Around 9:30 one recent night, we were all in bed and every single light in our house was turned off. In the normal world, I suppose that means the home is closed for business. Regardless of the time or the fact that every light in the house was off, there was a persistent knock at the front door.
George (our dog) started barking like crazy. I shot out of bed a bit confused. My first thought was it had to be a friend at our door and my second thought was, “What friend would knock on our door when we are clearly not awake?”
Turns out it was two random people needing jumper cables. Immediately, I started to overreact -- I have that problem naturally. I told my boyfriend to grab the Taser gun; that sounds super silly now. George was still barking like a mad dog.
The guy’s story then changed from he needed jumper cables to his car was broken down across the street to that he had jumper cables and needed us to bring our car to his so we could help him restart the battery. My boyfriend told him to leave and that we were not going to help him. I grabbed my phone from the very beginning just in case I needed to call the police.
Well, it turns out this guy really did have a broken car across the street and really just needed a helping hand. Through our window, we saw him and his lady standing over their hood for the next 10 minutes until a friend pulled up to help
I went to bed feeling terrible. I couldn’t fall asleep because I could not stop thinking about the fact that I had just turned away another human being that needed a simple favor. Also, I should add that I cannot count how many times my car has needed jumper cables and/or another car to help restart.
I lay there unable to sleep. I thought about how ridiculous we must have seemed to them. Why did I feel so defensive because a stranger knocked at my door? It’s 2013. Why didn’t the guy just pick up a cell phone and call a friend? Why did he knock on a stranger’s door so late when they were clearly not awake? Why didn’t we help?
My conclusion is shame on me for being a bad Samaritan. Shame on the media for portraying most people as untrustworthy. Shame on people for hurting each other for a few dollars. Shame on individuals who make homemade bombs and kill or maim hundreds of people. Shame on the mentally deranged people who go to elementary schools and kill teachers and small children. Shame on anyone who hurts another human being. Shame on those who do not see the light in others and only see the evil. Shame on my society for not -- I struggle here -- for not being more.
Because of you, I am afraid to open my door for another person in need.