The story of the bad Samaritan

It’s a sad time for humanity when busy schedules and work get in the way of basic compassion.

What happened to Les Courts was an accident. He had just gotten off a PARTA disability bus to enter Oscar Ritchie Hall. The driver assisted him, as per regulations. However, when Courts couldn’t use that entrance, he looked for another door on his own.

The hill was steep, and his wheelchair started moving too fast. The wheels burned his hands, making it hard for him to stop. He stopped by turning his chair, but the momentum made him fall out.

The driver followed policy by asking Courts if he was all right and calling her supervisor. But then the driver left.

That is completely unacceptable on so many levels.

As a PARTA driver, her responsibility was to Courts -ÿnot only to physically go over to him and talk to him, but to file an accident report and call Emergency Medical Services. Then she should have waited with Courts until medical assistance arrived. While that would have put her off schedule and inconvenienced other riders, given the circumstances, we’re sure they would have understood. In fact, they would probably have preferred this happened.

As a human being, she should have done the same exact thing. We can’t imagine how she could have left Courts before he was able to get back into his chair, let alone before he received any medical care. While calling her supervisor counts as filing a report, there was a delay in transferring the information between supervisors. It seems as if no one was doing the right thing.

People get busy, they have work to do, obligations to fill – but those should all come in as a far second to the priority to help another person in need.

While the PARTA driver should have acted differently, placing all of the blame on her and ostracizing her won’t accomplish anything. We’re sure she’s learned her lesson by now.

The problem doesn’t lie in just one person. It’s all of us. How many of us can remember a time when we could have helped someone out with just one simple act but didn’t, because class was about to start or because we were just having a bad day?

We’re not talking about basic manners of holding a door or elevator for someone, using “please” and “thank you” and not talking on a cell phone in the library – which, by the way, seems hard enough for some people. We mean if you see someone slip on some ice, ask him or her if they are OK and want some help up. We mean helping someone jump a car battery.

It’s all a matter of putting things into perspective. What is more important: Staying on schedule or coming to the aid of another human being? When it’s presented that way, it seems like a clear choice to us.

Humans are a social species. No matter how independent and individual we each think ourselves to be, we still rely on each other to some degree to survive. It’s a basic fact that we need to embrace instead of deny.

Just remember, at the end of the day, do you want to be proud of the fact that you made it to class on time, even after getting that cup of coffee, or for being late because you were a decent human being?

The above editorial is the general consensus opinion of the editorial board of the Daily Kent Stater.