Caring Enough to Take Action Creates Change

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I actually had a completely different topic lined up to talk about today but a series of events prompted me to write about something that has been weighing heavily on my heart lately. While I don’t watch the news, I’m not completely oblivious to the events that happen around the world or unaware of the disconnection. It seems that this disconnection has been calling my attention louder each time. It’s a sense of separation, that somehow instead of us being a community, a unit, a collective made up of individuals impacted by the same things, we’re each little pods. If something happens that doesn’t directly impact one’s pod, it’s like it didn’t happen.

Sure you might be aware of it for a moment or two but it doesn’t have a lasting effect. This was highlighted recently when my daughter was playing outside with her friends. I heard her screaming in a voice I’d never heard before. The sheer panic and fear in her voice alarmed me. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong because she was talking so quickly and incoherently. I was able to piece together that she heard a car accident on the main street parallel to where she was playing. I put on a pair of shoes and sprinted up the hill to the scene of the accident.

It took me a couple of minutes to arrive in the time since the accident occurred. When I got there, I saw about 20 people lined up along the sidewalk by local restaurants and businesses just watching the situation unfold. A car was stopped on the crosswalk with the back end completely crushed in. A lady sat in the front seat panicking, stiff, and holding her stomach. Her partner was anxious and screaming on the phone though I was unsure who he was talking to. The driver of the car that hit them was nervous and asking how the lady of the rear-ended car was. When she turned around, I realized it was a childhood friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in years. Although she was shaken up, she was fine so I told her I’d be right with her and tended to the passenger that was in pain.

I’m not trained as a first responder, but I couldn’t be yet another bystander. I knew not to move the passenger because there was no immediate danger and doing so could cause further injury. She told me she had just had back surgery and her neck was killing her. I asked her not to move and to just breathe as normally as she could. After a few moments, the color returned to her face and she wasn’t as frazzled. I turned around to survey the situation and was in absolute disbelief that by that point there were nearly 50 people watching and not one came over to even ask if everyone was ok. I realized traffic was starting to pile up and there was a risk of another accident due to this one. I sent my daughter home so that she wouldn’t get hurt and I started directing traffic. I stopped cars and waved others on for about half an hour until police and paramedics arrived.

I don’t tell this story to share the actions I took. I tell it because that situation was a prime example of what society has become. To live in a time of ultimate connectivity, there’s an incredible deficit of connection. No one had to run on foot or ride a horse for twenty miles to alert first responders. No one had to be inconvenienced or go out of their way to check on those involved in the accident. Yet why is it that no one acted? I can’t help but think that people were waiting for someone else. They were waiting for someone else to make the phone call to first responders. They were waiting for someone else to do something. They were waiting for someone else to help.

This scenario reminded me of the importance of community. One of the most important aspects is a sense of belonging. I think that sense of belonging is something that is lacking in today’s society. We’ve forgotten that we’re all interconnected, we all depend upon each other, and that it’s our responsibility to take care of one another. I see communities come together in times of distress but it shouldn’t take an accident, a natural disaster, or an act of violence for people to be united. It shouldn’t take injustice for us to stand up for one another. It shouldn’t take something having a direct negative impact on us for us to get involved and help or fight for one another.

I realize this post isn’t in my usual tone, and while I’m not writing with any malice, there is a sense of urgency in my words. It’s not up to someone else to fix things. The responsibility doesn’t start or stop with those who have signed up for it, been voted into it, or selected. It’s really up to each and every one of us. It’s up to us to find ways to solve problems our communities face. It’s up to us to not resign in defeat and accept things for the way they are. It’s up to us to speak for the voiceless. It’s up to us to come together and protect those who are taken advantage of, mistreated, and face injustice. It’s up to us to do more than care. It’s up to us to take action and as the saying goes be the change we want to see in the world.

