Daniel Mazur is a man who has his priorities straight.
According to this article, he sacrificed his attempt to scale Everest in order to rescue a man left for dead by a previous team of climbers. Daniel, who was a hired guide, said “It was very disappointing for me to miss my chance at the summit, but even more that I could not get my job done.”
Consider that for a moment. Regret #1 — he failed his paying clients (who apparently agreed with him that the life of the man they found was more important than their own ascents). Regret #2 — he failed to make it to the summit himself. Of course the word “regret” is my own. Again, in Mazur’s own words: “Oh yeah, it was worth it. You can always go back to the summit but you only have one life to live. If we had left the man to die, that would have always been on my mind. … How could you live with yourself?”
Now… before you take this as a reaffirmation of your faith in humanity, read the whole article. Apparently on the way down Mazur and his clients passed a pair of Italian climbers making the ascent. When asked for help, they claimed to speak no English. The Italians proceeded with their ascent, and later Mazur learned that they DID speak English. In this group we find the wonderful example of people for whom another human life was just one more thing they didn’t want to be troubled with. Not only that, in order to dodge responsibility they were willing to perjure themselves atop the highest court in the world.
It’s extremely unlikely that you or I will ever be faced with these exact circumstances, or even something approaching this extreme. That’s fine. Throughout our lives we will be presented with opportunities to choose between serving ourselves in something trivial, or serving someone else in something that really matters. We can look to Daniel Mazur, and commit to making our own little decisions a little better.