Last night, after teaching a relaxing and restful restorative yoga class I told the class to take their time and drive home safely because I know these classes can sometimes leave people floaty. I don’t usually say this, but considering the late hour and the deep restful poses we had gotten into, I felt it was needed.
As far as I know, everyone got home safely. But as I left the parking lot, at the next red light I noticed there was a body in the middle of the intersection, and a motorcycle tangled at his feet. The young man wasn’t moving, so I did a quick U-turn, hit my flashers and blocked traffic to keep anyone else in the busy street from hitting him. Other people stopped too, including the person I’m guessing hit him, and cared for him while we waited for the police and rescue workers. I used my car to block traffic and direct people around him and his bike until the police were able to take over.
I don’t think any of the four people that stopped even hesitated. We saw someone in need, assessed the situation and we all jumped in to do was was necessary to care for someone that (presumably) none of us knew. I left, once my part was done, without even knowing the young man’s name, but trusting he was in better care with the rescue workers.
Yes, it made me a little later coming home. Yes, it meant I got to bed a little bit later. But there was no part of me that could have driven by a person laying in the middle of the road and not helped him. I hope that he is ok and recovers easily.
And of course, it got me to thinking. How often is our focus so far inward that we don’t see the person lying in the middle of the road asking for help? Metaphorically of course…the child calling for help by acting out, the partner asking for help by over spending or drinking too much. The parent asking for you to come over for Sunday dinner but you’d rather spend time watching the game. There are a million chances in a lifetime to help others.
Do you stop the car and do what is needed or do you just keep driving? Do you reach out your hand to pull someone up or walk right past them? Where is your focus in life? On your own needs and wants or on the needs and well being of others?