They just walked by without looking or seeming to care

Hello all great people.   It is 2 PM and I am finally getting to sit at the computer and share my thoughts and answer comments.    Let me start by saying to ended up having to go to bed really early yesterday afternoon and stayed there until 7 this morning.    So little got done yesterday. 

This morning after coffee and doing some online bill paying, we decided to go to a local store and get me new sneakers.    I have not had new ones in 3 or four 4 years and the sole on one of them was separating from the rest of the shoe like they were of two different political parties.   So we went, I found a pair of shoes I like, was stunned at the price of nearly $100 dollars and Ron found a new shirt he liked that was sunscreen rated.   Then on the way home we stopped at one of the local grocery stores so Ron could go in and get a few things.   As I sat in the car, I noticed a man in a wheelchair pushing his cart up to his car.   I had not noticed him before so have no idea of how long it took him or how hard the struggle but I can image it was a very hard thing trying to move your chair while pushing a full sized shopping cart.   I watched him sit in his chair and reach over the top of the cart as far as he could, remove an item or small bag and turn sideways to put it in his trunk.  

I watched 5 people going in each direction just walk by this man.   I was stunned.   These people seemed in no hurry, the ones going in had no reason not to stop or help, but they ignored him.   As I started to get out of my car I noticed a car pull in next to him and a young man get out, so I thought surely a young guy will help but instead he took a nearby cart which he gave to an older man who got out of the passenger seat.   They started to walk by the man in the wheelchair.   I figure sure the young guy would offer to help but he never even glanced at the disabled man.   I was furious.   

So I got out of my car, grabbed my cane and walked over to ask the man if he would like some help.   He beamed at me.   He told me no one offers to help.  They just walk by.  He had only one leg.    After we were done he thanked me and not thinking I walked back to my car.   I sat down rather happy with myself and angry at other people, as I watched the man roll over to the driver’s door, open it, roll back to passenger door and open it.   I thought maybe he forgot something.   Then using the car door and the roof of the car he stood up, and with one hand he pushed the chair up against his leg and folded it.   Then I realized what I forgot.  He still had to get into the car.  Shit.  I watched him pick up the folded chair and push it in the back seat, then close the door and hop on one leg to the front door and ease down in the car.    I never thought to ask him if he needed more help.    I just took his thanks and left thinking job done.   I should know better as a disabled person myself.  

I am lucky I have both Ron and James to help me and we all take care of each other.   I often offer to help people in stores riding the scooters get stuff, but I never asked how do they get the scooter before they enter the store?  Only one local store has baggers that offer to take everyone’s cart or accompany people using scooters to their cars, all for free.   I admit I watch abled bodied people take advantage with mixed feelings; I only take them up on it when I really am struggling.   They refuse any tip, it is part of the service the store offers, they take the cart out and load the groceries in your car for you, rain or shine.   It is Publix and I love the store.   Unfortunately, they tend to have higher prices.   Ron uses Publix, Winne Dixie, and Walmart.  Sometimes if he gets a sale catalog, he goes to places like Save a Lot or Aldis.  Ron watches the prices at each store and gets the best buys he can and so he doesn’t use Publix as much as I do as he complains about their prices.   Still you cannot argue that cheerful people offering to help you with your groceries when you struggle to walk, it is a great service.   

We really need to find a way to get people to see each other and have empathy again.  I don’t know how to do it.   But I watched able people of all ages walk right by the man in a wheelchair and not even look at him.  It made me angry then, now it breaks my heart.    Hugs  

37 thoughts on “They just walked by without looking or seeming to care

  1. A VERY GOOD illustration of the saying … “Signs of the times.”

    Good on you, Scottie, for helping! Don’t feel guilty that you stopped too soon … you did much, much more than anyone else … and that says a LOT!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you Nan. I seen when I was helping him he had only one leg, but I never thought about how he was going to get his wheelchair in the car and get into the driver’s seat. He was a nice guy, happy, and clearly resourceful. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That says a lot about him. Especially when you consider how many with this kind of handicap would simply go into an angry funk and end up on the street. BOTH of you are to be admired!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. People these days are so wrapped up in their own lives that I think situations like the one you describe just don’t even register with them. Like you, I always try to help people reach things on higher shelves, whether they are disabled or just shorter than me, and I’ve often enough helped someone put their groceries into their car, or helped them into their car. But sadly not everyone bothers to even notice those around them … it’s the culture of the day. As I often mention in my ‘good people’ posts, little things mean so much sometimes! You’re a good person, Scottie … I’m happy to know that there are still some around! Hugs

