Sunday, August 10, 2014

This is humanity; this is why we are worth saving

Sometimes it's very easy to become jaded and misanthropic.  My governor is Paul LePage.  One of my Senators is Susan Collins, a member of the, "I used to have a soul," club.  I have friends in Texas.  At least I think I do.  I have trouble keeping track of the wheres that go with the whos.  I have at least one very good friend in Texas and I have strong suspicions that she isn't the only one of my friends who lives there.

The rich get richer, the poor are asymptotically approaching rock bottom, and the middle class is becoming the poor.

Taking a look at the word can be one of the most depressing things to do.

I don't partake in depressing fiction, if I wanted to feel hopelessness, despair, and similar emotions I would watch the news more often.

And yet...

Four days ago at about 8:50 AM in Perth, Australia a man tried to board a subway train and something went wrong.  Somehow he slipped and his leg ended up trapped between the train and the platform.  It could get in, but it couldn't get back out.

That could kill someone.  It didn't.  He's fine.

First made sure that the operator didn't move the fucking train.  If you're taking notes, this is step one.  In theory the operator is provided with a view (the Boston T uses video feeds, but mirrors could work too) so that they'll see if something goes wrong near the door.  Doesn't matter.  Make sure the operator knows not to move the train.  The worst that will happen is you'll annoy the opperator with info ze already knows.  Compared to what might happen if the operator isn't altered ... just make sure the operator is alerted.

Then everyone got off the train.  People weigh stuff, a train loaded with people is harder to move than one that is not.

"But," you say, "I thought we didn't want the train to move."

Oh, we want the train to move, just not in a way that it was ever designed to move.

Once out of the train the people push the train sideways thus expanding the gap between train and platform and allowing the man to be freed.

Random strangers on their morning commute.  Their morning commute that was unexpectedly and, presumably, inconveniently delayed, all teamed up and worked as one to help another random stranger.

Every single one of them is a hero.  And the victim.  He'd probably have done the same thing if he'd been safe and someone else were the victim.

Article and video here.  (Via Fred Clark.)
(I'm not in a position where I can use sound so I have not listened to the video.)

For all of the evil that lies within human nature, and there is a lot, there is also the opposite.  While the details might not match up (Perhaps you don't live in Perth, don't take the subway, or can't physically push) we all have the potential to be one of those commuters.  Someone who pushes (perhaps metaphorically) as hard as you fucking can because, yes, this is probably messing up your schedule and could get you in trouble at work or whatnot, but someone needs help so you're going to do what you can to help.

If we could find a way to activate that aspect of human nature when the danger was less immediate and more complex, I do believe we would make the world become rapidly better.

1 comment:

  1. It's nice to hear. I know that acts of heroism happen everyday, but they aren't what makes it on to the news for the most part. Unless it's the last two minutes of the broadcast, after you have been bombarded by awfulness. (Along with Weather and Sports, which, depending on your locale, can add to the awfulness. *g*)

    While I think some of those commuters had buttmunch supervisors/bosses, I want to believe that the majority were proud that they have an employee who is cool like that.