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I Could Have Saved a Life Today

As we go into this year’s maintenance down, I would like to remind everyone that we are our brother’s keepers.

There is a poem out there, a poem most of us have heard during a safety talk or two, that is most appropriate for this time. I present Don Merrell’s poem, ‘I Chose to Look The Other Way’, for you to think on as we go into this down – I pray you never have to say, ‘I chose to look the other way.’


I Chose To Look The Other Way

I could have saved a life that day, but I chose to look the other way. It wasn’t that I didn’t care, I had the time and I was there. But I didn’t want to seem a fool, or argue over a safety rule.


I knew he’d done the job before, If I spoke up he might get sore. The chances didn’t seem that bad, I’d done the same, he knew I had. So I shook my head and walked on by, he knew the risks as well as I. He took the chance, I closed an eye, and with that act, I let him die.


I could have saved a life that day, but I chose to look the other way. Now every time I see his wife, I know I should have saved his life. That guilt is something I must bear, but it isn’t something you need share.

If you see a risk that others take, that puts their health or life at stake, the question asked or thing you say, could help them live another day.


If you see a risk and walk away, then hope you never have to say, “I could have saved a life that day, but I chose to look the other way.”


By Don Merrell


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