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hello Jill. I think some people have the idea that if it is not my problem or doesn’t affect me then I can ignore it. But they miss the benefit to themselves from helping others. I admit I was pretty happy with myself while and after helping the man. Just the short act of helping him move his groceries filled me with good feelings, so that was a plus for my day. What I am trying to say is I got something out of helping him also, it was not a one sided deal. I wish the people who walked by that man could understand that if they had given five minutes of their time to help him, they might have moved on happier than the arrived. Oh well. Hugs

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I guess this is, on a smaller scale, the same thing as those people who don’t care about what is happening in Ukraine, or don’t care about climate change until it directly makes their own lives inconvenient. People can be so self-centered. Like you, I enjoy doing something for somebody else … I feel like I’m giving back just a little for all the times people have helped me out. I’m glad I’m that way … Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:

    Our friend Scottie had an experience earlier today that he shared, and I want to share with you, for it’s something we should all be aware of. As I said this morning on my ‘good people’ post … little things mean so much! Far too many people are so internally focused that they don’t even notice someone struggling right in front of them. Luckily, there are still some good people like our Scottie … thank you, Scottie, for being who you are. We love you!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I think they just don’t see us or think about these things. It doesn’t mean they are bad people, they just aren’t aware. I am sure i was equally ignorant for many years. I had to learn the hard way.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hello Ali. Thank you for the cartoon. We have to remember that there are still lots of people willing to help each other out, as Jill reminds us with her good people posts. I think if you did a survey and put a disabled person in a situation needing help you would get lots of people stopping to help. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Reason why nobody helped this man in need, is because everybody who walked by him thought, hey, the next guy will see him and help out, it’s a psychological “phenomenon” called diffusion of responsibility, the more number of people who are gathered around watching something, the less that each one is likely to help, it’s human nature, because everybody in that group thinks, oh, the next guy will help, but you’d noted the need of this stranger, and offered him a helping hand, good for you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello taurusingemini. Thank you. Your comment reminded me of my training which required that if I was first or near first on the scene of an accident / person down was to assign other bystanders a job. Take control and ensure that 911 is called, and aid is provided with relief people rotating into spell those already worn out. People gawking left to their own do not know what to do or do it effectively. Even now disabled myself I never understood the drive on by thing. You are correct, where I live we see auto accidents often. But If I am right there when it happens despite being disabled, I pull over and call 911, then get out and offer aid. Most of the time others do also. But if I come up on an accident with people already stopped to help, I also will drive on. Sometimes too many people are a hindrance rather than a help. It depends on the situation and the amount of assistance available. But I get your point, I understand it. But to walk by someone not even in a wheelchair struggling to load their groceries, that I don’t and cannot understand. How do they feel it is something someone else will do? Doesn’t that imply they are too important or just to busy so let others deal with it? Is it we see too much suffering in our lives, or that our lives are simply too hard in the US? Best wishes and Hugs

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Polly I am extremely unhappy with you. You deleted my comment on your post yet left up your reply. If you don’t want any differing opinions on your posts either says so or close the comments. I tried to leave three comments asking if you did that deliberately and explaining how dishonest that is. None posted and you did not answer. So I don’t think we have much more to say to each other. Bye.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Roger. Wow, that is quite a complement from someone I deeply respect, and I am not sure I deserve it. See I did not think of it at the time but basically I was doing something I would hope others would do if I was in that chair. One of my greatest fears is my wonderful Ron being in need of help and no one offering it to him. So maybe in a way I was being selfish? Any way I look at it as I hope others help each other and I will keep helping others as best I can. I hope others do also. Hugs.

      Roger you got me interested in if there was a survey of what groups help others more, so I googled it. But after 10 different tries I couldn’t come up with the right question for the engine to give me a response. I would love to see the ratio of helping people from country to country. I doubt my country would rank very high. Thanks, Roger, for giving me something to ponder. Hugs

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Credit where credit is due Scottie. It’s how we should roll. You did what you naturally felt was right to help another and that is cool. 👍
        I agree it would be hard to pin down exactly who helps the most. Around the world there are many folk giving over all or parts their lives to acts of kindness and charity. We can refer to Jill’s Wednesday Post ‘Good People Doing Good Things’ as an example that in the USA there is hope.
        One of the problems in perceptions being as the opening line of the song goes:
        ‘Bad news travels like wildfire. Good news travels slow’

        Liked by 2 people

  6. It was thoughtful of Jill to bring attention to your post, and it is indeed an important one. Why or how can so many people be totally blind to others remains a mystery, though each person’s soul growth advances in different ways. I have empathy for many, and just yesterday when I stepped out of the building where I live, someone was helping a frail lady get from the car to her wheelchair. They did not need my help, so I paused and held the chair until she was safely seated, then we all resumed….

    Not much farther across this small city is an old man who sits on the curb and holds a cup. He is poor. He is old. He is breathing horrid fumes. Should I help him each time I pass? Once a week? Once a month? A sensitive person struggles with these decisions, as there are people at each traffic light.

