Wednesday, July 27, 2011

lack of consideration

I was driving along today and here comes an ambulance up behind me with the lights on.  I do what I am supposed to do and I swing over to the side of the road to let him go through.  While it isn't the funnest thing to do it is considerate and also the law.  The main reason it isn't fun to do is that I didn't have a lot of room to pull over and they have to bumps on the side of the road to warn you if you are falling asleep and running yourself into the ditch.  (I don't know what those bumps are called but I am sure you all know what I am talking about.  They make you feel like you are killing the tires of your car with every rotation).
Well up ahead as I start to pull back onto the road I see a car coming from the opposite way and wow, he doesn't pull over at all.  He slows down just a tiny bit (it looks like) and kind of drives toward the outside line but he definitely never stops and he isn't even over the yellow line.
It really struck me just then that we have a huge lack of consideration for certain things when they "disrupt" our lives and that is really sad.  I can think of 3 or 4 times in the last year alone that I have seen something like this happen for either a firetruck or an ambulance.
These people are not speeding down the highway for fun or because it is a thrill; they are doing their best to serve us by risking their own lives and well-being in order to save others.  You can make this argument for the armed forces as well although it has been said many times over and while I feel it is very justified I don't need to rant about something that you can see once a week on a facebook post, a editorial, or on tv.
I realize that there are times when you don't see the emergency vehicle coming; I will admit that I didn't catch on to the fact that there was an ambulance coming up behind me until the last 100 yards or so and I figured it out because I saw some cars pulling over and as I drove by them I checked them in my rear view mirror.  But as soon as I saw those flashing lights I hit the side of the road as fast as I could safely do.  But this car was coming toward the ambulance.  That means that he could see him coming right at him and he still did nothing.  (Unless of course he wasn't watching forward and then I don't want to think of what might happen.)
So the ambulance slows down as it passes this guy and when you are going 90+ and trying to weave in and out of traffic I am sure that isn't the safest of things to do even on a sunny dry day like today.  Meanwhile I am sure whoever is in the back of that thing isn't feeling well and every swerve is probably making it harder for the medics in the back to do their job too.
Have we ever stopped to think of things like this in our every day lives or do we continually go on our way "blissfully" unaware of what we might be doing to others?  Worst case scenario the person dies in the back of that ambulance because of the swerving and the lack of speed they are able to make to the hospital.  Scary thought - what if the person that didn't pull over knows and loves the person in the back of that ambulance?  They just helped kill someone they care for.
Best case scenario you still gave the driver of the ambulance a mild heart attack because they are trying their best to get to the hospital while not crashing and driving at speeds that allow for insta-injury if something like a deer runs into the road.
The same could be said for fire engines.  I see people all the time not pull over for fire engines yet these guys are in a huge (and I mean huge) vehicle trying to swing in and out of traffic and around corners meant for 15 mph not 50 while doing their best to save and rescue their fellow human beings and all the things that we hold dear to ourselves in possessions.  Yet people don't feel they need to get out of the way.  You might feel a little different if you realize later that they were rushing to your home to rescue your stuff wouldn't you?
It seems to me that while most people are considerate that there are still some out there that need to get a clue.  Since when did we become so self-centered that we have no consideration for things like this?  A little consideration can go a long way in helping things in the world and we want to be considerate now because you never know when you might be counting on the consideration of others to help you along in life.

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