One day a family friend fell ill and asked my mom to take her to the emergency room. In the waiting room things went from bad to worse. Mrs. Yoon was doubled over in excruciating pain. But doctors and nurses whizzed by, blithely oblivious to her suffering.
Sick of waiting, my mother took matters into her own hands. She threw a volcanic fit in the waiting room, haranguing everyone and anyone to help, look, do something for her friend. She made such a scene that finally someone paid attention. A doctor took one look at Mrs. Yoon and whisked her away into surgery.
And just in time. It turns out Mrs. Yoon had an ectopic (out of uterus) pregnancy. If surgery had been delayed by a matter of minutes she would have died, right there in the waiting room.
The moral of the story is you can’t save a life (including your own) by standing in line and being polite. Don’t let being “nice” interfere with being alive. You can mend fences later, but you only get one body and there are no do-overs.