Cambodia Blog 11
January 20th 2011
Being the Hero - Or Not
What would you do?
The gap between what *would* I do, in my head, and what I *did* do, in reality, is an uncomfortably large one. Cambodia forces me to stare into this void far more often than I do in America, where we have a functional social safety net to keep us from looking our responsibility to one another in the face. So the question I pose in this blog is this: what do you do when you see someone who needs help, and have absolutely no idea how to help them? My dear reader, I do hope you will reply.
Today on my way home from dinner I passed one of the strangest and saddest things I have ever seen. Coming out of a nightclub/hotel parking lot was a large expensive car, the kind so popular with the pretentious rich here with ‘LEXUS’ scrawled across the sides. But the car was stopped halfway into the road. A woman blocked it’s exit, completely naked, the resigned desperation on her face lit by headlights of the thick cloud of traffic crawling by the scene.
She needed help. I don’t know why she was there, the only reasons I can guess at are horrific. But the reality was: she was naked in the middle of the street and no one was helping her. I had no idea what to do. When I got home I shoved a dress, a bathrobe and my leftover pizza in my bag and went running back. But, of course, she was gone. My chase to help had come and gone in the few shocked seconds after seeing her and realizing she needed help.
So what to do? In those seconds, do you get off the moto or out of the car or out of your way and try to help, even if you don’t know what to do? Do you collect your thoughts and come back too late? I know there is little I can do, with my resources and my experience, but I refuse to accept inaction. And yet still, I don’t know what to do.
What would you do? What should a decent, caring person do when faced with immediate need? Thank you for your thoughts.