Friday, July 02, 2010

I apparently am not a very good samaritan.

Something very awkward happened to me about a week or two ago.  I was stopped at a traffic light when I noticed via my peripheral vision a bit of a commotion in the car sitting to my left.  I normally take great care to avoid eye contact with other drivers while waiting for lights, so I tried to ignore it as best as I could.  However, when the front passenger door opened up, I had to steal a few quick glances over to try to determine what was going on.

From what I could tell, there was a young black man in the drivers seat and a young black woman in the front passenger seat.  There also appeared to be a young child (no more than 5) in the back.  The woman seemed to be struggling mightily to try to get out of the car, but the man looked to be holding her back - I think by the wrist.

This went on for what seemed like a minute, but was probably really only 10-15 seconds - I wanted to get the eff out of there.  The thought did occur to me to perhaps get out of my car and try to help defuse the situation, but I quickly shot that idea down by reasoning that they likely would not want me interfering in their business.  Plus I was scared that such an act would put my own person in danger - the thought of the man drawing a gun on me even flashed across my mind (which makes me kinda feel like a horrible person).

Anyway, as soon as that light turned green I booked it out of there.  I'm pretty sure I made the right decision (though I'm still struggling a bit to rationalize it based on some semi-plausible moral principle, e.g., that of utility), but I kinda wish that I was a "better" person than some of my reasoning in the situation would indicate.  Oh well.

1 comment:

  1. I don't blame you for not doing anything, but I understand why you feel bad too. I think I would do-or not do lol- the same thing and then worry about it. This is probably not very soothing, but even if you intervened, in cases of domestic violence, it is so likely to continue that it would take heavy, repeated intervention, including mental as well as physical, to actually alleviate the situation. So even if you saved the woman at the moment, the chances of repeat occurrences would probably be almost 100%.

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