Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Would you stop to help a stranger in need (115F heat)?

I rescue animals all the time, but I started to think about why I don't have the same level of compassion for humans  (they're corrupted and often evil).  But, if I saw one by the side of the road in distress, would I help?

This morning, I passed a well-dressed middle-aged (decent-looking) man in a nice car, stuck by the side of the road with the hood open (car broke down) on the Gulf Road.  It was already 42 degrees outside (about what - 115, I think).  He looked damn hot.

I drove by.  And intended to continue to work.  And drove.  And damn.... I felt guilty.

So I went back.

I just asked him if he wanted to sit in my car with the AC on until his help arrived.  He thanked me and said his brother was on his way.  Dude was so thankful and shocked.  I think it took him a minute to register.

I would never do something like this in the US (or many other countries) because it is just not safe.  But, his break down was on the Gulf Road and in a very visible place with lots of traffic.  I never felt like I was in any danger (plus I had my pepper spray right next to me, as always).

It stated me wondering what has happened to Kuwaiti society that no one else would stop to help him or offer the same?  It didn't used to be like this here.  If I saw a dog on the side of the road, I would have stopped in a heartbeat, but I really had to think hard before going back for a human in distress.  (Then I got to wondering if stranger-dude had been dressed differently, or driving a different car - would I have even given him thought.  That's wrong and judgmental and I don't want to be that person.)

If I hadn't seen this video on Facebook yesterday, maybe I wouldn't have stopped at all.  I dunno.  This got me thinking:

So, I did my good deed for the day.  (I hope no one comes along and phucks up my attitude.)


Anonymous said...

I know your offer was done with a good intention but I don't think it would register as such with the others : those receiving it or passers by .Your simple offer and act will be misinterpreted and harshly judged especially in a conservative society. You got to admit that times have changed drastically , people will look for ulterior motives even in the simplest of acts . Stay away from risky and suspicious circumstances , it's the smart thing to do .

Desert Girl said...

See, there it is - jackin my 'tude. I think it is between God and I and He knows my intent. I think people here have lost too much compassion. And these are the same people who pray and fast. Do what your conscience tells you is right and decent. I'm glad I stopped. He was a very kind man and I intuitively know that he accepted it as a gesture of goodwill.

Expat and the City said...

Did you get his number? Go DG! ;)

M Saif said...

Today I broke down in the Faheek Express way on the outside lane (sudden loss of power so could not manoeuvre the car to the inside hard shoulder). It was 51c and my 8 year old daughter was with me in the 911. I pushed the car to the hard shoulder alone. Drivers would not stop to let me push the car. No one stopped to help. After 5 minutes someone drove slower and gestured so I flagged him down and he gave me a lift to my place. Thank-you so much to the gentleman. For the rest, I am ashamed to be on the same planet. They all looked and drove on. I do not have much faith in others.

Anonymous said...

I think you did the right thing,in the islamic context there was a event where one of the wives of the prophet was left behind by mistake in the middle of the desert by the caravan, she was brought to the city by the man who usually rides behind the caravan at those times and the people started talking bad about her until a quranic verse was reveal about her inocence, so my question is what sould have been the right thing to do in these times? should the man had gone back to the city and leave her in the middle of the desert and tell her husband, the prophet, to go back to pick her up? I mean there are certain circumstances that can not wait and God knows best and people should matter their own business.... I cant also get how there is people who dont offer help to a person in hardship and on the top of that critize someone how is doing something to give a hand to someone.

Desert Girl said...

Expat - I swear to God, I was just WAITING for someone from the peanut gallery to ask that question. You NEVER let me down and I love you for it!!! No, I didn't. This was a completely innocent gesture - honest.

M Saif - I'm glad that you got home safely. I can't believe that people still wouldn't stop even when you had a child in the car! Awful.

Anonymous 1:04 - what a LOVELY sentiment. Thank you for that and I'm wishing you a blessed Ramadan.

Anonymous said...

I will stop for sure, but only if is not an woman that I can recognize that is Arabic because the dressing. Unfortunately, in this country you try to be gentle and then stupid people think that you are doing something else... of course wrong... by the way Dessert Girl... today I was driving near Holiday Inn Salmiya and a bold guy driving a BMW was taking practically all the roadway in a two way street (I was driving in his opposite direction) passing by my car, the guy down the glass and ask me: "what's your problem?"... I said... "dear, you are driving in the middle of the street"... he answer me: "you don't have to teach me how to drive in MY COUNTRY, go away... and going he said also... asshole"... of course I reply to him with a nice... "fuck you"... and we went away... but Dessert Girl... you have to believe me that I felt like in those moments (five seconds) in my life that I just wanted to have a gun (fortunately I don't have any gun) to shot that guy directly in the head... then... Kuwaitis sometimes ask them self why people say that this is not a "friendly country" and why people says that Kuwaitis are arrogant and they deserve another war... I have Kuwaiti friends and thanks God are not like this guy but unfortunately is lots of people in this country that behave like this guy.

Anonymous said...

Oprah calls it a random act of kindness and she did a show on it reminding people of their civic duty to help those around us. That’s exactly what you did! You saw a stranger in distress, your kind nature kicked in and you did what your conscious told you to do, you did a random act of kindness. What a different place Kuwait would be if there were more people that assisted people in need around them. On a recent trip to Myanmar, I was overwhelmed by how religious the people were and how they actively assisted people in their social obligation to society. Mainly it came from their devotion to their Buddhist religion, but in country where people struggle to turn on a light, it was impressive. It is a very poor country and has been closed for over 50 years to foreign tourists, but somehow in a society where there is a crumbling infrastructure and broken streets with open sewers nobody is starving, because there is a community where neighbors have an obligation to assist one another in the neighborhood, much of what I heard Kuwait used to be? Isn’t there a Muslim teaching that you must help the seven neighbors living beside you? One would hope that during Ramadan the demeanor will change, but thank you for being so kind and stepping ‘out of the box’ to assist your fellow man. God will bless you for that and hopefully people in Kuwait that read your post will not hesitate to take that step in changing the demeanor of a nation.

Anonymous said...

You did right. It was a noble action and you are a very nice human being for caring.