We’ve all heard the stories of the Good Samaritan who found out she’s getting sued, or of the person who files a lawsuit after he spills a hot cup of coffee on himself.
These ridiculous situations are part of what seems to have infiltrated the minds of a lot of workers, almost limiting society’s once-common characteristic of neighborliness.
As people have seen on hidden camera shows such as ABC’s “What Would You Do?” when faced with a difficult situation that challenges passersby to either help or ignore, there is usually a surprisingly large number of people who just stare or pretend not to see the extraordinary situations unraveling in front of them, though there are always helpful people as well.
It’s become common in our culture for people to just stay within their boxes. No one wants to looks stupid. People are often reluctant to run the risk of creating an uncomfortable situation for themselves.
The story reported on page 1 of this edition of The Collegiate involving Elliot Keyes and his struggle to get his wheelchair up a snow-covered ramp is an example of an issue that could have been easily taken care of but was not because someone was unfamiliar with the situation.
When Keyes reported the incident to a student worker, instead of calling Facilities to solve the problem, he asked Keyes if he had been to Disability Services.
The student in the office most likely just didn’t know how to react—it’s probably not part of the traditional orientation to teach workers about what they should do if a guy in a wheelchair needs something shoveled.
But really, this situation could have been addressed with a quick and simple phone call.
This is one example of how someone could have taken a step back, opened his eyes, and helped the person in front of him who needed assistance.
Perhaps this is a reminder for all of us to do more to help those around us even though it may not be in our job descriptions.