Rejecting Apathy

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I heard the scream as I was serving my kids breakfast. The very first thought that flitted through my brain was that it must be one of the fourth through sixth grade girls who waits for the bus at the corner of our quiet street. But it took my brain only milliseconds to reject that idea.


“That was a scream, not a yell,” my mind registered.


I flew to the living room window, wide open to the cool morning breeze, and I saw.


She was being attacked. I could tell she was being attacked because of her screams, though a part of me was struggling with the idea that a golden lab would attack someone. But, yes, there it was, right in front of my yard. A neighbor lady who walks her own dog, like clockwork, every morning, ponytail bobbing behind her. From somewhere, this unknown dog had charged, going after her animal, but mauling her in the process.


I called to my husband immediately and he ran out the door, in socks, grabbing a shovel by the door on his way.


I returned to the window and I saw it…


She was sitting, on the curb, visibly shaken up, but seemingly okay. Around her were all the husbands who surround my house. Mine. The young man across the street. The middle-aged father of two who lives next door to him. In seconds, and in all states of dress and disarray, they were there. All of them.


More neighbors came from the corner bus stop.


It is devastating to see someone get hurt. It was terrifying to hear her screams. I am so, so sad that she (and her dog) were both injured.


But it is a lovely thing to see a true neighborhood spring to action. In a time when we hear, all too often, about women who are attacked in broad daylight and no one stops… when gun shots go off and no one bothers to investigate… when there is so much self-centeredness and apathy… it strengthened my spirit to see how quickly people responded to her screams.


We need more of that. We need more people to take action. We need to be keenly aware of one another’s pain and suffering and never assume that “someone else” will take care of it.


This one was obvious– I heard a woman scream. But it reminds me that I need to be ever-aware of those around me. There’s lots of suffering out there, my friends… someone has to step up. It is my hope that, one day, even when I think I’m quick to rush to aid, I will still be third on the scene, just like this morning.


What do you think? Is that even possible?


I’m just thinking again, my friends, and taking you along with me…

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6 comments to Rejecting Apathy

  • Ohmyword! I can’t even imagine witnessing that! Poor womna {and dog!}–but thankful that there were people around to help her.

    “We need to be keenly aware of one another’s pain and suffering and never assume that “someone else” will take care of it.” <—— Couldn't agree more! My husband and I {along with our children} have talked a lot about this lately. There's been a ridiculous amount of bullying {the verbal kind} and it's absolutely terrible!

  • Amen. Thanks for putting it out there, JL.

  • Celine

    Another great post

  • mlearley

    That’s just great that all those men ran to her rescue!! We’ve never been able to do that but one time the neighbor’s dog was barking like crazy for over an hour. We could see that the TV was on but no lights, so we thought something was wrong with them…they are older, so we called 911. They sent an officer out (we were looking out the window) but no one answered and he couldn’t see anyone through the windows, so he left a note on the door. Here it turns out they were just away for the day and the dog must’ve gotten upset b/c when they came home at 10pm and saw the note we could hear them yelling at the dog.

    • I think it’s great that you called! You just never know, and I always think it’s so much better to be safe than sorry. (Bet that dog regretted making such a racket… ;))

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