their organs may still “live” long enough to be transported to a hospital. If the victim is an organ donor, that means that their organs can be given to someone who desperately needs them. You will be fulfilling the victim’s dying wishes and be saving a life… even if the life you are saving is not the person lying in front of you. Because you tried.

By “Reason #2,” I was already quietly crying. Eyes brimming with tears in the back row. (One of many instances where I wept during that class. Awkward, public emotions. It’s how I roll.)

I’m not writing this story to share CPR tips, of course.

The message runs even deeper than that.

What I learned in that classroom is that trying is always worth it.

You might take courageous action and get no visible result.

You might pour in your heart and soul, you strain, you fight, and yet…

The book doesn’t get picked up for publication. The company crashes and burns. The relationship doesn’t last. The victim does not wake up. Crushing defeat. Abject failure.

But that’s not actually the case, because when you try your best you never really “fail.”

Simply by trying — especially when nobody else is willing or able to act — you become an inspiration to everyone you meet.

There are hidden benefits — hidden miracles — that become unlocked when you try.

You might not “see” these miracles unfolding in front of your eyes instantaneously. But they are unfolding. Because you tried.

Trying is not pointless.

Trying is not stupid.

Trying is always worth it.

Alexandra Franzen

When it comes to being a better writer — and a better human being — Alexandra Franzen has a ten-word philosophy: Start with love. Keep it simple. You are not confused. Alexandra’s refreshingly simple communication tips have been featured on Fast Company, Forbes, The Daily Love, The Daily Muse, MediaBistro, MindBodyGreen and The Huffington Post — and on radio programs from coast to coast. Learn more at www.alexandrafranzen.com.

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