Samaritan

I had to make this post as soon as possible, even if only to get down my thoughts before they start to dissipate. At 1:25 AM after just coming back home to Dallas from the airport, I would not start writing a blog entry in such a state unless something is significantly bothering me.

Around 11:30 PM, I was driving back home to my apartment from the airport’s extended-stay parking lot. I was tired after the late night flight and was looking forward to sleeping in my own bed. To unwind a little bit, I turned on my Mp3 player and listened to some of the more bouncy tunes saved on it. I had gone down this route on U.S. Route 75 numerous times so the drive was rather relaxing for me. My reverie was briefly interrupted as a motorcyclist whizzed by a couple lanes over at an insanely high speed (I was already traveling at 65 mph) which amused me because he reminded me of Sonic the Hedgehog.

Approximately 2 minutes later, time began to slow down.

Suddenly the car in front slowed down, as did the car on the lane to my left. As the tail-lights lit up, their light was scattered in all direction by a sort of fog-like smoke suddenly made prominently visible. In my lane, I straddled debris and a shattered helmet.

Time froze completely.

For my friends who know me well, they know that my mind works well in crisis situations. I tend to be good at quickly thinking in different directions, analyzing the situation, and taking a course of action without much difficulty. I saw people stopping and getting out of their cars to help. Perhaps it was because I had just come home from a medical school interview, but I wanted to stop and help too. At that moment, I made my decision and acted on it: I quickly darted between the cars slowing down around me and darted off, getting a glimpse of the motorcyclist who had slammed into the highway barrier on the right.

Of course as I describe my thought process, one has to keep in mind that all of this happened instantaneously in my head. As I sped off, I swore pretty loudly in the car (which is notable because I simply do not ever swear) for reasons I am still unsure about. With my Mp3 player turned off, I replayed the scenario a few times in my head to figure out how my brain had prioritized my considerations to make my decision. What made me uncomfortable was the fact that I really did want to help him and make sure he was okay, but I did not. What continues to bother me is my reasoning: Yes, there were plenty of others to help him, but this consideration probably was at the bottom of my list of priorities. The first and foremost priority on my mind was for me to go home safely so that I could text my parents that I had arrived safely in Dallas. The second priority was that it was late at night and I had school tomorrow.

I forwent helping someone because in essence I was “too busy” and this bothered me. This was not a decision made in panic, this was a calm, collected decision. Has anyone told you “not to be a hero” because they do not consider the trouble “worth it?” I have never agreed with this sentiment and always thought that I would do the right thing given the chance to analyze the situation, but for whatever reason, I did not. Yes, a lot of people say that they will do the “right thing,” but honestly I am not an idealist who would do something insane for the greater good. All I wanted to do was to do my job, or rather my future job as a healer.

…But I obviously did not want this as much as I wanted to carry out my other “priorities.” As I left feeling like a criminal fleeing a crime scene, I thought I saw an ambulance going in the opposite direction, but was thoroughly distracted at this point. I suppose I consider myself a “busy” person quite often but this event disturbed me what I was willing to pass up because I thought myself too “busy.” With the mood in the car completely ruined, I turned my MP3 player back on, which tauntingly played the theme of Detective Conan after shuffling. Though a little annoyed, I listened to the song which was eerily followed by Brave Song from Angel Beats.

 

2 Comments

  1. balance
    balance
    Rooftop Dreamer
    Class 1-B
    Seat no. 6

    You know, while it wasn’t a human being, I had a similar experience. On my way back home from work, I was driving and hit something. I’m sure it was a dog that I had hit. Like you, I REALLY wanted to get out of the car and help the dog. While I’m sure I can think smoothly and calmly under a situation such as the one I went through, I never really had it happen until then.

    To be fair, I really did think about it. My thought process went to going out and helping the dog. Then I thought about everything that I had to do at home, homework, sleep, getting home and getting food… I ended up just going home. To be honest, I ended up doing the same exact thing that you did. I still regret it and I feel terrible. It’s quite disturbing to think that I thought that I didn’t go out because I didn’t want to cause an inconvenience to those who would be behind me.

    In the end, I can’t really say much except the fact that I know how you feel only to the extent of saving an animal. It’s obviously different from what you and I experienced, but I think I can honestly say that we’re both feeling the same way. The only thing I can offer is a hand that has suffered through a similar experience.

    Reply

    • Student Council
      会長 | Class 4-B
      Seat no. 1

      Just to clarify, I was not the one who hit the guy (if he got hit at all.) Either the car in front of me hit him or he himself slammed into the highway barrier, but the point was that a human was down and there was ample chance to get out and help.

      But yes, it does sound like you faced the same sort of inner jumble of emotions/thoughts when that happened. It sounds almost exactly like what went through my mind in fact: wanting to help, ultimately leaving because I did not want to inconvenience others/myself, and then being bothered because of it. You saw me a little bit that night how I was shaken.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts– I really appreciate it. It is a bit comforting to know someone who can understand what that happened at that moment.

      Reply

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