Service of Selfish Redux

January 3rd, 2017

Categories: Accident, Hit and Run, Selfish

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Service of Selfish Redux

Here are some new instances to add to the rest previously covered in this blog.

Reflect on This

When I got to the house a few Fridays ago, all four reflective markers astride the two entrances to our driveway were missing. There are so many more expensive things to steal from a property I couldn’t imagine why anyone would take our markers. [They cost less than $3 each.] I mentioned this puzzle to the man at Home Depot in Poughkeepsie who directed me to the markers aisle and he suggested, “You saved someone from making the trip here to get them like you had to.” Markers are essential on our country road as no streetlights alert a driver to the driveway that has a 6-foot high wood fence on either side.

Reflective markersWho knows if he guessed right but gosh, it rang so possible these days and so quickly popped out of his mouth he must have known of other instances of petty theft like this. I hadn’t thought of it. [As the ground is frozen, I had to hammer a screwdriver in it to make a hole to hold each marker.]

Hit and Run

The Home Depot cashier told me what just happened to her daughter’s fiancé. He was driving her daughter’s car, an old one that had taken her years of savings to overhaul when a car slammed into him making him, in turn, crash into the car ahead. The car was totaled. Meanwhile the car that caused the mess dashed away, a hit and run.

Hit and Run–but Stopped

Another cashier, a young woman at Trader Joe’s in Manhattan, told me that she’d been run into by a car in the city and that she was nevertheless lucky on several counts. On impact she flew in the air and first landed on the hood of the car which was softer than the street where she eventually toppled. This driver started to run but witnesses jumped into action. An imposing Puerto Rican man, she said, stood in front of the car with his hands in the air indicating “STOP” which prevented the driver from moving forward while others called the police. [Better news: She said that these days her injured back only twinges once in a while.]

“What’s yours is mine,” is nothing new to those who turn to theft for a living or because they don’t have time to buy what you own and they need. As for the drivers in the hit and run instances, I can imagine how frightened they must have been, especially the man who ran into the young girl. How might we dust off and refresh the Golden Rule to help people override natural tendencies?

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6 Responses to “Service of Selfish Redux”

  1. hb Said:

    This is a far more complex subject than it would appear.

    My first thought is of a massive black policeman last November in front of where Donald Trump and I vote. The street had been cordoned off to protect him, and I wanted to cross mid-block to vote. I looked him in the eye, and with a polite smile said something like, “Officer, I hope you don’t mind, but I’m about to jaywalk?” He looked back at me and said something like, “You’re not jaywalking if I help you across” and practically carried me across the empty street. Little did he know that the first thing that happened to me well over a half century ago when I came to work in New York was that I received a two dollar ticket for jaywalking in Times Square.

    My second thought was of that Sardinian village where the inhabitants all live to over a hundred. It is poor and homogeneous; and the villagers use little medicine, have no crime and drink a red wine made from the Grenache grape.

    My final thought is that we all hypocritically spout beatitudes about peace and equality, but then turn around and fiercely fight to outdo the next guy. Just look at American marketing or sports where winning is everything, or at TV and the movies where violence, vulgarity and sex dominate; and a twelve year old’s vocabulary is a stretch. I think a little honesty about who we really are would help.

  2. ASK Said:

    I suspect the two hit-and-run drivers were frightened because they were: 1/ driving without a license; 2/ driving without insurance; or 3/ afraid of getting sued.

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:

    hb,

    I am so relieved you shared an uplifting story as I was not pleased to start the year with a grumpy post. I am also happy that a charming and sensitive policeman prevented another potential hit and run and saved you from pain and worse.

    Are you moving to Sardinia? The red wine part sounds promising. You didn’t say if there was a good library there.

    While I agree many of us murmur uplifting thoughts while acting in an opposite way, I fear that the influence of the president elect will further bury the Golden Rule as his message so clearly is: “I don’t give a hoot about you.”

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    ASK,

    You are right on all counts and maybe some of your guesses at once.

    Thank goodness for good Samaritans like the second witness who stopped the driver from fleeing with his body and also that the young woman recuperated without repercussion. I hope that a wealthy relative or friend of the fiancé in the three-car crash will pay for another secondhand car for the couple. As his future mother in law said, “at least he wasn’t hurt.” May the man who started the accident come forward after second thought.

  5. Lucrezia Said:

    A neighbor’s drab doormat was filched several days ago, and located under a smaller Merry Christmas one a couple of flights up. The motive is a mystery since the actors in this drama don’t know each other. There was a rash of grudge thefts years back. The unpopular neighbors moved and honesty was restored. Then again, some folks enjoy the thrill of stealing and getting away with it. Sure it’s fun until one gets caught, and it’s too bad more of these jackasses aren’t.

    Let’s not be so swift to moralize over the hit and run. Over and above irresponsible driving, consider the drunk who wanders out unexpectedly in misty weather, or the child who darts out before the most alert driver can hit the breaks. While it is considered “right” to turn oneself in under such circumstances, no one seems to consider the emotional damage done to the driver because of “victim” carelessness. Many people simply don’t want to pay the undeserved consequences brought on by another’s failure to pay attention, so perhaps society should ask itself: Should they?

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    You are right about people who love the danger of stealing though doing so on a little-travelled country road on the other side of a fence where the homeowners wouldn’t see you were they at home isn’t terribly risky. And then, some people are nuts.

    I empathize with hit and run drivers as I tried to note but eventually, when they get back their senses, they might think of the others involved and the impact on victims. One of the first driving lessons I learned long before I touched a gas pedal or steering wheel was “Stop when you see a ball as there’s usually a child right behind.” The fellow who smooshed two other cars making a sandwich of the young man’s vehicle about which I wrote didn’t mean to do this but gosh. I imagine one problem is that his fiancé’s totaled car wasn’t going to get anything from the insurance company because it was so old and had little value to others.

    I can’t answer your question. One idea might be for super rich insurance companies to create slush funds and representatives of these companies might serve on an arbitration committee to determine which deserving people to rescue who are victims of hit and run accidents and/or in no fault instances, whose cases fall between the slats.

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