Friday, 28 May 2010

There was an accident yesterday -

on the corner of the main road and the one that leads to the shopping centre. I avoided the scene by back-tracking about fifty metres and using the other set of traffic lights.
It was still a slightly stomach churning event.
I have no idea when it occurred. The police and a fire truck were already at the scene. There was no ambulance so it had already departed or, perhaps, nobody had been physically hurt.
What puzzled me, as it always does, were the number of people going to look at what had happened. I even heard someone say, "Let's go and see what's up."
My reaction has always been quite different. I can remember getting into trouble at boarding school because I refused to obey the direction of a prefect. She wanted to walk further along the road and see what had happened at the scene of another accident and she told me I had to come too. I refused. There was an ominously still form lying in the road. There were police and an ambulance and assorted vehicles at strange angles. The prefect was eager to get there and gawk. It is something I have never forgotten - nor have I forgotten that, the following day, I was hauled into the principal's office and lectured about obeying prefects. I find it extraordinary even now that this was considered far more important than taking an alternate route and staying out of the way. Ever since then I have been more determined than ever to avoid the scene of an accident if others are doing what they can to help. It is not my business.
Other people's misfortunes do not attract me. If I can do nothing to assist then I feel it is better to keep back, not to interfere or get in the way. Why do other people want to go and look?

4 comments:

Rachel Fenton said...

It's weird, isn't it - morbid fascination, plain noseyness. I wonder if other animals gawp like humans do...

catdownunder said...

An interesting thing to wonder Rachel!

Donna Hosie said...

Why did millions watch transfixed to their television screens as two towers fell?

I don't think its necessarily a bad thing to have curiosity, as long as there are boundaries and the emergency services are not hindered.

catdownunder said...

I think that, for many people, television is not quite 'real' though, don't you? It's that "willing suspension of disbelief". An accident that you are seeing first hand has a frightening immediacy - "that could be me".