It isn’t often these days where you get to personally experience the kindness of strangers. Unfortunately for me, I have become very cynical towards people and have come to expect rude, inappropriate or indifferent behavior. I do not have much faith that people would act to help someone even if they were obviously in trouble. Now, before I go any further, I admit that I am far from perfect but I have made an honest attempt over the course of the last several years to treat people the way that I would want to be treated. Am I always successful in this endeavor? Not at all. But I like to believe that I am making a positive change in this area.
Today we were at the Danbury Mall where my daughter was getting a second hole pierced in each ear. Even after the piercing, she told us with a smile on her face that it hadn’t hurt and she was pretty surprised at that. However, as soon as she stood up, my wife saw that something wasn’t right. My daughter’s eyes had glazed over, she couldn’t speak, her knees began to buckle and she passed out. She and the woman working at the store gently lowered her to the ground and began asking if she was ok.
As this was happening, a couple of strangers came over to see if she was ok. They were kind, considerate and spoke to my daughter as if they had always known her.
After several minutes I asked Hope if she wanted to try and stand up. She said yes and I helped her get to her feet. We walked out of the store I looked to my right and knew immediately that having her get up so quickly had been a mistake. She had the glazed look again and was mumbling incoherently. At that point she passed out again. Not that I wasn’t worried before, but I was really concerned now thinking that something was really wrong.
Security arrived and I asked them to call paramedics so she could be checked out by medical professionals. Once again, several people stopped and asked if there was anything they could do. They spoke with my daughter and asked if my wife and I were ok. A gentleman soon saw what was happening and identified himself as an EMT.
I think that I can assume that he either worked for a living as an EMT or as a volunteer in a local fire department in the area, but the fact remains that he did not have to stop to see what was going on, but he did. Those 5-6 other people who stopped to see what they could do to help didn’t have to, but they did. The EMT spoke to my daughter and waited until the fire department arrived to take over. As he was walking away, he seemed genuinely surprised when I stopped him, shook his hand and thanked him for taking the time to make sure that Hope was ok. Soon after that, the EMT’s arrived, did what they had to do, and told us that Hope would be ok.
My whole point in relating this story to you is that I am thankful that we still have people who care enough when they see someone in distress to stop and see if they can help. Of course it could have been the fact that she was 14 years old, but once again, they chose to stop to see what they could do to help. The concern was genuine and I genuinely appreciated their assistance. After the professionals arrived and they began to drift away, I made it a point to thank each of these strangers for doing what has unfortunately become behavior that can not be expected. That in itself is truly saddening. My sadness lies in the fact that it seems that people are so fearful these days (of so many things), that although they may want to help when it is needed, their fear does not let them.
I know that it may seem trivial, but it was heartening to have these total strangers approach us to ask if they could help. My faith in humanity has been restored, if only for a day.