Indifference kills…

A day or two ago, I started seeing links to a very provocative video that was released detailing a situation whereby a child was not only hit twice by traffic, but that for some time a large number of people ignored the poor child that was struck and moved on about their day. I have two links for this on CBS News and The Sydney Morning Herald (there are more but these two paint a good enough picture). I haven’t been so outraged in a long time. And hopefully this will shed some light for all those friends of mine on why they couldn’t understand why I have to help…

indifference hit and runYears ago, when I was 19, we were leaving Ellum going northbound on 75 and were exiting to hit Cafe Brazil I think…our exit was slowed to a stop, but the highway was full speed.

I was looking out at the cars passing by so fast. Then it happened…I watched a biker get rear-ended and hit again twice by cars that did not stop afterwards, the bike with no driver spun into the middle of the highway, further causing another biker and a couple other cars to crash.

My friends in the car were jamming out pretty loud so when they heard me scream “NO!” they didn’t realize what it was I had seen right away. It wasn’t just that all those people were in trouble. I wasn’t just fear that gripped me. I was soooo angry. Because even after all that…the cars weren’t stopping.

I couldn’t stand it, and jumped out of the car I was in and ran onto the highway to get people…anyone to stop and help. The people in the cars that had crashed were fine, and even their cars were relatively okay…but the bikers, no one would come near them.

The second biker was closest and was in full riding gear, he was able to tell me his name, where he was and which day it was. A doctor stopped his car to block the lane properly and help with him as I then ran to the second biker.

The second biker was barely breathing and he couldn’t talk. His eyes were alert and frantically trying to communicate…it was pure fear…and though and I could tell he was trying to move – he didn’t have the strength to even move a finger. I was afraid to even hold his hand his body was in such bad shape and…slightly twisted.

It took the police 5 minutes to get there because of the traffic jam, and it took the ambulances almost 10. It was Friday night around 12am on northbound 75. I don’t remember much after that, I was horrified. At some point I guess I’d given my contact information to the police and that doctor that helped out there, because the next day he called me and thanked me for the effort. Unfortunately, he also informed me that one of the motorcyclists had passed away at the site of the accident, and the other had passed away overnight in the hospital.

That wasn’t my first tangle with Death. But that was when it became clear to me that I’ll never be able to even feign indifference in these situations. I would never be that guy that just kept driving on.

A year or two later on vacation in New Mexico, while I was blissfully asleep in the passenger seat. The driver of the car I was in fell asleep from exhaustion and drove us off the side of a mountain at 60mph. Your best imagination could not describe what happened to us in that fall. The only thing that didn’t happen was the car didn’t explode…

…It took the busload of people behind us over 30 minutes to get to us from the road. It took over an hour for an ambulance to get there, and almost two hours to get us back to the hospital. The truck had bounced and rolled over 100 yards down. Days later, we were shown pictures of what had happened and what happened to the truck, and pictures of where it had happened. If that bus hadn’t stopped and those people on it not come, the sun and environment would have finished the job for both of us.

It wasn’t just seeing a wreck now that influenced me. As far as I was concerned, I felt, and still feel to this day, that I have a moral obligation to help in any way I can. I don’t expect the same from everyone, but from experience, I sure as hell hope that when something like that happens to me, someone will be around that feels the same way I do.

And for anyone that feels they can’t be bothered to stop and help, I hope there was a lesson in this somewhere.

My .02 for the evening. Hope everyone has a great night.

-Tony



Ferociously Friendly Friday #FF

Tony's Birthday DragonWe all look forward to Fridays.

It’s probably because they are Fridays. Let loose, cut loose, grab your friends, check out a new scene, catch a show, gather at a friends, cook out, hit a party…whatever it is you do on the weekend, Friday is what sets the tone.

