WE all have things to do, people to see, meals to make, emails to answer.
I get that. Everyone is busy.
But I’d love to know when gestures of common courtesy became an optional extra, instead of being the default operational position of being a decent human being?
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Case in point: my mother was involved in a car accident this week. She had a really decent prang on a roundabout that ended up with her T-boned car smashing into a pole.
Firies, ambos and police all attended, and hazmat sand was poured on the road to neutralise the chemicals leaking from her car. It was something of a Big Deal.
But before any of the official keepers of the peace arrived, my mum sat trapped in her badly damaged Mazda, shaken, teary, and more than a little frightened that her car was moments from exploding in flames.
She was literally trapped, as her door had been compressed inwards towards her.
So she sat for a minute, in a state of shock, trying to work out how to exit her car. She said she waved her arms about in vain for a few moments, imploring other motorists to stop and help.
And it’s not like they were in short supply: it was 4.45pm on a busy thoroughfare in Robina, so the streets were packed with commuters.
So do you want to know how many people stopped to help? How many people pulled over to see if the driver was alright?
One. One lovely woman stopped to help.
My poor old mum eventually crawled across the passenger’s seat to climb out of the car, by which time this lovely Samaritan had stopped and approached to see if my mum was okay. She then stayed with her for around 10 minutes, until the police showed up.
By the time I arrived a few minutes after that, a decent “accident” scene had been established, with traffic re-routed and orange cones aplenty.
And do you know what I got to witness?
Much hand wringing, head-shaking, angry fist pumping and even a few unhappy words hurled across the street in our direction, as unhappy commuters freaked out over the fact that their journey had been delayed by a few minutes. What a miserable bunch of sods.
It doesn’t hurt to remember that when you come across an accident like this, the situation is usually much more stressful for the people who are actually involved than it is for you – unless you’re have a woman in labour next to you. If you’re dealing with an emergency like that, then you’re welcome to whinge.
But to everyone else- it doesn’t hurt to remember that a little compassion and tolerance can go a long way.
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