Sunday, June 22, 2014

The math that doesn't add up

Confessions of a helping hand

  • You threaten me with sexual harassment accusation because I got out of my car on an empty road to help you? I stopped despite knowing it is not safe to do so. I stopped because you stood there, next to a supposedly injured friend, pleading passers by to help you. I stopped when no one else would. Here, take my car keys but please kill me too because if I go back alive I am going to tell people not to help strangers, no matter what the situation. 

  • We were on our way to a function. We saw you waving frantically for help by the roadside. We stopped. So did another vehicle, which magically appeared from nowhere seconds after we slowed down. Now you and yoaur gang threaten us with knives. Here take all our belongings and please kill us too because if we go back alive we are going to tell people not to help strangers, no matter what the situation. 

  • I am a mother of two. There was no way I was not going to stop when a little child stood in the middle of the road bawling. I park my scooter by the roadside to ask what happened. The little child miraculously stops crying and a van drives up. Now I am in the van, my hands are tied and clothes are torn. I pray you kill me too because if I go back alive I am going to tell people not to help strangers, no matter what the situation. 

  • We had a wonderful vacation. We were on our way back. We always make it a point never to drive after sunset on the Highway. At 3:00pm we see a happy group of youngsters wave and go past us. They are probably returning from a good trip as well. We don’t know how but we get a flat tyre. We see the boys reversing their car. We thank God for their presence. Little do we know that it was a pre-planned daylight Highway robbery. Little nails don’t lay strewn on the road just like that. Here, take everything we have but please do not kill us. You can see we have small children. 

  • We are on our way back from the theatre. You were blood soaked. We stopped immediately and rolled down our windows. We wanted to help you but remembered all the stories we had heard and wondered if we were going to be the next victims. Without waiting to roll up our windows, we sped past you. We read the newspaper this morning and are left wondering if it was you they mention in the tiny column ‘man dies in a roadside accident’. We will never be able to come to terms with the fact that we could have helped you but we didn’t.a

  • I was on my way to office. Saw a teenager asking for help. I was in the middle lane of peak hour traffic. I knew it was impossible to come to a halt. I went ahead. It tugged at my heart and I felt guilty. I took a U-turn and came back to help him. It turned out that there was a college project they were experimenting about 'how many people stop by to help a stranger'. Damn, now I am late for work and will get a late mark on the muster.

We are trained not to halt at unknown places. We are trained not to trust people especially a child, a woman or old frail septagenarians who are used decoys. Someday I might be that genuine bleeder on the road and it could be my wife hysterically trying to stop passing vehicles. We know no one will stop. Their hearts will skip a beat. They might even miss a meal or two with a heavy heart. They are all good people but they will not stop. For every me, they have heard of at least ten of the above. The math simply doesn’t add up.

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