Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sad Times

There was a story on the Today show yesterday morning that made me sick to my stomach. I couldn't believe that something like that could happen anywhere in America, but then I remembered stories from past years about the same ignorance and thoughtlessness that eventually resulted in a death.

Did you hear about the man, dubbed "Good Samaritan" in NYC, who was stabbed and left to die on the sidewalk after helping a woman being mugged?

Well, not only did I hear the full news report, but I also saw the surveillance video of the man lying face-down on the sidewalk, dying. It showed 25 people walk by and not help in the hour and 20 minutes that he laid there before police finally showed up.

I am not blaming the police. How should they know that a man was lying on the sidewalk helpless as he bled to death internally?

I am blaming the 25 people who walked by and did nothing. Granted, it was late at night and most of them probably assumed that he was some bum or drunk passed out on the sidewalk.

But, I have to wonder about the guy who flipped him over, took one look and then walked away. Did he not see the wounds or the blood? Did he even think for one second, the least I can do is call the cops?

And then I think about the guy who laughed, took out his phone, snapped a picture and walked away. Did he not wonder at all about why a man would be lying in the middle of the sidewalk obviously unconscious?

Those thoughts didn't leave me all day. And they were especially poignant as I drove down the interstate and every car in front of me on the four lane highway simultaneously slammed on the brakes as five cars in nearly synchronized moves pulled onto the shoulder.

Why, you might ask, did these five cars risk the lives of every single person driving along behind them?

Because, there was a wild cat on the side of the road, who needed rescuing, I guess. At least, I assumed that the reasons for their frenzied moves upon exiting their vehicles were weak attempts to wrangle the wild cat to safety.

And rather than be relieved that the animal was receiving the helpful attention that it obviously needed, I just wanted to pull over and give those idiot drivers a piece of my mind.

How ridiculous is our society that we would risk our lives and the countless other lives hanging in the balance of our quick decision-making as we slam on the brakes and swerve through four lanes of traffic for an animal that in all likelihood will only claw out our eyeballs as we attempt to rescue it, but we won't check on the well-being of a hero as he lay bleeding to death on the sidewalk?

Where are our priorities?

I love animals--like I cry when I see an opossum run over and almost go into hysterics if I see a cat or dog that has been hit, but I don't love them enough to risk the lives of my fellow commuters to save one. Had I seen the animal in time to pull safely over to the side of the road, I would have done so. But, slamming on brakes as you hurl 80 mph down the highway could be lethal.

And, it just seemed so wrong after watching that news report. So wrong that our society holds the life of an animal higher than the life of a fellow man.

It just makes me sad, very sad indeed to consider the likelihood of 5 cars swerving over to the side of the highway to help someone lying helpless on the ground.

What would you do in such a situation?

I think that there is no doubt that from here on out, I will act even if it is to just call the police and let them know about the passed-out drunk lying on his face in the middle of the sidewalk.

You just never know when your faulty assumptions could mean life or death.


Tuesdays are Monster and Aunt Beezy Days, and today was a sad time, too:


  1. Oh and PS the little bub is so stinkin' cute!!

  2. I cant understand people??
    During the winter I was driving on the highway and there was a car that had careened off of the road. People were just driving by as this woman was visibly bleeding and I was the ONLY person who stopped. I wrapped her bleeding arm in the car and offered to drive them to the hospital - but seriously?? Ugh. It's really scary... and you wonder - what if it was ME that was getting attacked and needed help?? So sad :(