A man on the side of the road.

Yesterday I was driving home, up Great Eastern Highway when something on the path caught my eye. I panicked slightly, worried that it was someone who had been hurt. I often think about the girl whose cries for help were ignored. How did the people who walked past not help her?

I looked over at the person again and came to the conclusion that it was just someone laying down waiting for the bus. This person looked male, late twenties, and like he was sleep on his bag.

Apparently I was able to come to this conclusion by looking at him across three lanes of traffic while driving at 80kms per hour.

As I continued to drive up the hill, the fact that I hadn’t stopped to see if this person was OK started to trouble me more and more. What kind of person who drives past someone lying on the ground, next to a busy highway, doesn’t stop?

Reading the before mentioned article, I was horrified. How could people be so cruel and insensitive? How did no one stop to check if she was OK? But isn’t what I did was the same thing? In an futile attempt to make myself feel better I’ve started to justify to myself why I didn’t stop.

Firstly, he was probably just taking a nap while waiting for the bus. He could’ve had a really hard day.

Secondly, if he was asleep and I’d woken him, who knows that could have happened? Yes, he could have been grateful but he could have been really unhappy with being disturbed.

No matter how much I think about these two points, I’m not feeling any better. When did society become so obsessed and concerned with making sure that itself was protected over anything else? When did I become like that?

This morning I have looked over Perth news sites to see if I can find anything about a man who was injured last night and it seems that my original assumption was correct; he was just taking a nap. But if I found out that something had happened, what would I have done? I would have been overwhelmed with guilt. I have always thought of myself as a humanitarian, but if I am not willing to help one person, how can this be? am hoping that this experience changes me slightly and reinstates the part of me that would stop to help, because if I won’t stop to help, how can I expect anyone else to?

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