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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

We Love, We Love Us Not: Would YOU Stop and Help?

There are two stories that you are about to hear that are not new. One is old, tired, and maddening and the other is a jolt of sunshine. The first tale I would love to see go away in its entirety. Forever. The second story, I'd read that everyday, even though the tale is the same.

Here we go.

A friend of mine posted on her Facebook page about an accident she had recently. She was walking her puppy in downtown Tacoma on the sidewalk down a major arterial street during a busy time of day for the downtown area. She tripped and fell, releasing the puppy's leash upon impact with the concrete. She hit her head, banged up knees, hands, and arms. As she lay there in pain, terrified her young pup would run off into the street and get hit by the speeding cars, NO ONE stopped to help and see if she was okay. Not ONE person pulled over their car, stopped in their tracks, came out of their businesses, or stopped what they were doing to help. NOT ONE.

Fortunately, the puppy came right back to her owner and laid next to her until she was able to regain herself. Although my friend was injured and incredibly sore, she is going to be just fine. And obviously the dog is safe too. Thank goodness for both.

Yet, the outcome may have been far more grave though. What if it was? Shame, shame, shame for no one stopping! C'mon, South Sounders, let's do a heckuva lot more than that! Outrageous.

But then....

Yesterday, my 10 month old puppy somehow managed to get out of our backyard through an errant board in our fence and ended up in the yard behind us. My heart skipped a beat because I knew that those neighbors didn't have a fully fenced yard and that meant one thing: access for a scared young dog to get hit by a car in the busy street right by my home.

I was unable to hoist myself over the fence (too tall). So, I raced out the front door (in slippers no less) and tore down the street as fast as I could run. I found my dog shaking in fear sitting in a neighbor's driveway a couple of blocks away. I scooped her up in my arms and carried her home. It had started to rain really hard and I was huffing and puffing from the fastest sprint I had done since my track days in school.

As I was chugging along carrying my 45 pound dog, a car pulls over with two young men who had concerned looks on their faces. They couldn't have been more than 18 years old.

"Hey, is your dog okay? Are you okay? Is there anything we can do to help you?" The words spilled out with sincerity and a sense of urgency. I explained what happened and by that time was about a half a block away from my home. They said they were glad everyone was okay and again offered to assist me and my wet and muddy dog. I thanked them profusely and told them how grateful I was that they stopped and offered assistance. They looked at me funny, as if their faces read, "Well, why wouldn't we stop?"



Anonymous said...

Those two young men who did stop to help you are few and far between. My hat goes off to them. I think it matters not these days where you live, I recently moved back to the East coast from Spanaway, people are too hurried and indifferent to the plight of their fellow human beings.

Kim Thompson said...

Anonymous, I agree. The young men were exceptional. I don't have a lot of experience with the East Coast (just Boston, Virginia, and Maryland). However, when I was there (especially Boston) the pace was very different. And I witnessed (in Maryland) a lot of behavior that would not have been tolerated here (blatant racism). I was shocked!

Thanks for sounding off!

Lorraine Hart said...

So glad Kona and you are both okay Kim!

We must teach our children by our example...don't you wish you could report to those kids' parents what a wonderful deed was done? Obviously, they did their job as parents well. Big kudos to those young people who stopped.

We're in this together...and we need to act like it.

Kim Thompson said...

Well said Lorraine!

I hope maybe, just maybe, those parents may read this post. I wish I could in person.

I think your last line sums it up best.

Stephanie Frieze said...

Ana was going to the GH PO and as she drove into the parking lot she wittnessed an older lady fall and NO ONE coming in or out stopped to help her. Ana parked the car as quickly as possible and helped the woman up. She made sure she was okay and fit to walk and watched her until she was on her way. Ana was shocked that so many people just ignored this poor woman.

Kim Thompson said...

Good for Ana for stopping to help someone in need. Good for her for setting an example of what to do. Let's hope those who stood by took note and will change their ways for the better!

At least Gabriel will have great examples for parents who teach their kids to care.

Get Some Hairapy! said...

What disturbed me the most was that it was mothers with children who passed me by without a word. They missed an opportunity to teach their children how to be decent members of society.

If we can't be bothered to even utter the words "Are you OK?" to a fallen stranger, we have truly lost the glue that holds a community together.

The personal backlash of this has been nice, though. I was glad to see an outpouring of support and astonishment from my friends on Facebook and in person. I will try to keep cynicism at bay by holding onto the thought that my tribe is still raising children who have compassion and a sense of duty.

Kim Thompson said...

Thanks for your comment, friend. I agree wholeheartedly. The tribe has spoken!