Monday, June 9, 2008

Am I a Useless Bystander...or not?

In this article Bystanders, drivers ignore a 78 year old hit and run victim

“A 78-year-old man is tossed like a rag doll by a hit-and-run driver and lies motionless on a busy city street as car after car goes by. Pedestrians gawk but do nothing. One driver stops briefly but then pulls back into traffic. A man on a scooter slowly circles the victim before zipping away.”

I am just horrified as I read this article especially after my previous post of Just Doing What Is Right. I am having trouble comprehending how anyone could do this to anyone else. Reading this article has made me full of questions that I can’t seem to stop running through my head like a runaway train.

What if it was my family member? What if it was me? How have we become so disconnected from each other that we don’t even notice that others are alive, or in this case hurt or even dead?

This had me thinking about schools, classrooms, and students. Have there been “hit and runs” at my school that I’ve missed? Have students been “tossed like a rag doll” and I’ve just walked on by? As a teacher, I have tried to be sensitive and aware of what is going around me but have I been aware enough? I hear of teenage depression and even suicide and then I wonder if this is how they felt like, abandoned and left to die on the highway of learning.

Have there been other teachers who have needed my support but I’ve been too busy to stop and help them? Have they needed my help or just needed to talk but I always had something to do? Was whatever I had to do more important than stopping to help someone in need? Wasn’t I just like a bystander who watched but did nothing?

How can I teach my students to care and show compassion? How can I teach myself to make sure that I haven’t become a robot of noncaring? How do I make sure that I don’t miss anyone who may be a “hit and run” victim because I’m too busy with my life and things that I have to do?

I’m not sure I have any answers but I feel this article was a wake up call to me. I plan to do a better job of being there for others. I will do the best I can and not stop trying because one day, that could be me on the side of the road.

Photo credit: my shame by bruckerrib


j m holland said...

one thing is for sure...
No one who saw that man was a teacher. That is why we are in this, we can't sit by and watch the train wreck that is America's educational system happen, we feel compelled to help, even if it is to nurse the wounded.

loonyhiker said...

j m: you are so right. I find myself in situations where I feel that I have just got to go help if help is needed. I don't think I could live with myself if I didn't. I can't tell you how many times I have returned a lost child to a parent at stores or helped the elderly when I see them struggling. I guess it is in our blood. :)