The other day while walking my dogs. a dog without a leash came bounding across the street. He was big, he was fast and I immediately became concerned. Although he didn’t act or look like a threat, my little dog could have started barking and I found myself concerned that things could get out of control.
While telling the stray dog to go home, I am the one who did exactly that. I managed to get my two pups back in the house. I then grabbed some dog treats and walked up the street to try and find this dog’s home. Yes, I was uneasy, yes, I was a bit nervous. My biggest fear however, was that this beautiful dog could get hit by a car.
All turned out well as my friend and I worked together to read “Gypsy’s” tags and locate the owner.
Before that happened, I approached a lady across the street where it turned out Gypsy lived. The lady was in her car in her driveway. I said, “Hello, I am wondering if you know this dog or it’s owner.” She looked at me while still in her car and said, “No, and I am not a dog person, and it’s not my business.”
In my mind, I couldn’t help but take her lack of compassion to the next step. If she heard a neighbor lady scream, would she NOT call 911 because it wasn’t her business? How often do we hear about a crowd watching someone being bullied or assaulted and walk away? I understand fear of retaliation or taking a chance that the attacker would turn on you. However, reporting the incident, offering to make a phone call, some gesture of helping someone in need…
It didn’t take me long to use my imagination and escalate this scenario.
There are many variations of the following poem. It was written by Martin Niemoller (Jan. 14 1892 – March 6 1984). I immediately thought of it.
“When the Nazis came for the communists, I did not speak out; as I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats, I did not speak out; I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews, I did not speak out; as I was not a Jew.
When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.”
We need to really think about the world we want to live in and the messages and lessons we want to leave our children. After all, history has shown that the future of our world is truly in our hands.
No matter how big or small the situation is, if we aren’t there for each other, who will be?
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Who Will Be There For Me?