We who deal with politics for a living have a pretty severe occupational hazard, namely cynicism. It is far too easy to see the failings of our fellow man in our political dealings and assume that there is just not that much honest goodness in the people of our nation. Then you see a story like this one.
The video at this link (the videographer asked that the embed be disabled but go take a look) is of a group of random people coming to the aid of an accident victim. They got together and lifted a burning (yeah, burning) car off of this man, and it was caught on film.
They did something startlingly human: they ran toward trouble and then helped out. When there were not enough people to get the car up, more came rushing. No one was standing back and talking about personal responsibility, they were just there doing their best for another person.
The video ends with the man being dragged out, as one of his boots is starting to catch fire. He looks well and truly dead, but this is a happy story. The L.A. Times is reporting that the young man, Brandon Wright, is going to live, though he does have broken bones and a long recovery ahead of him.
This kind of thing is something I wish that more of the “you’re on your own” set in our nation would see and learn its lesson. Humans are not solitary creatures; we have only been successful by being a collective bunch.
A single human is often hungry, dirty, lonely, and frankly a good meal for any other apex predator out there. A lone human is a nice meal for a tiger, but a group of humans is a flat disaster.
This is one of my central beliefs and I have written about it before, but the myth of total self-reliance is one of the most pernicious memes every released on this nation. It is there for one purpose only, to divide us so that those of us without wealth and power don’t realize our collective strength and take back that power from those who hold it.
For all that we have been told we are supposed to be only self-interested, scenes like this one belie it at the instinctive level. These people went towards trouble, towards fire to help someone they did not know, someone who would not be paying them for their help or was even in a position to ask for it.
Instead they saw a person in trouble and risked themselves, because that is what humans do. Tonight, and maybe only for tonight, I am proud of what we are at the core and what we can be.
What is on your minds tonight Firedogs? The floor is yours!