If a 78-year-old man was lying in the middle of a busy street, bleeding and unmoving as a result of a hit-and-run, what would you do?
Would you call 911?
Would you try talking to the man to see if he was conscious?
Would you administer basic first aid, such as applying pressure to wounds?
Would you try to divert traffic?
Want to know what people in Hardford, Connecticut did? They walked past him and stared. People in cars kept driving by. A man on a scooter circled “…the victim before zipping away.”
This entire scene was caught on tape by a streetlight surveillance camera and Hartford Police Chief Daryl Roberts says “We no longer have a moral compass” and that “we have no regard for each other.”
A 78-year-old man is tossed like a rag doll by a hit-and-run driver and lies motionless on a busy city street as car after car goes by. Pedestrians gawk but appear to do nothing. One driver stops briefly but then pulls back into traffic. A man on a scooter slowly circles the victim before zipping away.
The chilling scene — captured on video by a streetlight surveillance camera — has touched off a round of soul-searching in Hartford, with the capital city’s biggest newspaper blaring “SO INHUMANE” on the front page and the police chief lamenting: “We no longer have a moral compass.
One of the best life lessons my dad ever taught me was that we all need to help each other. Many times my dad would make us late for family gatherings, church or school because he felt compelled to help people who clearly needed a good samaritan. I recall a couple of times he offered to help a homeless man, on separate occasions, who looked like he was injured. When my dad offered assistance the man threatened to show my dad his “butcher knife up close.” In spite of this, my father never got sour when it came to helping people. When I was growing up we would always pull the car over and both help push stranded motorists off to the side of the road.
A couple of weeks ago, on the way to work one morning, we stopped so I could help a man push his truck out of the street. When I got back in the car, my daughter asked me if I knew the man. When I told her I didn’t she asked why I helped him. I told her, “Because it was the right thing to do.” She seemed to understand and I know that it will be one of those things we must teach our children when we lead by example.
That is a very important — and incredibly basic — part of being human, I think. We all need help at times and it’s extremely disturbing to have such a blatant example that in the 21st century we seem to care less about the person next to us than ever before.
So, I ask you, have we lost our moral compass?