Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Thanks for NOT Helping!

Today for lunch, my family and I went to the Subway sandwich shop about a mile from our house. When we exited our car to walk across the parking lot toward the restaurant, I noticed a woman sitting in a red Jeep in the aisle next to us. The hood of her car was raised and jumper cables were draped over the front bumper. I asked my husband if we should inquire as to any need for assistance. He answered, “Sure.”

While I walked to the Jeep, I became aware that at least four strong, able-bodied men (all younger than my husband) had walked directly past the disabled automobile and into Subway to order their lunch, without so much as a glance toward this needy woman. When I spoke to her, she informed me that she had been waiting for assistance long enough that she finally phoned her husband to ask him for help, even though it meant he would need to leave work. Apparently, she lacked AAA road service. My husband came to the rescue and, using her jumper cables, started the car.

After the Jeep owner was on her way, I commented to my daughter about the assistance that was not offered by all those men who walked past that disabled car. Katherine the Great answered along these lines, “Maybe they were in a hurry on their lunch hour.” To which I responded, “Your dad was on his lunch hour and he found time to help, and it took all of about five minutes.” Call me old-fashioned, but I find it inexcusable and rude that so many people (especially men) ignored that woman. It is certainly indicative of the abject narcissism that seems to have invaded almost every corner of American culture. And if it isn’t narcissism, then I can only conclude it is the offerings we all make at the altar of busyness. Maybe those other people were pressed for time, but does that release them from the obligation of assisting their fellowman (or woman)? Even more disturbing: some of the automobiles near that Jeep had “Christian fish” on their chassis.

Recommendation: next time you see someone in need, sacrifice five minutes of your day and lend a helping hand.

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