I’m not saying we’re all monsters, but when a fellow human being is in need of help, it seems some have a hard time answering the call.
I think deep down we’re all decent people — that’s the optimist in me — but the pessimist says that decency is often buried under cynicism, selfishness and pride.
I’ll never forget a day when I was out shopping with my mom. I was likely 13 or 14 years old and was waiting for her to come out of a store. I watched a mother who was pushing a double stroller walk up to the door of the store and struggle as she tried to open it and push her kids through. I just sat there and watched. I didn’t jump up immediately like I should have. Then after a moment passed, I started getting into my own head thinking, “Well it’s awkward now, John, you already didn’t help. And now it’s even more awkward because you’re not helping and she’s still struggling.”
Like the monster I was, I just sat there and watched the young mother battle the door and eventually win, but not before she suffered some wounds. That was over 15 years ago and it still eats at me. Who does that? What kind of human being am I that I watched one of my own in need and I just sat idle? I’ve made an effort to never be that idiotic teenager again, but now I feel bad about it all over again because even a tortoise is better than me.
This video shows a tortoise stranded on its back, desperately trying to get right-side up. Just when things look bleakest, another tortoise sees the distress, hurries over and rights his colleague. This tortoise gave his all to help one of his own get back on its feet, and I couldn’t even hold a door for a woman four feet in front of me.
Watch the video, get inspired and don’t be 14-year-old John, because 14-year-old John is the worst.