|Ray and Debra Barone|
Ray, in his typical fashion, starts whining that he is indeed "good in an emergency." Its just that Debra's choking wasn't a real emergency, since she was able to cough up the piece of fruit on her own. If it had been a real emergency, he would have stepped up and saved her. Debra isn't buying Ray's spin, and again tells him he is useless in an emergency. Ray gets mad at this, and later goes to his mother, seeking comfort.
However, much to Ray's surprise, his Mother agrees with Debra, and tells Ray that she would rather have his father (a Korean War vet) or his brother (a police officer) around in an emergency. This only upsets Ray more, and the rest of the episode is centered around his whining and trying to prove himself (quite incompetently, of course).
The Survival Lesson - Taking Personal Responsibility
At one point in the episode, Ray's brother Robert, the police officer, tries to show Ray how to perform the Heimlich maneuver. Ray doesn't listen, instead getting mad at Robert for trying to "show him up" in front of Debra. Ray had no interest in learning what to do in an emergency. Rather, he just wanted people to treat him like he could handle an emergency, even though he clearly couldn't. He felt he was entitled to the credit and respect without having to do anything to actually earn it.
What Ray should have done, instead of whining and getting mad, was to take personal responsibility for his weakness - his lack of survival instincts and knowledge. He then could have done something about it. He could have listened to his brother, learned
the Heimlich maneuver, and even taken a first aid or emergency preparedness course. By actually doing something to correct the problem, Ray would at least have had a legitimate reason to hold his head high. Debra, and the rest of his family, would have renewed reason to respect Ray. But, Ray never really took personal responsibility.
The episode ended, as most of their episodes ended, with Debra forgiving Ray despite Ray never learning, never changing, never growing up, never taking responsibility for anything. Well, it is just a sitcom.
The Bottom Line: Survival is about attitude as much as anything else. Part of the survival attitude is the ability and willingness to take personal responsibility for your life. Its an attitude that is missing form most people's lives in the modern world. Like Ray, many people are too busy watching TV, or demanding respect they haven't earned. Don't be like Raymond.
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