What makes someone stop and help a total stranger?
Walking to work this morning I saw a dead man sitting at a bus stop.
Well he wasn’t actually sitting, he was completely bent over from the waist and his hands dragged onto the concrete in front of him.
He was also surrounded by overfilled shopping bags and dressed in marked jeans and a grubby sweat shirt so at first glance I assumed he was homeless.
Even though I was in a bustling crowd of people walking by him I don’t remember anyone turning to look. What’s more I got almost a block away until I actually had to stop myself and thought hang on a second, what if he is actually dead and just dangling there?
By the time I walked back outside someone else had called the police and as I started walking back I honestly felt relieved.
Thank god someone else decided to help, I said to myself.
It wasn’t until I got back to my desk about 30 minutes later that I started to think. Firstly, what kind of person am I that at first glance of that poor man, I didn’t go straight up to him myself. And secondly who are the people that always do?
Because the thing is, this isn’t the first time I’ve witnessed something like this and done exactly the same thing. That’s right, nothing.
The first time was outside a previous workplace and a young, blonde woman was sprawled across the grass where people usually mill around and drink their coffee.
By the time I got close enough people who had been watching from a distance had walked closer until one woman got down next to the girl to check if she was breathing. Seconds later, someone pulled their mobile out and the police were on their way.
I remember being so blown away by the care and courage of the woman who walked up to that girl, knelt down and spoke.
There’s no doubt she would have felt uncomfortable, even a little bit scared and maybe hugely miffed that no-one else had bothered to do it – you know all the things that stop the rest of us.
Even so, she still did it.
So I just want to say thank you to the person that rang the police today and the woman who cared enough to take that extra step towards the young woman lying dead in a Surry Hills park.
Thanks for finding the time and the humanity to do what’s right.
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