Shame on a Salisbury Street

Yesterday an elderly man fell in a Salisbury street and lay there, in freezing temperatures, for nearly five hours before a passer-by called an ambulance.

I don’t, for one minute, think that the citizens of Salisbury are any more callous than the citizens of anywhere else, but this incident does highlight something of the bleakness that has crept into society. We are afraid to get involved. Much safer to pass by on the other side rather than deal with someone who may be drunk or on drugs or otherwise a “danger” to us.

It won’t wash, of course. Like it or not, we are our brother’s keeper. It may seem a huge task, to keep our humanity when society urges us to “look after number one”, but is there any other option? Advent is about bringing light into darkness, and there is no greater darkness than that which we find in our own hearts, the darkness of fear and selfishness which makes us shrink from the Light and cripples our humanity.

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2 thoughts on “Shame on a Salisbury Street”

  1. We live in a society that treasures individualism and where families are fragmented in many cases, even so I am shocked that poor man waited 5 hours for help … awful!

  2. By way of contrast – my neighbour fell on her way to post her elderly neighbour’s Christmas cards. She lay on the pavement in a half faint with a badly broken wrist. A woman stopped, said, ‘No need to worry. I’m a trauma nurse. I’ll help you.” A man then stopped. “Don’t worry. I’m a paramedic. I’ll help the nurse.” Another woman stopped. “There’s nothing I can do to help, but I can post your letters.”
    Beware – good news seldom makes the news.

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