I will get the paramedics started.
Are you with him now?
And is he awake?
Yes he is.
I am sending the paramedics now.
Stay on the line and I will tell you exactly what to do next.
The above 911 transcript occurs a thousand times a day across America. This one though, and it is an exact transcript, was a conversation between Crystal Morrow and her aunt. Crystal was on her first shift as a 911 operator outside of Atlanta, Georgia. This was her 4th call of the morning. “I heard her voice,” Crystal reported, and “her name popped up on the screen.” Her aunt had dialed 911 after Crystal’s father had gone into diabetic shock. The story is making headlines because Crystal remained calm and professional—she followed the script she was trained to follow that her aunt did not know that her niece was on the line helping to save the man in life threatening distress—her own father.
In contrast, but as meaningful a story that comes from an opposite direction is told in an award winning short form documentary entitled Slomo. It is a story about not following the script—pun intended as this is a story about a physician who changes his script.
Dr. John Kitchin changed his life, transplanting himself from North Carolina to San Diego—and an even more radical departure from his medical practice as a neurologist and a life filled with material accumulation and traded it in for a pair of rollerblades and a small condo. He has taken on a new identity—emblazoned on his T-shirt: Slomo. He rollerblades in slow-motion. Here is what Kitchin has to say about himself:
“I became the typical, institutionalized, educated Western man. Frankly, I intended to work myself into oblivion and get old and die. … But now, I experience myself like a tip of a great iceberg of consciousness.”
For those of you who watch this film (16 minutes) I would want you to consider the question: What is the rest of the iceberg for John Kitchin? For all of us we can consider the question about the script we are following—when will it save our life (or the life of others) and when it is taking us into oblivion?