I want to know what is wrong with people.
Are we so connected online that we’ve stopped connecting in person?
Is our “Me” culture so pervasive that we simply don’t care about each other anymore?
Today, my son learned to crawl. And along with the crawling, he began to get into things. I followed him around, working to finalize the baby-proofing that I’d already begun. Going after the cat? Baby redirected. Air freshener? Removed from the wall.
But this evening, as I was preparing his dinner, Menininho apparently got into something I hadn’t anticipated. I set him down to eat and he began to scream. Checking his mouth, I saw a rounded white object in his throat (the doorstop cover?) and tried my best to sweep it out, but it disappeared. Next, I flipped him over and hit his back, but nothing came out. He kept screaming and I was frantic. I ran out my door and screamed to the neighbors for help. I pounded on my neighbor’s door so hard my knuckle bled.
My neighbors were home, but no one would answer. One neighbor stuck his head out the door, then closed it. They ignored my hysterical baby and me, even though we were begging for help.
Luckily, I snapped back and realized that as long as Menininho was screaming, his airway wasn’t obstructed (duh), and called the pediatrician. When she called back, she decided that based on my description of the object (ended up not being the doorstop cover and I have no idea what it could have been) that it wasn’t something that would show up on an x-ray and should pass easily on its own. Whew.
But I want to know: How can you ignore your own neighbor’s plea for help?
Last night, my husband was on his way to Target with Menininho when he witnessed an accident farther up the highway. The offending driver took off, and no one stopped to help the man who was hit, even though his trunk was now his backseat. Mark pulled over, checked on him, called the police, and didn’t leave until he was sure the man was alright.
And who hasn’t heard about the attack that took place here in California last week, where 20 teenagers watched one of their own classmates be brutally assaulted? No one called 911 for over 2 hours.
Now, I’m certainly not trying to paint a bleak picture of the world. There is still a lot of goodness all around. But when things like this happen, as little (tonight) or as large (the terrible assault) as they may be, we need to take a moment to reflect.
Are we aware of those around us?
Are we willing to help our neighbors, to aid strangers in distress?
Are we teaching our children to be active and responsible citizens?
If not, we need to be.