“The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But… the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him.'” Martin Luther King, Jr.
While I’ve read the Bible Parable detailing the actions of a Samaritan to a stranger, and I’ve heard the MLK quote about the same good Samaritan , I’ve never really thought about what embodies a “good Samaritan.”
Now, don’t look at me like that! I try every day to do the right thing. A woman in the grocery store drops an item, I reach down to help her. See a family leave their baby’s zippy cup at Applebee’s, I’m running after them to give it back. Sitting the bus and see an older woman standing, offer her my seat. Walk out of a door first, hold it open for the people behind me. I simply never considered this being a good Samaritan, just behaving how my parents taught me. Being polite and doing the right thing. (side note – thanks mom and dad!)
This weekend gave me reason to think about what makes a good Samaritan, and how people will drop everything and put themselves in *slight* danger to help a stranger.
Let me set the scene: on Friday night, my boyfriend, one of my best friends and I were chatting at Mouton, one of my new favorite places in the Short North. Mouton faces High Street and was decently packed. We had just arrived and placing our order when this horrific sound from the street – and I whipped my head fast enough to see a woman fly through the air and smack down on the pavement. A bike, carrying two passengers, had crashed and both passengers were on the ground.
My friend and I didn’t even hesitate. I don’t even think we looked at each other. Before I could blink my phone was to my ear and I was looking around for cars as I dashed across High Street to the wreckage. The person driving the bike was on his feet and heading back to the woman, and I was yelling not to move her.
Now, I am certified as a lifeguard/first-aid/CPR – but I am out of my element when you pull me away from the pool. My friend is a med-student, but still years away from being a doctor. But we couldn’t just sit there and watch. There had been an accident – we had to help if possible. As I talked to the emergency personal on my cell phone, about 10 more people came to the scene. They helped keep the area safe as cars continued to pass, made sure the victim was covered with a light jacket, and a volunteer firefighter and a LPN worked together to put the woman into in-line stabilization while we waited for help.
To let everyone know – the woman, after a very scary few minutes, opened her eyes and was able to tell us her name. She said that she was in a lot of pain, but was able to move her feet.
Simple kindness made a difference. Those with the right training immediately appeared to lend their service. People cared, people stopped to help. Why? Well, why wouldn’t you help?
You hear so many negative stories these days – people not caring, world falling to pieces, crime and sadness growing.
Well, I don’t know about the world, but I can say that on a random Friday night in May, when a horrible situation occurred, good, average-joe people RAN to help. After the police/EMT arrived and everyone began to head back, I was so proud of everyone around me. Such a blessing to live in this town, city, state, country and world surrounded by good people, and those willing to help.