Sometimes I wonder whether people have lost their compassion and have become too absorbed in their own lives. I was out walking the other morning. It was raining and the footpaths were wet. Along the way I passed an old lady leaning against a shop wall. I assumed she was tired and having a rest. I didn’t give her another thought and just carried on walking. About 30 minutes later, in a different part of the city, I turned a corner to find the same lady laying on the footpath.

I stopped and asked if she was in any sort of pain. She told me she was on her way home from early Mass and had stumbled on the slippery footpath. She had broken her two front teeth and seemed quite disorientated. I stopped the next person who walked by and asked if they had a mobile phone. She was a tourist from another country and was more than happy to phone for an ambulance.

While we waited for the paramedics to arrive I counted at least 15 people who walked past us. They either looked the other way or pretended not to see us standing there. A number of cars also drove by but only one driver stopped to help and offer his big warm jacket to the old lady.

Shortly after that the ambulance arrived. The paramedics assessed her and agreed that she needed to be taken to hospital. After the paramedics left, I thanked the tourist for her help and walked home.

The old lady has been on my mind and I’ve been wondering if she has recovered. I don’t know her name but she was a nice old lady and I really hope she is okay.


One Response to compassion

  1. Leigh Hunt says:

    Crikey. Well done you sweetie.
    I agree with you. I know that a lot of the time I look the other way. A part of me just ‘doesn’t want to know’, and the other part of me knows that I will get too emotionally attached and involved if I stop.

    Does that sound strange?

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