I was on my way to work last night and saw this elderly gentleman lying in the road in the dark, not moving. There were trucks and other vehicles swerving around him but no one even slowed down to check on him let alone to help him. I had to stop to see if i could assist him, that’s just who I am. I pulled over and rolled my window down and yelled out to him and asked him if he was ok. He did not respond. I yelled out again and again but he did not respond. Just by chance a Police Officer pulled up to the stop sign on the other side of the road and sat there watching. I got out of my vehicle and ran across the four lanes of highway towards the man, dodging traffic as i went. I tapped the gentleman on the shoulder and asked him if he was ok. He looked at me but did not speak. I said “you are in the road, you are going to get hit by a car, come on, stand up and lets get you off the road.” He said “I take seizures”. I got closer to him to continue to talk and question him and try to get him off the road and then the Police Officer got out of his vehicle and came over to help me. It was then that i smelt alcohol on the elderly mans breath. He was a Native Gentleman. He reached in the left side of his jacket and much to my surprise, pulled out a large bottle of mouthwash, three quarters full, and he chucked it on the grass near the sidewalk and said “here, take this away from me.” The Police Officer finally assisted me to help this poor gentleman up on his feet and we managed to get him off the highway and on the grass where he collapsed and just could not walk. He said again “I take seizures”. I felt better now that he was off the road and safe. This entire time, traffic continued to whiz by us without even one offer from anyone to assist us. The Police Officer said he would call EMS and take care of him and that i could go now. I ran back to my vehicle and proceeded to work and made it to work with three minutes to spare. The Police Officer did not introduce himself to me, he did not ask me my name and he did not say thank you for helping this gentleman.
I find it disheartening to witness the total lack of compassion and empathy of society in general. This gentleman was/is someones little boy, someones father, someones brother, uncle, cousin, nephew, friend, husband, etc. Have we become a society of self indulging, uncaring, prejudiced, judgemental people that we can’t stop for a brief moment to lend a hand to another human being in need? Have we become so desensitized to human suffering by TV, Media, and video games and movies, that it has become no big deal to see a person lying on the highway – and just swerve around them and keep on going? Isn’t it ironic that those same people swerving around the elderly gentleman lying in the road are the first ones to demand to be looked after in a timely manner in the Hospital Emergency Departments, Doctors offices, Supermarkets, local Businesses, Restaurants, Garages, etc., and there is always someone there to help them.
What have we become and where are we going.?