Thursday, November 4, 2010

Too Busy for Chivalry?

Let me start this blog off with what I encountered as I arrived home from a nice trip to the dollar movies with my kids.

I pull into my parking lot at approximately 4-4:40pm which is on an extremely traffic packed road right at a red light. I see a woman with a teenage daughter and preteen son, a uhaul truck halfway unpacked and their stuff from the truck scattered around in the parking lot in front of my complex.Now my apartment faces this parking lot so I continued to stare from my blinds as I came in and found CC my hubby at the computer.
(Don't snicker you know you would be nosey too.)

As I small talked with CC I observed this woman on the phone, obviously irritated, repeatedly running her fingers through her hair and talking to her kids, looking around and holding her chest. I saw her son darting around looking in boxes. Then I saw her daughter looking at her mother, her brother and their stuff. Suddenly I was transported back in time.

It was no longer a Uhaul but a Penske. They were no longer in Idaho but North Carolina. The little boy was my brother, the tensed woman was my mother and the teenage girl was me. I couldn't control myself. Without a word to my family I was in my shoes and crossing the battered field that separated us . I approached this woman and looked her in the eye. What I saw broke my heart. Fear.

I smiled and offered my hand introducing myself to her and her children. It was when I said "Can I help you?" that she broke down. She cried a little and said she had thought I was going to ask her to leave. I was so enraged at the assumption. Is that what this world has come too? A single mother with two children's first thought at someone approaching is that they are going to be asked to leave. I estimated that hundreds of cars passed by this scene in the time before and after I arrived. Not one person had the courage to whip in there role down the window and say "Can I help you?"

Why is that? I have two theories. One is we are simply to busy with where we are going and what we want to do to be aware of our surroundings. Two is that those that did consider asking were too scared she would say yes and then they would have to help. We do not like to be put out as a society. We are selfish, inconsiderate and unaware. Except when life's unfairness effects us directly and we go HEY!

So as for the woman. The reasons why she was in this situation is unimportant. The point is I trudged myself back over that field to my apartment, told CC and my Boy (he is 14). "Time for some service." Then after a little bit of explanation they happily came to this family's rescue. Shortly after they started our neighbor, super single mom mail lady, also came and pitched right in. I'm ashamed to say she did more of the manual labor than I did. However, she is super so it's easier for her.

What would you have done? Truthfully....


  1. Honestly? It wouldn't have occurred to me to keep looking out the window. However, I think I would have helped. I'm glad you were there. You really are a bold angel!

  2. i hope i would have done what you did. you are awesome and always willing to help and i dig that about you.

  3. Brianna, I really enjoyed reading your post. You have a gift. When your rich and famous I will be able to say I knew her when

  4. Thanks Guys it's helps to hear that.

  5. Well, I'm sure not a super mom, but I do know what its like to be stranded and alone. Unfortunately, I'm from LA and people can't be bothered. Maybe, so many people here are from SoCal. But I couldn't just ignore her need to meet nice people who will help with no strings attached. Maybe her experience here in Idaho will remind her that kindness still exists. I have been blessed to have found kindness within my church family.