    Your gentle act of kindness probably made a huge difference in the quality of that man’s day. It might be helpful in reminding others that sometimes we need to consider those ‘invisible’ people we pass each day, and when possible to be kind.
    Thank you for sharing your story.
    Lisa in Ecuador

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hello Lisa. Thank you for the comment and welcome to my Playtime. You raise great points. At what point have we done our share or done enough? Whose job is it to help those with less ability or resources in our societies / communities? Is it the government or churches or is it local communities? The idea of the federal government taking overpaying is the pot of funds is shared more widely and so much bigger, the bad part less local understanding of the problems in each community. Originally churches got no tax status because they were thought to operate for the public good, but studies show very few churches doing any real assistance to the people of the community that don’t belong to that church. Republicans cut funding for public assistance saying it is not the governments job. Everywhere I turn I see people saying it is not my job to help in my country. But that leaves everyone suffering with no help. Interesting points Lisa, I hope others will give their opinions on the subject. Best wishes. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ‘It’s not my job..’ made me laugh, because on world environment day I visited a group of the younger generation that pick up trash and plant trees along a canal each friday. (fridays for future..) I showed up as promised, and a friend who works in the environmental field and i walked the canal – because the event was nearby in a parking lot. we returned, and our student friend asked what we thought. I said, ‘there’s a LOT of trash – why isn’t everyone picking up trash today like on Earth Day?’ and he replied, ‘It’s not Friday.’
        I said, ‘EVERY day is Friday when it comes to the environment…’ ugh, the ‘ugly american emerged just a bit, but being passive is never effective – not for environment, not for being good to our fellow man. We do what we can when we can. I will always think of you when I see someone helping a disabled person – thanks for being kind to strangers – and for setting a quiet example for others to follow.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Hey Lisa,

          There’s a book or essay title, “Every day is Friday.”

          You: “… the ‘ugly american emerged just a bit, but being passive is never effective – not for environment, not for being good to our fellow man”

          There were two incidents in 2020 where passive was a failure on my part that I deeply regret. Cases where evil was thrown in my face and I let it go unattended, unanswered. One was blatantly racist like I have rarely seen before, the other was conspiracy insanity about multiple COVID issues, one that marginalized the danger to nothing more than flu, as people were dying by the thousands, and he used his government office to spew this crap.

          I vowed not to let it happen again, as best I reasonably can. I’ve been preparing for that kind of thing, to respond actively to it when it slaps me right in the face, person to person. The lessons are not wasted on me, I hope. Eventually I’ll work out how to write about it “in a blog near you.”

          Back to: “passive is never effective …”

          And can be harmful, in ways we’ll never know, and in ways we live with until we heal them.

          We navigate a shit-storm of sick culture, yet in a world also of people with love pouring out of them all over the place. Passivity or unresponsiveness will not be effective, not against the offenders, and not for helping the lovers. (Although I do know people who are very effective with passive AGRESSION! Yow.)


          Liked by 2 people

  7. My amateur psychoanalysis: You and the amputee fed a need in each other in a way everyone else was ignoring or not taking advantage of. Their loss. There was this really easy chance for them to give themselves and the guy in the chair a deserved big fat warm fuzzy, and they gave it to you! Your reaching out to him was reaching in to yourself, and you felt it, the love blessing you as it flowed from you, and in his heartfelt response to you, and in your contemplation of the situation later, including a public opening of that contemplation here, to this moment, all of which will feed into your next case of such heartache, and the love will not fail you then, either. Go forth and make merry! Do I hear an amen? Amen! (A dash of passion to wash down the preachment.) Gee, I don’t feel the pain of empathy as much now! Now don’t ask me what to do about the poor souls whose love failed them as they walked by. Dope slaps all around?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. We have no idea how many positive things may have come from your helping him, big or small, by chain reaction, including this post, this discussion, and all touched by it or exposed to it. And I want to say one more thing, no, yell it: WHAT ZEEBRA SAID. Moving.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello The Balsamean. Great point. People don’t realize how they affect others all day long. A smile to someone having a hard day may help them smile at the next person where cruel words tend to produce more harsh words. When I am somewhere that the worker helping me is got far more going on than they can handle and apologized to me I reply ” it is OK take your time, you are working far harder than I am. You are doing all the work and I am just standing here”. Those two sentences and my patience have produced more smiles and gratitude than I can explain. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like asking cashiers little things like, “How do you stand in one spot for so long? My legs would turn into 2x4s.” Or when they say automatically as they do a thousand times per day, “Have a good day,” I have several responses, e.g.: “Well, okay, but only because you say so,” or “If you promise to have one, too,” or “Thanks. I needed that.” -Dennis

        Liked by 2 people

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