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Monday, 20 September 2010

What would you do?

About once a fortnight I walk down to the post office early in the morning before work to pick up any packages that may have arrived for me.  I was waiting for a couple of copies of September magazines which are usually too thick to fit in the post office box so needed to be picked up, so I made the trekk on Wednesday morning, continuing onto the tram and onto my usual journey to work. 

So here I am trodding down the road carrying my bag, my lunch, my gym bag and 4-5 magazines and packages.  The area around the post office and the tram stop can be described by some as "scary".  In the early hours of a morning you will find working girls and guys who haven't slept, eaten or washed for days weeks.  But honestly after dealing with them for 3.5 years you get immune to the sight (and the smell).  Some of them even remember me and smile and wave.  They're harmless, I promise.

Anyway, so I'm walking down the street and there's a girl standing on the side walk ahead of me.  The first thing I notice is the STUPID shoes she's wearing.  Then I see she's shaking, twitching, fidgeting and looks flustered and upset.  Suddenly she tumbles.  It was the shoes fault, I swear.  They were ridiculous.

At least 10 people walked past her before I approached her, turning their heads, playing on their phone....  Ignoring a person on the ground unable to get up.  As I reached the girl I held out my hand and helped her to her feet.  She was so thankful and appreciative of my gesture.  Her face lit up.  I was floored by how much it meant to her that someone held out their hand and acknowledged her existance.  It was such a small gesture, yet one that so many passers by decided was beneath them.  It didn't take an effort, it didn't make you late, it was free.  So why not help?

I think it's a sad sign of our times that helping a stranger is something we have to think twice about.  Whether they're a troubled person or not, they deserve respect.  You never know what circumstances led the person down that path...

“How shall we learn to know ourselves? By reflection? Never; but only through action. Strive to do thy duty; then you shall know what is in thee.”  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


  1. I'm mortified that people walked past her. I'm actually really sad too - and so thankful that you were there. Just another reason I think you're RAD!! (and still able to fit in leather pants, too! hahaha!)


  2. That makes me really mad.
    I would always help someone, no matter what they looked like.
    I once drove a couple who were soaking wet, in undies, to the hospital at 4AM.
    I didn't know them, but they were screaming outside my bedroom window. He had cut his foot so bad I could see bone and he kept passing out.
    Sure, they could have murdered me, but they didnt!

    Good on you!

  3. Ain't it just so sad how so many people have become indifferent to the struggles of their fellow human beings?

    It was only last year that a man died in the middle of the day on the pavement on one of Oslo's busiest streets. Security cameras from a nearby hotel had filmed how dozens of people just walked straight by him, not a single one of them offering help. They probably thought he was a druggie, but still - even a druggie is a human being. It turned out he was a normal family man, having a heart attack. If someone had attended to him, he might have survived. How can all these egotistical people live with themselves? I don't know.

    It warms my heart to read this post of yours, knowing there are someone who cares. If your life goal is still to become a CEO of a charitable organization, I'd say you possess one of the most important qualifications for that job!

    And also, thanks for the lovely comment you wrote me.

    Hugs :)

  4. I agree, it's amazing and saddening that such an act can have an affect like this. Very worrying times we live in
    xx. Peaches ♥

  5. I am very glad to hear that you reached out to help her.


  6. I wonder why people don't help and reach out to each other? Kindness is everything. You are a dear girl and always remember - what goes around comes around. x

  7. I didn't mean for the post to sound like I had done some amazing deed. Holding out my hand was hardly a mean feat. It's just sad that some people aren't even willing to do that :(

  8. People pass the responsibility to the others, wait for the other's acts - most of us just stay, look and do not act in such situation. There are only few people who grab the possibility to direct, handle and control the occurances.
    If you are interested deeplier in this theme read Stanley Milgram's psychosocial experiments on wikipedia. The results are shocking!!!

    I love your silver balerina!


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