Something bad happened next door. Best to just stay put, at least that is what the experts are telling you. Things are dangerous out on the side walk. Debris is falling from the building next to you. You are safe and secure in your office 86 floors up. Stay put and all will be well. “Your attention, please, ladies and gentlemen. Building Two is secure. There is no need to evacuate Building Two. If you are in the midst of evacuation, you may use the reentry doors and the elevators to return to your office. Repeat, Building Two is secure.” That is the message from the building’s security team. Stay put, what could go wrong?
Something inside of you says, “No. I don’t want to be here. I’m getting out.” You head to the elevators, down to the lobby. As you open the doors to the outside police officers yell to you, “Run!” You run. You see things that will haunt you for years. Jumpers landing with loud thuds. You are out. In another minute you see a plane crash into your building. You are alive because you disobeyed the experts.
This is more or less what happened to a relative of mine on 9/11/01. He did what he thought was best for him. The people who told them to stay put had no reason to think another plane was coming. Even before the second plane hit, the Port Authority Police changed their order and began evacuations of all the buildings in the WTC when they realized how serious the damage was on the first tower. Still, that was ten minutes later and for people on the upper floors, those minutes mattered.
Sometimes well-meaning experts are wrong. Ultimately, the only one responsible for you is you. Obviously, refusing to accept the wisdom of others is often a mistake. But are there examples in your life where ignoring what everyone else tells you ended up being the best move you could have made?Published in