What is Holding You Hostage?

by Frank

In the middle of a cold winter afternoon, David made his way to the bank to deposit his payroll check into his account. The bank was located in the heart of the downtown area in the midst of the large buildings and breath taking city monuments. As he traveled down the road on foot, he constantly found himself fighting through the large crowds of people who were making their way to lunch or returning to work after eating. All he could do was hope that the line at the bank wouldn’t be too long.

Hostage Situation

David finally reaches his destination and makes his way to the line to work with a teller. There are only a few people in front of him and he is excited to be able to complete his transaction quickly. As he gets settled in line, he reaches in his pocket to pull out his wallet to gather the check that was stored in his bill fold. Before he could lift his head, he feels a cold metal object touch the back of his neck. In a flash an arm quickly makes it’s way around his neck placing him in a head lock and as his eyes raise, he notices he is being forced towards the teller who is starring at him with a look of terror in her eyes.

David was being held hostage.

Since he never was able to turn his head to see the assailant, he had no idea who was holding him hostage. The grip around his neck was strong and through his peripheral vision he was only able to see a hand covered with a black glove and a tattoo of a skull and crossbones on perpetrator’s wrist. Adrenaline and fear rushed through David’s body causing him to breathe sharply and sweat profusely. He was terrified thinking that at any moment this criminal could pull the trigger and take his life.

Who Are You?

As they finally reached the teller, the criminal whispered in his ear in deep ominous voice, “David, I want you to tell the young lady behind the desk to give me all of the money in her drawer.”

David couldn’t figure out how he knew his name but he quickly did what he was told. For the next few minutes, as the teller gathered the money, he tried to reflect and determine how did he end up in this situation.

One Day Earlier

David woke up in a panic, frantically looking over at his nightstand where his alarm clock was located. He was completely shocked by the time that was displayed as he was 2 hours late for work. The alarm clock failed to go off at the appointed time but he was absolutely sure he set it appropriately the night before. He gathered his uniform that was hanging in the closet and promptly walked towards the living room to find his cell phone that was plugged into the charger.

He missed a total of 4 calls while he overslept and had 4 voice mails waiting to be reviewed. One of the numbers that had called him he was very familiar with. It was his boss and he had called him 3 times within a 30 minute period. The other missed call was his wife. He pushed 1 on his phone to speed dial his voice mail and began to listen to the messages. The first was his wife. She left a message stating that she had turned off the alarm clock by accident and hoped he would wake up on time for work. The other three messages were from his boss.

Escalating Emotions

David was a valued member of his team at work and consistently was top performer. His boss was concerned that something had happened to him and was calling to check on him. The other two messages did not have any content as they were just the manager making follow up calls to reach him. David, highly stressed from the morning he has had, picked up the phone and informed his boss he had overslept and was on his way in to work.

After getting dressed David makes his way to his car, puts the keys in the ignition, and listens as the engine churns and then dies. He bangs his hands on the steering wheel in disgust, kicks the car door open and looks under the hood to try to determine why his car won’t start. He searches for 45 minutes checking the fluid levels and testing the electrical connections since he had a battery issue just the week before. Defeated he gets back in the car, turns the key to put it in the on position and notices that he is out of gas. He screams in disgust.

What A Day!

Using the fuel he had purchased for the lawn mower, he is able to get the car to start and makes his way towards the closest gas station. At the station he is able to fill up his car and get a cup of much need coffee as the day has him severely aggravated. David jumps on the interstate to make his way downtown when his car is brought to a screeching halt as there is grid lock traffic on the freeway. This traffic jam cost him an additional 50 minutes of traveling time.

As he walks through the door, he is so frustrated that he doesn’t speak to anyone as he makes his way towards the manufacturing floor. When he reaches his work station his boss brings over a new employee that David is going to train. The new employee introduces himself and does what he is asked as he learns the steps to complete his new role. It is when he makes his first mistake that David screams so loud in the guys face that everyone stops and looks in their general direction.

Young Man ScreamingFor the rest of the day David didn’t feel like working. He didn’t feel like training. He didn’t feel like being social. He didn’t feel like being nice. He was having a horrible day and everyone that he came in contact with knew it. He made everyone have a horrible day.

Back At The Bank

Then as he stood in front of the teller with the gun to the back of his head, he realized exactly who it was that was holding him hostage. He knew if he didn’t do something soon, that tattoo of crossbones and skull would become reality in his life. He knew that if he didn’t break free he would never see his wife again, he would never get the chance to be forgiven for his wrongs, and he would never reach the dreams that he so desperately wanted.

In this state, feeling like he had nothing to lose, David quickly jabbed his right elbow directly into the abdomen of the assailant. This quick thrust made the criminal step backwards and drop the top of his body forward. David quickly went to work forcing the gun from his hand and tackled him to the floor. When he had the criminal securely pinned down, he reached over towards his face and pulled of the mask.

David’s face became pale and he gasped for air while falling backwards as he revealed who was under the mask. David was staring at his own face. He was being held hostage by his own emotions. If he hadn’t of fought back, his emotions would have killed him.

The Spark

It is important as we go through life that we learn to live beyond our emotions. We can not expect to succeed if our actions are constantly dictated based solely on how we feel. When we let our frustrations, fear, or lack of self esteem lead our lives, we have no right to complain about our circumstances. Our emotions should not be the deciding factor alone in any situation. We have to learn to live beyond how we feel. We have to push through the pain to reach for a fulfilling future.

So the next time you are having a bad day, I dare you to do everything in your power to behave the opposite of how you feel. If you are stressed, spend your day trying to find a way to be a blessing to someone else. If you are angry, try to bring joy to someone’s day. If you are fearful of your situation, try to help someone else out of a bad one. Along the way I promise your outlook and emotions will be forced to change.

Take control of your feelings because unchecked emotions can cost you your life.