On Monday, as I was riding the bus home from work, on my way to pack the rest of my belongings to put into storage, the bus I was in was in the middle of a large accident. We were sitting at the bus stop at a typical busy Los Angeles intersection, and all of a sudden, the bus shook. When I looked over my shoulder, I saw that a truck had flipped and slammed up against the bus. In the truck was an older gentlemen, trapped because the passenger side of his truck had been crushed and his side was tight, up against our bus.
I got up immediately grabbed my phone and dialed 911. While I was on hold, I watched as a handful of people acted to see if there was a way to get this man out of the truck and administer first aid. An operator came on the line, I explained what had happened, and she replied with a genuine thank you and informed me that someone had already called.
I hung up the phone and walked off of the bus to see the entire picture. In addition to this man’s truck and the bus, there were an additional four vehicles involved with the accident. This was unfortunate but the activity of witness’ assisting was incredible. When faced with tragedy, humankind will step up. This I am confident.
Unfortunately, this also brings the worst out in people because once I was on a new bus, on my way to my soon to be empty apartment, traffic was bad. When traffic is bad, tempers escalate and people become ugly. I wish this part could be ignored, but it can’t. We are creatures of habit. That means that when we are affected, and our routine or plan gets changed for an unknown reason, we react. It goes back to the basic idea of you don’t know what you don’t know because you don’t know it. We hardly ever know the whole picture, and because of that, we need to take pause.
Fortunately though, the people directly affected by the accident were either taken care of immediately or giving care in some sort of way. I encourage people to take notice when in these situations. Not only to the main action happening “on stage” but to what is going on around the action. We all want to help, that is the truth. We do sadly hesitate though and if we see others assisting, then we are more encouraged to throw in a hand.