Thursday, November 15, 2007

too busy to help others

when did we (as a society) simply become too busy to stop and help out others? people get in car accidents... and no one stops. people are broken down on the side of the road... and no one stops. remember when people used to stop? remember when it mattered more to help someone, than to get to work on time?

i wonder if it's because we assume that everyone these days has a cell phone, so they can call for help on their own? or i wonder if it's because we don't think it's safe to stop and help strangers anymore? we're so untrusting of people that if we did stop and help and something bad happened, it would just be further proof of how you can't trust anyone anymore. and how the person who stopped to help was an idiot, because look what happened to them.

i have been that car on the side of the road that people kept driving past. they would look, but they would keep on driving. not one single person stopped to help me. not one. i didn't have a cell phone. i was young. i was alone. and i had no clue what the hell to do.

i will admit that i have definitely been the car who didn't stop for someone on the side of the road before. but i have also been the one who has. i remember one time when i was driving to my moms for the holidays. there was an older couple broken down on the side of the freeway in their rv. the hood was popped and the man was looking in. no one was stopping to help. but i did. and when i pulled over, he was SO thankful. he said they had been there for at least 30 minutes and not one single person had stopped. i had a cell phone and he didn't and they were simply too old to walk along the freeway to get to an offramp. he made a call from my phone, thanked me profusely and i drove off- thinking about them the rest of my drive.

it felt good to help them. what are your thoughts on this?

11 comments:

norcalgirl28 said...

Not with Drew in the car, and probably not alone either. ...and yes, it is incredibly sad, but I am not going to put my son's life in danger for anything or anyone. As I typed that it sounded selfish to the people broken down on the side of the road, but this is my son, my life and I will protect him with my life. If it was an older couple, maybe. But an RV???? I'm sorry, but I am just cynical enough to wonder if it is a set up and wonder who is in the RV waiting to jump out. Sorry Jenn, I know this sounds terrible, but I'm not too busy to help others, I just don't know what is behind/in the car I am going to stop to help.

Karen said...

That really makes me think. I assume everyone has a cell phone and wouldn't need my help. I am going to try to be more helpful with strangers - if it is safe. Norcal makes a really good point too.

Phoenix said...

My dad stops and helps anyone. I guess with me it depends on the person who is stopped. A woman or someone with kids, I've stopped. But I can't do anything besides let them use my cell phone. But honestly, I've never stopped for a guy. I guess it's just a protection thing, cause I have to watch out for myself. Now an accident, I'll stop, no matter what. And if I can't get over for some reason, I'll call it in, so at least I know someone is coming to help them.

Jill said...

Living in a rural area most of the time I will stop but if I can't get to them or whatever I will call the sheriff on my cell and let them know where they are.

I used to not have a cell because we can't get good service here and it is considered roaming at 60 cents a minute. So husband and I don't use them much out here but we do if we are both in town and doing seperate things.

I think we have gotten more careful as a society because of things happening to others but it is sad. I guess I would always stop if it was an older couple but single guys or even a younger couple I might just call it in. Now that I see myself write that, its pretty judgemental huh?

Badness Jones said...

When Hubs and I were dating, he let me borrow his favourite toy - his '79 Corvette t-top - to drive to visit my parents 2 hours away. Well, it broke down on the way home and I was stranded on the highway. A wonderful couple stopped and gave me a lift to the mall so I could phone Hubs, and I was so worried that he would be angry about the car that they stayed with me to make sure he didn't yell. I am still thankful for them.....oh and Hubs? Hugged me and told me not to cry. Said "it's just a stupid car, it only matters that you're alright." and he's never said a thing about my trip home costing him over a grand to rebuild the engine because I didn't know enough to pull over as soon as the water hose blew. He's good people, Hubs.

Becky said...

it totally depends on if i have hannah with me and if it was a female or not. i think i would stop and help a girl who LOOKED ok and if hannah wasn't with me. otherwise i'm way too nervous to stop. i can't trust people these days. its sad but true.

Alison said...

I don't stop to help anyone on the side of the road because all I can think about is that scene from "The Silence of the Lambs" when Catherine helps psycho get the couch into the back of his van. I'm paranoid like that, but it sounds like everyone else is too. However, this doesn't mean I'm not helpful...I will help the little old lady/little old man/vertically-challenged person reach something high on the grocery store shelf. :) And I donate to several charities. And that's helping others in a safe way.

Meg said...

I posted about this kind of thing not too long ago when a lady and her kids came and helped me clean up some trash that the dogs had spilled. But I'll admit, I'm scared to stop and help people. Maybe I read too much or watch too much tv, but I'm scared that it's all a ploy. And I guess it would depend on who was stranded: a lady with small children or an older couple and I would probably be more than willing to stop, but a man alone? I would be terrified! I'm thinking it's not an issue of being lazy, it's just an issue of not wanting to be heard about on the evening news!

Angelika said...

I've thought about this because I live in such a small town.

I've been broken down on the side of the road and people have stopped to help me. I wondered if they would stop if we lived in Knoxville?

I'll pull over if it's a woman and it's daytime, LOL. But not one of those scruffy beard dudes.

Staci Schoff said...

I admit that I don't help because I'm afraid. Afraid that they're just pretending to be in trouble so they can shove me in the trunk and...

Scary stories and images don't seem to leave my head like they do other people's.

Once my husband and I were in a snowbank on the side of the road. And an older man with his daughter stopped to help us. It was late at night and freezing with few cars in the middle of nowhere.

I'm very grateful that there are good people in the world. If we didn't have evening news and internet access, we'd probably like strangers a whole lot more.

Vicky said...

I once broke down at midnight (before we all had cell phones) and I was in a bad part of DC. I was also in my early 20s. A bus driver stopped immediately and let me use his bus phone to call a friend. It was such a relief because being a young girl late at night I had a lot of older men stop to help and it was incredibly creepy. My friend, my roommates boyfriend, came just as three men stopped to help. They could have been nice but who knows. I am so grateful to that bus driver for stopping.

I would help an older couple and I have and I would help a family or Mom with kids or young teenage girl.