Are “Random Acts of Kindness” a thing of the past?

Random Acts of Kindness. Remember those? One of my co-workers and I each had an experience today that left us asking that question.

Here’s what happened.  This past week has been a shining example of winter in our area – heavy snow accumulations, high winds and frigid temperatures.  This kind of weather brings with it a pretty obvious set of challenges including icy and snow covered roads, shoveling out from mounds of snow, malfunctioning autos; well you get the drift.

After surveying my driveway this morning, I determined that the snow accumulation wasn’t too bad. So rather than shovel, I would give it the old “gun it and run it”. Bad decision.  Really bad decision. Got stuck and had to shovel out anyway.  As I am working my way down the driveway, I notice my neighbor struggling to get her vehicle “unstuck” from the perilous spot it is lodged in – at the end of the driveway with the back end sticking out into the street.  Between the two of us, we couldn’t get that car to budge. Not an unusual scene under the circumstances. What really bothered me though was that there were no less than six cars that went past, watching us struggle; two of them in fact were young gentlemen in trucks. Looked at us and drove on by.

My co-worker was on her way back from lunch when she spotted an elderly lady fall to the ground, on all fours trying to get up. Same scenario; people passing by, staring and not one offering to help.  Thank goodness my co-worker sprang to action, turned her car around, stopped and assisted the woman back to her feet and made sure she was okay before leaving.

So here’s my question. What causes people to NOT help others who are clearly in need of assistance?  Is it fear, apathy, not wanting to get involved? Are we too busy, too tired or have we forgotten all the times that others helped us? Have we thought about where we might be if others hadn’t stopped to help us when we clearly needed it? Just throwing it out there for something to think about.

From my perspective, I think this quote I found pretty much sums it up.

 “I don’t want to live in the kind of world where we don’t look out for each other. Not just the people that are close to us, but anybody who needs a helping hand. I can’t change the way anybody else thinks, or what they choose to do, but I can do my bit.” ― Charles de Lint

How about you?

Posted by MJ Thomas

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