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The Heroic Story of Roger Chan — and What We Can Learn

Earlier this week, the Austin American Statesman ran a heart-breaking story about Roger Chan.  I can’t do the story justice, but Mr. Chan was riding his motorcycle  to help cook Thanksgiving meals for those in need when he was involved in a horrific motorcycle crash.  Despite the injuries Mr. Chan endured, there are a number of things I found heartening, and one lesson that really concerned me. 

At first glance, we should strive to be more like Mr. Chan.  Not only was Mr. Chan volunteering to help feed the hungry, he was doing it as a way to celebrate his birthday.  In a society that is often too focused on “things”, I hope my kids can learn to celebrate events in their lives like Mr. Chan — by giving to others. 

I am also heartened by those that came to Mr. Chan’s aid.  It seems that stories about bystanders ignoring those in need are becoming more and more common.  Fortunately, the witnesses in this case didn’t stand idly by.  They jumped in to help and perhaps helped save Mr. Chan’s life.

On the other end of the spectrum, this is also a story about how vulnerable motorcyclists really are.  Had Mr. Chan been in a car, this probably would have been a minor accident.  But because he was on a motorcycle, his injuries are horrific.  From Mr. Chan’s story, and from representing a number of clients who have been victims of wrecks while on motorcycle, I know that motorcycle wrecks often have dire consequences.  Thus, it’s important not only for motorcyclists to drive defensively, but also for the rest of the driving public to be extra cautious to look for motorcycles.

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