What's happening to people? A sad day for humanity.

Last night on the news I heard the story of the 78-year-old man in Hartford, CT who was hit by a car in the middle of the street at 5:45 on a Friday afternoon. He was hit so hard that he flipped up in the air, then crashed to the ground, bleeding but still awake. The car that hit him sped away, and pedestrians in the area and cars driving by did nothing. No one stopped to help him, no one ran to his side to comfort him. Later it turned out a few people DID call 911. But not a single person went to this man's side, not even to wait with him and give him some words of encouragement until the paramedics arrived.

What in the hell is wrong with people? Stories like this make me think that I am incredibly naive, because I still have faith in my fellow man. I--apparently wrongly--still think that most people are genuinely good and care about other people. But seeing this, I wonder, have I totally lost touch with reality? Am I so caught up in my little bubble of a world that I don't realize what it's really like "out there?"

If I saw something like this happen, I would have my car stopped in the middle of the street and be by this man's side in a heartbeat. I wouldn't be able to do much, but as humans, sometimes just having someone next to us is enough until someone gets there that actually can do something to stop the bleeding or assess the damage. A warm hand, a kind word, just knowing that you matter in this world because you are a HUMAN BEING--these things are essential in any time of need, even if the person helping you is a complete stranger. Hell, sometimes it even means more when a stranger stops because then you feel a part of something bigger, this thing we call mankind. And if we all actually felt connected to each other, well, I think a lot of our problems would diminish, if not vanish.

A few years ago on the 4th of July, we went with some of our neighbors to a little empty lot near our house to watch fireworks from the back of their pickup truck. Not more than 5 minutes after they ended, we heard a horrible noise and looked to see a Nissan Xterra flipping over after colliding with another car just up the street from us. All six of us ran up the street to see if we could help somehow. None of us had training, but we REACTED. There was an EMERGENCY and people would need HELP. No one else was there yet. Going to these peoples' aid was not a choice, it was an instinct. Yet, as we saw by this story, not everyone has that instinct.

It makes me incredibly sad to think that humans have gone from creatures that dwelled in tribes, where survival of the whole group was the responsibility of everyone, to creatures who care only about the individual or perhaps a small circle of family and friends. That some people can see someone in extreme duress and just walk or drive on by. I mean, good lord, when I was in college, I made good friends with the lady who scanned our IDs at the lunchroom because one day I walked past and she just LOOKED sad. I stopped and asked if she needed a hug, and she started crying her eyes out, and a friendship was forged. Yet there are people who see someone hit by a car and laying bleeding in the street who don't even stop to ask if there's anything they can do?!

Ugh. This story makes me so ill. Let's all commit to using our instincts and lending a hand the next time we see someone who even remotely looks like they need it. I know we're all busy, but the five minutes (or even 30 seconds) you spend making someone else's life better will make you feel more alive, more human, more loving for exponentially longer than the time you take out of your life for a stranger.


Mymsie said...

I saw that last night and sent the story to everyone I know. Can you imagine?? Sad :(

Kim said...

I also saw this last night, and seeing the video of it happening, and watching the lack of reaction stunned me.
I don't know if you saw the police chief (I think he was the chief) speaking sometime later in a press conference. I thought he did a good job of summing up basically what you are saying. He stood there saying that obviously we have lost something in this society if this is what we have come to.
I feel the same way, Lydia, I am baffled how anyone could do nothing.