First “Sad” Day

I feel sad for my co-teacher, Lucia, who had a minor fender-bender right after school today! She offered to give me a lift to a metro station closer to my home since it was pouring down rain. I accepted to reciprocate her thoughtful hospitality. Roads were congested due to flooding, which blocked traffic flow. At one point she changed lanes, but a livery truck passed too closely on the driver’s side and took off her front bumper! It was a case of hit-and-run since the truck driver sped away.

We were stranded there in the middle of four lanes of angry road, in the flooding rain. We could not move the car out of the way with the left headlight and the fender on the ground. The rain came down in torrents while I was trying to pick up the detached headlight and fender so that she could maneuver the car into the parking lot across the road. But it was just better to stay put and wait for help in the car with the hazard lights flashing.

In the car she called her husband and the insurance company. By the 45th minute, she followed up. Rain poured relentlessly for another 30 minutes. As soon as her husband approached and the rain let up, it was the best time for me to head back to the nearest metro station while they waited for the insurance company and tow truck.

Three hours later, I texted her to find out whether they made it home safely. They were still waiting in the car, in the dark, in the middle of the road with traffic streaming past them! This was sad enough, but the saddest and most distressing was that Lucy remarked that no passer-by came to check whether she needed help or if she was physically harmed. In all that time not even the police showed up. Is this a cultural thing, or just sad? I vote sad and aggravating!

As an antidote, I watched some uplifting TEDx Talks videos that recalibrate my “hope for humanity” scale:

Maysoon Sayid “I got 99 problems…palsy is just one”

Louie Schwartzberg “Beauty. Nature. Gratitude.”

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Author: Teach World Peace

I teach ENL in a charter middle school in Harlem, New York. I am also the founder and CEO of Healer2Healer.org.

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