This morning I was coming into campus, late as usual. It was snowing, also as usual, and the roads were a little bit slippery, but nothing I couldn't handle. Anyway, it was really quite typical until I pull into the parking lot.
At the Nipissing Parking lot there are a number of concrete dividers that are maybe five feet long and weigh an absolute ton. However, one of these was slightly different this morning. It had been moved several feet away, ohh and it had a car resting on it. That's right, someone had somehow managed to get their car up on the divider. This guy had somehow got his car stuck onto the divider. The worst part for him, was that the front wheels of the car were hanging in the air. Allow my beautiful Mircosoft Paint diagram to explain:
I notice a lone guy with a cell phone staring at this car. The emphasis should be on lone. It needs to be noted that it is almost 8:30 and the parking lot is full of people like me, rushing to class. Yet nobody stopped to offer this poor guy help. Nobody stopped when they saw him crash into this divider, and nobody stopped when they saw him in that situation.
I thought about a conversation I had with my Education and Schooling professor, Jason Price, just last week. He told me privately "A lot of people here can talk the talk, but you are going to walk the walk", I realized that I could not let him down. So off I walked.
I walked up to this complete stranger and asked him if he was ok and if he needed any help. He was not hurt but was quite torn as to what he could do. He had already called a tow truck but it was still an hour away. He and I came up with a lot of ideas such as jacking up the car and moving the divider. However, the divider is made out of solid concrete and was a wee bit too heavy for even my intense physical strength.
He tried to jack the car up but his was not tall enough, so I went and grabbed mine. It was tall enough to reach the car in it's state of suspension, but was unable to get it off of the divider.
I realized that there wasn't much I could to help him out at this point, especially since he had already called a tow-truck. I went to campus and bought him a coffee since he was clearly having a bad day. I figured he needed something to keep himself warm while waiting for the tow-truck. Ohhh and his girlfriend was coming with a camera to take pictures of his car and how the barriers were completely concealed by the snow, and not overly visible. I didn't want to mess with anything so I left my jack on his car and asked him to put it in the backseat once he was finished and then I headed to class, slightly late, but happy with myself.
While there was not a lot that I could physically do for Eric (we did exchange names at some point). I would like to think that me just stopping to check on him was worth something. Even if it was to just understand that there are people out there who are willing to lend a hand, even if it is mildly inconvenient to them. I may never see Eric again, so I don't expect him to pay me back at all, I really hope that he pays it forward actually. Maybe lends a hand to someone out there who needs it.
I am really glad that I took the time to do the right thing, and I have been feeling quite happy with myself all day about it. I can't help but wonder about all the people who walked by. Why would you just leave someone so clearly in need by themselves? What would they want someone to do if they were in the same situation?
One of my favourite movies ever is The Boondock Saints and my favourite part is the opening scene. Connor and Murphy are sitting in a church and the priest gives the following sermon:
And I am reminded, on this holy day, of the sad story of Kitty Genovese. As you all may remember, a long time ago, almost thirty years ago, this poor soul cried out for help time and time again, but no person answered her calls. Though many saw, no one so much as called the police. They all just watched as Kitty was being stabbed to death in broad daylight. They watched as her assailant walked away. Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.
Now, the characters in this movie go on a murderous rampage as a result of this. But that's besides my point. Everyone who walked by and everyone who would walk by is giving into their own indifference. Yet I imagine everyone who walked by has gone off at some point about the perils of our modern world.
Everyone says that the world is a shitty place at one time or another. But yet, here is a tangible opportunity for people to make a positive difference. Sure it may not matter much in the grand scheme of things, but to one person it may make the world of difference.
So I hope that all of you out there reading this, my friends and family, would act the same way that I did this morning, or even go above and beyond any of my actions. Because rememeber, the next person in need just may be you.
Until next time,
P.S. Happy 50th post to me!!! Wow 50 posts in 3 months...I'm a lean, mean bloggin' machine!!!