Tag: bystander

Day 7 – Being A Bystander

Day 7 – Being A Bystander

Today was a pretty good day. Long, but good. But some things happened today that really got me thinking. Specifically about what I do as a bystander, and do you know what I realized? Nothing.

I don’t mean I do nothing all the time, but the point is that I don’t do something every time that I witness something that I don’t believe is right or fair.

This happened on two separate occasions with two very different scenarios today, so I am going to tell you about both of them.

So this morning, on my way to work, I decided to stop at Tim Horton’s to grab a bagel for breakfast (a little treat to myself on payday). While I was driving to Tim’s, I noticed that the route I usually take to work was compromised by the ongoing construction, so after I got my bagel, I decided to take a different road, which just so happened to be the main street (also known as Main St.). As I was driving down Main St., which is also under construction, I heard someone yelling and another person whistling. When I looked over to see what was going on, I noticed two construction workers verbally harassing a young woman who was, seemingly, trying to open one of the shops downtown. Literally just trying to unlock the door trying to get to work.

I have been thinking about this all day. How this poor girl was just trying to mind her own business, trying to do her job and start the day. And the first thing that happens to her is that she gets cat-called and verbally harassed by some construction guys, who were clearly not trying to do their job!

But also, I am really upset with myself that I didn’t stop and say something. Step in. Granted, I was in a car, driving down the street where it would have been very unsafe for me to stop and get out. I feel insanely guilty because here I am, writing about how much I hate getting harassed, yet I won’t do anything to stop it when I see it happening to someone else. I’ve been saying that us women need to stick together and stand up for each other, and I did not do that today. I am quite ashamed of myself for it. But as a positive look, now I know how awful it is to just ignore it when I see it, and I will definitely intervene the next time I see something like this happening to another person, man or woman.

The next instance of witness today was just a little earlier tonight. As I mentioned above, today was payday! Yay! But unfortunately, this is a very small town, and my bank does not have a branch here. Luckily, there is one in a town about 15 minutes away. So after work, I was driving to the next town, when I saw two dogs run across the street, not on leashes, and with no human in sight. It was a pretty residential area, so I assume they were house pet dogs.

I have imagined this moment a hundred times. I have always imagined seeing dogs running loose, me getting out of the car and “rescuing them”, and returning them to their grateful owners.

Today, though, I learned that I was imagining wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely wanted to do something, but again, I was driving, and on a fairly busy street. I thought about it for almost too long, and I ALMOST ran a red light because I was so distracted (don’t worry, I didn’t). Again, I am quite disappointed in myself for not doing anything to help. Surely, there was a family (or two) that was desperately searching for their dogs! And I could have helped, but I didn’t.

I love animals, especially dogs, and I feel like I could have helped. It is eating away at me that I didn’t stop. I keep hoping with all my heart that these dogs are ok and that they have made it back to their families. But I will never know, and that is killing me.

Once I got home, I kept thinking about both of these events, when I stumbled across a Facebook post from one of my very good friends that was really inspiring. It read: “I’m not looking for attention I just need to tell my story as to what happened this morning. My mother and I were out for breakfast this morning, a man in a wheel chair ended up sitting beside us. He received his food and my mom said “I think he’s having issues” I looked over and he was struggling to open his crackers I asked him kindly “do you need help opening your crackers” he kindly said “please” so I went over and helped him open his crackers we then started talking, he was legally blind. I guess I just want to say how amazing it feels to be helping others, just always keep your eyes there may be someone out there struggling and they may need your help. The littlest things count.” I am always very inspired by my friends. They are all such amazing people and they make me strive to be a better person. But this story really made me think, and it is what really inspired todays blog.

So today I learned a very valuable lesson. Always, always, always try to help! Not only will you make someone’s day better, you will also feel amazing about yourself!

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