Jun 27, 2007

Can't You See?

Lisa E has again posted a thought provoking question on here blog:

"How many times can a man turn his head, / and pretend that he just doesn't see?" --Bob Dylan "Blowing in the Wind"

While I certainly can go on the same tangent as Lisa in regards to family members tripping over items and then asking where they are (I am dating the equivalent of an absent minded professor), I am going on a different route.

Have you ever been stranded by the side of the road? It never ceases to amaze me at the numbers of people who will drive by... Yes, turn their head and pretend they don't see. Once I was caught in a white-out blizzard snowstorm and ended up in the ditch on the wrong side of the road. I was in a dress (on my way to work) standing by my car, hoping some kind soul would stop to help me. At least a half dozen people drove by me and didn't stop to help. I could've froze to death in the storm! Lucky for me, a guy finally stopped to help me.

Or, how about if you hear a neighbor woman screaming for help? Would you go help? Would you call the police? When I was younger, I was involved in a domestic abuse situation where my ex took the spark plug wires out of my car so I couldn't go anywhere and because he was drunk ended up pushing me on the sofa while we were arguing. Because he didn't like what I was saying, he proceeded to jump on top of me and start beating me in the face with his fist. I literally saw stars and almost choked on my own blood while screaming for help. Did anyone come to help? No. Did anyone call the police? No. I ended up leaving that night at 3am after he went unconscious. Dazed, I walked across town seeking help. Turn your head and pretend not to see.

I could go on and on about various situations where people turn their heads and pretend not to see. It's easier to bury one's head in the sand than to take a stand and help a fellow human being out. In today's world, it's all about *me* and if it doesn't directly affect *me* then I'm not going to look, because I really don't care. At least from where I stand, that's what it seems.

In some aspects, I am cynical about this. Am I bitter about the way the world is? Not really. Do I realize that there are good people out there? Of course I do! For instance, when I've had problems with my car co-workers offered help. When I had the hit-n-run last weekend, stitchers offered their phones so I wouldn't incur astronomical roaming charges.

*stepping off my soapbox now*


Kendra said...

I understand what you're saying...I was actually just ranting to my mom about how people are, in general, a bunch of self-centered jerks. :-)

As for the loss of "good samaritans"...I think a lot of people are fearful of getting involved with strangers. A stranded car on the side of the road...is is a legitimate breakdown, or a trap to rob/hurt someone? Domestic problems...does the peron really need help or will they get angry if someone does come to help? In this society where people are generally told to butt out, being a good samaritan isn't always an easy thing.

In my case, I would be more than happy to help someone who truly needs it, but at the same time, I tend to be distrustful of strangers. There are so many weirdos out there nowadays, and I wouldn't want to put myself or my girls in danger.

Tessa said...

I know that it is hard to believe it sometimes, but I think there are definitely more good people in the world, it is just that the 'bad' people get so much attention, the good citizen who does help doesn't make for very interesting news.
I am a believer in karma - or what goes around comes around. So, spread the cheer :)

rose_michelle said...

When I was in college my next door neighbor's boyfriend beat her regularly. One day, shortly after I moved in, I heard the baby crying as I got out of the shower, but there was no attempts to help him. So I went over in my pjs and knocked on the door. She opened it, with the baby in her arms and her faces was starting to bruise. She apologized for the baby cry and about that time he came out of the back beadroom. I pushed the door open, grabbed the baby, and yanked her back to my apt. I called the police and made her stay until they came. Later he tried to threaten me and I told he he didn't know who the (insert bad word) he was talking to and that everytime I heard the smallest peep, I would call the police. After about 3 months he got tired of dealing with the police and left her and the baby. Three years later I heard he had beat another girl to death in a drunken rage. I never did get the girl's name –– she moved at the end of the year, but I remember I have never been so scared in my life.

Jenna said...

I know what you mean, Meari. The unfortunate fact is that people have been hurt and burned by getting involved, so they've learned not to anymore. And then there are the ones who can't see past the nose on their own face. *sigh*

Katie said...

I always try to be one of the "good" people but I know I miss times where I should do something. I also agree treat others like you want to be treated and I think mean people will get what they deserve. It's easy to remember the bad times. Just try a bit extra to remember the good.

Barbara said...

The world is fast becoming a place where everything is 'someone else's responsibility'. "Pass the buck" has replaced our moral code. :(

Shari said...

very good food for thought Meari!!! Boy, this post goes right with what I just told you on my blog!!! The old saying...do unto others as you would have done unto you!!! We all need to put others ahead of ourselves, more than we do!!! Thanks for sharing!

Kathy said...

Love your blog. I ran across it, from Stitchingbloggers Yahoo Group. It is going to be one that I read on a regular basis. Your comments about no one wanting to help are very timely. It is hard to believe that people are that way. That is not the way I was raised and people have trouble believing that I am willing to do the things I do for people.

Keep stitching.

stitcherw said...

Interesting write up and perspective, it does make you think. There are a lot of good and helpful people, unfortunately the others seem to be gaining, either out of fear of being involved, fear the person they are trying to help is really setting them up for something, or just plain "not my concern" attitude. Sometimes it amazes me we've done as well and came as far as a species as we have.

Lana said...

Too bad you weren't in Alaska!! It's AGAINST the law to leave someone on the side of the road stranded!! Me and my hubby have often helped people on the side of the road who need help. We just flash our military ID's and let people know that we want to help. Alot of people are weary in this day and age...but I like being married to a man who doesn't leave his job as a military member at the gate of the base. He has an obligation to the people of America whether in uniform or out, and I have gladly accepted this role as well, as his wife. I too get frustrated with people who look the other way. You never know when you may need help, and hope that someone will help you.

Rene said...

I too believe in what goes around comes around. I have made that call to the police only to get yelled at for doing it. Would I do it again? You bet I will, the next time it might save someones life.