This Friday has been just a hair outside the norm. There are so many things going on that my eyes got crossed. I have the opportunity to come out and meet a pretty cool twitter friend at a local club. The Stars regular season opener is tonight, in which fektons of friends and tweeps are going. There is a really good band (The Mind Spiders) playing in Denton tonight. This is the last weekend of DTC’s production of Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ at the Wyly Theater. AND, a very awesome little girl named Sydney made me a dragon for my birthday and I have to go visit and accept said gracious gift this evening.

So. I have this HUGE deal about not showing up or being there for kiddos when they are expecting me for something they consider important. Ergo, I am meeting up with my friends and they insanely cool daughter is going to give me my present…(yes, that a photo of the dragon she made me) 😉

Anyhow last week this came up in some conversations and really just makes better sense to me. Who you follow on twitter should be based on interest, not on building reciprocal followers. That said, I’m going to *try* to do this every Friday. I’ll be present a few cool peeps that I follow on Twitter. If it’s going to be called “Follow Friday” I am making sure you know why I recommend them.

Here’s this week’s awesome people:

@TheRealChes Ches is a geek, a supermom, a great coder, and most importantly she’s got a pretty damn good sense of humor. We been friends for a pretty long time and she’s got a good .02 for you when she sees fit 😉

@MarkRamseyhttp://markramsey.com Mark is a buddy back from my college days and is a pretty fun guy to listen to. He’s got tons going on and has two internet shows, in addition to running multiple other businesses and is a great resource for almost anything tech. Check him out!

@Melysa_Shttp://sexliesandbacon.com I kind of consider Melysa an authority on snark 😉 She’s a pretty funny and her quest(s) to find the right guy are pretty funny to follow.

So here’s to a great start on the weekend 😉 have a great weekend everyone!

-T



Be a good person.

This is actually a quote from a really cool guy I met via another cool friend on Facebook. He fairly regularly posts some pretty insightful stuff, and this one really caught me.

So you want to be a good person? Do what’s right? Here’s the deal, you’re going to be hated…Hated for reasons you’ll never fully understand. People are going to say things about you: lies and over exaggerations about your past. People are going to take advantage of you, cheat you, lie to you, steal from you because you know it’s no good to be untrusting. You will be taken for granted. You will not be respected and you will suffer and, yet, you will walk with grace through it all…and grow and grow and you won’t stop…because you made a commitment…and it’s far from the easy path…but you are good person…stay true…do the right thing and, in the end, nothing will stop you. Being good is it’s own reward. It will all make sense in time…and remember, you weren’t always a good person yourself.

-Aaron Manley Smith

He’s right. When you think about it, doing good things IS it’s own reward. There are a tons of people out there that are under the mistaken impression that they will not succeed if they don’t take the time to stop and help others do the same, and I feel bad for them, because in doing good things, you lead by example. You teach others that you should never be reluctant in helping those that need it.

A couple months ago a friend and I were driving back to Dallas from a long trip visiting friends, and the craziest thing happened. We’re on our side of the highway, and the lanes going the other direction we at least 20 yards away, but something was really wrong because I was seeing headlights directly ahead of us and coming fast. I swerved quickly onto the shoulder of the highway as a sports car zoomed by at about 60mph going the wrong direction on the tollway. My friend and I just kindof looked back stunned wondering what the hell just happened. We then called the state troopers and let them know about it. Just as we finished the call and were about to pull back onto the highway, a truck pulled up behind us.

The driver got out and walked up to my window and asked if I needed help. Why? Because I had my blinkers on and it was late at night. He wasn’t some horror figure from a bad movie, he was being a good person. I kick myself when I remember this because THAT is the exact kind of person I like to meet. I wish I had gotten his name so I could invite him over to meet the crew, etc.

If we as a society made sure to impress this behavior as a moral obligation rather than playing the ignorance or indifference cards I think our lives would be quite a bit better. I know I come off as a bit hardcore about this type of perspective though. I still tell people this, “The only divinity you will ever experience is your own.” It’s not meant to discredit anyone’s beliefs, it’s meant to get people to make an effort to make and experience their own miracle. I think walking THAT path affords you a far brighter journey.

Just my .02 😉

-Tony