Samaritans: An Endangered Species

Why don’t more people offer help to others?

Not very long ago I had a bad case of food poisoning.  Maybe at one time or another you’ve been in the same unfortunate position, dealing with diarrhea and nausea simultaneously.  If I wasn’t sitting on the toilet, I was vomiting into it (I apologize for the graphic details).  My activities left me weak and dripping with a cold sweat.  I had ringing in my ears and my head was spinning.  To top it all, I was in a hotel’s public restroom.  Anyone who knows me realizes what a big germophobe I am, so it should speak volumes when I say that I felt so sick I actually needed to lie on the floor of the restroom stall until my episode passed.

Women entered and exited the restroom as usual while I was feeling somewhat awkward and helpless in my compromised state.  I wasn’t expecting assistance or seeking it; I was relying on yours truly to take care of me along with the short passage of time.  At one point during my stay on the restroom floor, a woman, whose face I couldn’t see, asked me if I was okay and if I needed help.  I told her that I would be fine in a while, but it warmed me to see that there are still some people around who are willing to help a person in need.

It’s sad, when you think about it, that fewer people nowadays will help someone who’s in trouble, whether directly with a hands-on approach or indirectly by calling 911 and summoning others to help.  Apparently, a number of people are becoming more apathetic from the violence shown on the news and TV shows, or they believe someone else has already called for help.  It’s also possible that they’re simply afraid of getting involved and hurting themselves.

In my opinion, the worst thing people can do is nothing when someone needs help.  I realize we live in a dangerous world, one in which we’re scared to pull over our car to help someone with a flat tire because we’re afraid the person we’re trying to help will turn on us.  I can understand being frightened and confess that I’m frightened myself many times, but what is so scary about picking up the phone and calling professionals for help at the very least?  Police and firefighters are trained to aid people in different situations.  Call them.  Use them.  Why can’t we just put our fears aside and bring our humanity forward?

Why, indeed.

And in case you were wondering, I made a full recovery from the food poisoning.


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