Ethics and Enabling
I had a vastly conflicted moment the other night. We’d just had a lovely meal at a good restaurant, and were on our way to have dessert at another favorite spot. The temperature was around 32 degrees, the time was around 7 or 8 pm, the sidewalks were chunky with ice and snow but the roads were dry and clear. As I drove down the road, I came upon –
A man dressed in black — in a wheelchair — no hat — wheeling himself along the side of the road towards oncoming traffic. He had a plastic grocery bag of something clenched in his teeth because his hands were busy with the wheels, and he had what looked like a six pack of beer in his lap. You can imagine his expression; grim and bitter and pissed at the world is what I saw in his face, at any rate.
Now, here’s the dilemna: what should I have done?
Stopped? (There were cars behind me and no easy spot to pull over.)
Kept going and called the cops, to tell them about a potential traffic hazard/potentially drunk guy looking to become a fatality?
Circled back around and stopped in a safe spot to ask him if he wanted a ride or needed help? (We had the van, and my husband was with me.)
Kept going and done nothing, on the grounds that the guy had made a choice to go out in freezing weather with no hat and black clothes on at night on a busy main road, and it wasn’t our business anyway?
I won’t tell you what I actually did . . . I’m more interested in hearing what other people think should have been the response! Please do leave comments, I really truly want to know.