Sunday, October 14, 2007

Perspectives

We do not see people as they are; We see them as we are.

—Anais Nin


I met the girls out for dinner and drinks on Thursday evening. A low-key girl's night, a lot going on in each of our lives, a little venting and laughing was therapeutic, as always.

On the way back to our car, we encountered a young couple addressing a man lying in the street. Melissa and Georgie, both nurses, ran over to check things out, and I just kind of circled them all, in limbo. The guy was conscious, and becoming alert, but asked us to call an ambulance for him. The young girl set about doing that, while Mel said "we need to sit you up!" She grabbed him under his arms and set him upright on the curb, and out of the street.


We then hovered around, Mel parking herself right next to him, to wait until proper authorities showed up. The man seemed ok, by then, and bantered with all of us.

Some minutes later, a squad car showed up, and a police officer got out, a bit exasperated. The first thing he said to me was "What is this, some kind of social experiment?!!"

What? He repeated the question: "Some kind of social experiment going on here?"

Well, no, I told him. We're just waiting with this guy until he gets a little help. "I'll take it from here," he told us. The underlying message definitely being "beat it, girlies."

We scrammed. On our way back by the intersection, our "friend" was being patted down.

I can't help thinking of the different perspectives to just one 15-minute event.

Guy in the street: Must have been an interesting perspective, lying on the concrete and looking up at 5 people staring down at you.

Kids: Rattled and unsure of what to do.

Nurses: summarizing the situation, and knowing, after a few minutes, that "upright" okay.

Me: Clear on only one thing: you don't leave people lying in the street.

The Police Officer: Knowing still more than we do, exasperated and wondering what in the hell these 3 blondies are up to with THIS guy. HIM again. Arrest? Paperwork? Scolding? One of their local pains-in-the ass.

And after it was over?

Those kids were on their way giggling about an exciting event. Georgie went back to a new apartment, new life, new job. Melissa went home and ended up rushing her dad to ER, with heart problems. I came home and began working on my kid's next care package. And that cop? I'm sure he was a nice guy. Maybe his shift ended at 11. Maybe he went home to a wife and a couple of precious kids tucked under cozy blankets.

Maybe.

I don't know.

And I don't know what happened to Guy, either.

I know we just keep moving on, with our own perspectives, and I'm hopeful that we remain tolerant of other's.

17 comments:

  1. I just absolutely love your blog! I've been reading for months and finally got the courage to start my own tonight. Your stories have made me laugh, cringe, cry, snort, get mad, and even slap my knee once in a while. You, along with many of the local blogs I have come across, brighten my day. It's refreshing to read and I always get so excited when you have a new post! Thank you for sharing little pieces of your life on here, you've really helped breathe new life into my days!

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  2. Hi G

    Perspective: do the police take a course in making snide remarks? It seems to me there were people just trying to help and a rude remark was not called for...

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  3. MS: Welcome aboard, I've been over to visit you already!

    Dagoth: I think it it's about perspective; I think the officer had his, and probably never meant to be rude or sarcastic...or then again, just had his own job to do, and didn't CARE about how he came across. I can only speculate, I guess. :-)

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  4. To me, that's the definition of Good People: willing to help someone out of the street no matter what their lot in life.

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  5. I'm with you - you can't leave someone lying in the street. And I appreciate your perspective on perspectives. :)

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  6. Hey, just getting caught up today.
    Have I told you lately how much I love you? No? I love you tons!!!!
    1 year today...

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  7. You tried to help a stranger, called and ambulance and a cop showed up instead, spouting callous remarks and shooing off the Samaritans? Sorry, I don't care about his "perspective." When he's on my payroll, he can keep that to himself. If he wants to carry a gun and be an a**hole, he can join Blackwater.

    Sometimes, Lori, you are too kind.

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  8. You are a sweetie. Good for you. Most people would have just kept walking.

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  9. Melissa8:46 AM

    I'm surprised at the "perceptions" over the police officers remarks. I was there and did not find him offensive at all. I think it's very easy to speculate when you don't wear the badge or walk in their shoes. And Lori will vouch - I'm not near as kind as her.

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  10. Interesting post. I'd like to think that I'd have stayed there even after the officer told me to beat it, but the reality is that I probably wouldn't have stopped in the first place.

    You're a good person, but I suspect you already know that.

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  11. That's Lori - always the good samaritan. If any of us were ever on the ground, we could be so lucky to have her around.

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  12. I swear, you guys would all have helped this guy out of the street. It's not like he was sleeping in a corner somewhere, he was IN THE STREET. A car zipping around the corner would have run over him.

    You'd at least have rolled him over to the curb with your foot. I know you would!

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  13. Melissa - I'm sorry. Of course I wasn't there. All I had to go on was the written quote in Lori's post. Maybe it wasn't meant to be rude.

    However, I don't think I have to wear the badge to require respectful behavior from public employees.

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  14. I stand by the quote; I did find the officer to be sarcastic and exasperated, more than rude and bullying.

    I guess there's a fine line between the two. His sarcasm wasn't really necessary, it's true, but again...if you consider his perspective...it may have been justifiable.

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  15. Did you check the guy's wallet?

    I would have subtracted a 100% "good samaritan" fee from whatever I found before rolling the guy to the curb.

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  16. Too many people want to stay "uninvolved". If it had been the officer's family member, he would have thanked you!

    You are a kind soul.

    The office, The word
    "Wanker" comes to mind!

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  17. I agree with Dagoth...the cops comments were sadly inappropriate, even IF this was the guys 100th time through the system.

    YOU and everyone was trying to help, you didn't deserve the 'wit'.

    But you're right. Who knows what was going on for the cop right at the moment, either.
    Well, thanks to you and your friends for helping a guy out. Karma has a special place for all of you. :)

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