When you hear the words – stop, drop and roll – what do you think about? Fire, right? Specifically someone on fire. It is what we are taught in school to do if your clothing catches on fire. Why am I mentioning this? Well, as I continue to read the book Uncommon by Tony Dungy – I was reminded of this phrase. The phrase was not specifically in the book but the chapter I section I was reading, ‘Lift your friends & others’ made me think of it. This section of the book spoke about friendship, mentoring and the power of positive influence. As I read, the picture that came to my mind was someone on fire and another person yelling at them to stop, drop and roll. But even more, they did not just yell the words but actually helped them perform the task. Yes, the person on fire got slightly burned but their life was saved.
As that picture lingered in my head, I wrote on the page I was reading the words, “stop, drop and roll” with these words underneath – ‘stop, listen and care.‘ You see, all around us – every day – we see people ‘on fire’ – stressed out, burnt out, anxious, hurting, etc.. and we do nothing. We see the fire (or possibly the potential of fire) and think to ourselves, that is not our issue or if they need help, they will ask. Ever seen a person on fire – they typically are not asking for help but rather running around frantically trying to put it out. They need help, period. What if we decided to ‘stop, listen and care.’ A person may get slightly burned but it could save their marriage, their career, their health – literally their life. Now, I know you may be thinking – I cannot stop, listen and care for every person I see that I think may be ‘on fire.’ True, you cannot stop for every person but let me ask you a question: when is the last time you did stop, listen and care? And I did not say you had to give them money, let them live with you, meet with them weekly or anything else. But what I did say was that you probably could: (1) Stop: take the time to notice if someone is on fire (2) Listen: be present with the person in front of you once you stop (3) Care: figure out what you can and can not do to help.
People are burning alive. Are you (and I) willing to stop, listen and care so they can stop, drop and roll? And let’s be honest – in our social media crazy – phone always in our hands – quite distracted society – just our ability and willingness to stop and listen may be all the care we have to give.