It amazes me how differently humans react in a crisis.
Those who see an accident and keep going…for whatever reason. It’s fascinating to me to see what people WILL do and what they will refuse to do or get out of – when faced with a traumatic situation.
There are the “Organizers” who bark out suggestions to others – get a wheelchair, get the nurse, call his parents, get something heavy to break up the ice on the hill so we can get to him.
“Helpers” running to get some metal pipes to chop up the ice, busying themselves to feel useful.
“Onlookers” peering down from the 3rd floor windows, speaking in hushed tones amongst themselves, spreading what they think they know about the situation – usually half of it complete bullshit fabrication. Waiting for any news to pass along to the rest of the staff.
“First responder” in this case – the witness – stands stoically on guard over the victim. The victim repeatedly yells, screams out in pain. A little more than annoyed that the teen has made a poor choice, so now unable to comfort him, to soften and show him kindness.
Those who put themselves in danger, falling once, twice, bodies coming crashing down on the ice, ignoring the danger, then crawling hands and knees on a solid ice hill, to the victim, who is lying alone and freezing in the windy, 10 degree weather.
The first responder, coming to the realization that emergency response is still at least 5 minutes out and removes his coat (despite the 10 degree temp), placing it under the victims head.
A teen boy who, takes it upon himself to shuffle as quickly as he can manage to his house, returning within minutes with warm, fuzzy blankets and a pillow for his hurt friend.
The “Nurturers” who get in close to the victim. Wrapping his head with a soft white blanket- draping his trembling, slender teenage frame in snuggly fleece -as he screams and cries, eyes wide, looking for comfort. Searching from face to face for someone to reassure him that he’s going to be ok. A Nurse who cradles him and speaks softly to him, right into his ear calming him best she can. Another slips a blanket under his lower body, pants frozen to the icy surface.
All the while. All of this transpiring, unfolding on a frigid Winter’s afternoon. Each person doing as much as we are comfortable with. Waiting for help to arrive. We each find and fill a role we can tolerate. Sometimes doing nothing is tolerable, preferable. It’s a personal choice, to respond or keep walking.