and putting your own life in danger in order to save your own children is something I think I can understand. I am not a mother but I can imagine some "instinct" kicking in and doing it. That's something to do with the preservation of the species isn't it?
But when strangers are involved - adult strangers who "should be able to look after themselves"?
What really makes people want to join the police force, the armed services, the fire brigade, or the ambulance service? Do they like the high speed race to a scene or the hospital, the arrests, the noise of the fire, the danger? Do they like manhandling a suspect or entering a still smouldering building? Do they get an adrenalin rush from that sort of behaviour?
I confess I question the reason some of our local police have joined the force. I suspect they are natural bullies and they positively enjoy pulling over drivers for the slightest infraction or confronting a kid doing no more than mooching down the street. There are many others who actually care about people. How soon before they "burn out"?
The MP, Tobias Ellwood, who tried to save the life of the police officer has reportedly said that "training kicks in". You just do what needs to be done. Perhaps you do. Is it any different, at one level, than me grabbing the child I don't know as they are about to dart out into the road? I am not sure it is. I didn't think about that - and his mother probably didn't think before giving him the resounding whack on his well padded backside.
Perhaps there are times when you just "do it" but the difference between merely stopping a child as I did yesterday on a quiet suburban street and trying to save a life is enormous. Mr Ellwood will live with that for the rest of his life. In a year from now, unless someone reminds me, I probably won't remember the incident with the child.
What I am going to remember is the email from the friend who works in Westminster. It was just a very short note.
"Just to let you know Cat that we're all shaken but safe."
I don't want to know any more. I am too much of a coward to run towards danger.