Thursday, June 5, 2008

Who Is My Neighbor? *

The picture at left shows a disturbing incident that took place in Hartford CT last week. A 78 year old man was hit and badly injured by a car that was speeding, apparently racing another vehicle. That's bad enough.

The really disturbing part of the incident is the number of other cars and pedestrians who just kept going.

Now, this sort of thing is more common in Miami, due to the large number (let's face it) of newer Americans. In many if not most third world countries, any contact with the police is at best expensive, and at worst life-threatening. But this is the United States.

It's not really a new problem, even here. Incidents like this call up the memory of the Kitty Genovese murder in Brooklyn forty years ago, where many apartment dwellers ignored her screams, and didn't even make a phone call for fear of "getting involved."

But it does make one wonder if our society has changed. Whether it's due to TV and media violence (including computer games), a growing "Hooray for me, to Hell with you" attitude, or whatever, there should be no doubt that failure to stop and at least call the authorities in the case of someone's accident or injury is NOT acceptable behavior.

Even in the former Soviet Union, so often decried as the throne of "Godless Communism," failure to stop and render assistance in such cases was a crime! Here, non-involvement is more and more seen as the "smart thing to do."

* For one answer to this question, see Luke 10:29.

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