shaft NYU student foundThank. Goodness. A missing New York University student has been found! He was found in the oddest place, but still, 19-year-old Asher Vongtau is safe and sound after rescue workers broke through a wall to free him from a two-foot shaft near his dorm where he'd been trapped for two days!

Talk about an empty nester's worst nightmare!

As if sending a kid off to college weren't agonizing enough for most parents. But to have your kid end up as a missing person? That's pretty much what every parent fears.

The good news in all of this -- beyond the fact that Asher was found, conscious and moaning in the shaft between the 5-story parking garage and a 17-story NYU dormitory (seen above in an FDNY photograph) -- is that another student found it strange that Asher wasn't responding to texts, and he did something about it. He alerted security, who alerted the cops, who found the missing student.

It sounds easy to call security. But it's not. It took some guts to do that. Here he is just a kid himself, and how did he know what his friend was up to? He could have been off doing something that he didn't want people to know about.

Every day we as people see things happening that we wash our hands of -- the mom at the grocery store with the screaming kid who gets an eyeroll instead of a "hey, can I help?"; the strange man ranting in the subway who we go out of our way to avoid instead of checking to see what he's going on about. It's easier not to get involved, easier to just deal with our own day-to-day issues.

But easy isn't necessarily right.

That global village everyone talks about being here to raise kids should extend beyond mere children. It should be about everyone -- adults too. We should all care about our fellow man enough to put ourselves out there, even if it's taking five seconds to say, "Huh, why ISN'T he returning my texts? Does he need my help?" instead of huffing and puffing that so-and-so is such a jerk for not responding to a darn text message.

Just look at this NYU student -- a little caring, a little less selfishness, saved his life.

It took the FDNY more than an hour to free Asher, and they had to actually go through a wall to do it, but he's in a hospital. He's safe. There's a happy ending to this story.

All because someone thought about someone else first.

When is the last time you put yourself out there for another human being who wasn't in your direct family? What happened?

 

Image via FDNY