I had to share this incredibly powerful video and not just because I’m proud of a leader who lives near one of the places I grew up. If you can’t press play and watch it right now, bookmark this to watch later today when you have 15 minutes. Two things, in particular, spoke to me the loudest. The speaker, Nick Tilson calls out the need for healing as a society. I think that part of the solution to the current state of the world is for society to heal. Heal the pains of the past that have been carried on for generations and continue to cause pain and division today. I’ll leave you with the single quote that impacted me the most from his talk.

Our vision has to be at least as big as the challenges we’re faced with.

-Nick Tilson

For details about Nick Tilson and the organization he’s a part of, you can find more details here.


What are your thoughts on this post? What part spoke to you the loudest? What does this post make you feel? What does it inspire you to do? What issues face your community that you’d like to change? What did you think of the video? I’d love to hear what’s on your heart, feel free to share in the comments.

17 thoughts on “Caring Enough to Take Action Creates Change

  1. I was a police officer for 20+years and cannt count the times I drove up to a incident and no one’s helping etc. It’s not just now. It’s been that for ever. Why do traffic come to a stop on the other direction from a traffic accident. It is human nature. In India people will not do nothing I mean nothing for a none family member. The three monkeys concept. Why does a rodeo have bull riding at the close of the show. People want to see others get hurt. Human nature. You are one of the type A person’s who will do something. Terrorist bank on most people running rather than stand fight.
    FIGHT OR FLIGHT

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t believe it! That’s a great point about traffic piling up when there’s an accident on the other side of the road. It was just very surprising to me. I’ve never been in that situation, thank goodness it wasn’t life threatening. I just couldn’t believe that even after people saw me helping that not one person stepped in to help. I come from a long line of people in my family who would have done the same thing. I didn’t even question or second guess what to do. If nothing else, I’m glad my daughter could witness it because she was able to see the type of person I am. Thank you for dedicating your life to being one of those people in the world ❤

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  2. A powerful phrase, Niki: “An incredible deficit of connection.” I feel the same way sometimes, and it saddens me. We can’t turn our backs on those who need help or look the other way. If we do, we create a deficit of morality.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true Linda! I think there’s a great amount of good things going on in the world otherwise it would be much worse than what it is. That said, as I always say, it could be worse but it could also be better!

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  3. This was an amazing read. I completely agree with you, we have become so dependent on not having to do anything. We think things will get sorted by others and we simply stand by and watch. You have a wonderful way with words and I loved reading this! If you have some spare time, I’m new to the blogging field and am looking for some feedback on mine if you ever have the time 🙂 all the best

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I think it’s been like this for some time but it’s just getting worse. People’s reaction is to get their phone and record before offering assistance. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t get it. I was surprised no one was recording since that’s the era we live in. Thank goodness the injuries were minimal but they had no idea from how far away they were. Close enough to see the action but far enough to miss the details. Thanks for reading ❤

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  4. Being a person who always tries to analyze both sides of a story, I wonder if our society has also created the image of action only being taken by heroic people. Do people nowadays wait for the superhero to step in and take over, because they feel the don’t have what it takes?! Just a thought. I think we have to get back to realizing that everyone has the ability to do something to help. In your situation you described plenty of opportunities that someone else could have stepped into. I wonder if it is fear, insecurities, or truly not caring that held the other people back. I applaud you for not letting yourself be held back by any of them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! Actually that was something that was mentioned in a Ted Talk I was watching after I wrote this. The speaker mentioned the same thing. He had over a dozen movie titles on a slide and asked what they all had in common. From The Matrix, to The Lord of the Rings, and The Chronicles of Narnia, the “hero” was always someone who was chosen or destined.

      I’m not sure what held others back. I even wondered afterwards why no one came after they saw me go back and forth between the two cars and directing traffic. I can’t speak to what kept them in spectator mode. I’m generally the kind of person that takes action. You never know how you’re going to react to a situation until you’re in it. I’ve never been in that predicament before but my instincts were to do whatever I could to help no matter how small.

      I think as a society we need to stop watching and recording, and start doing and helping more.

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  5. I don’t think there is one answer. There is a disconnect between folks now. If you see the unbelievable amount of hate and anger on social media today, that no one was interested in helping doesn’t surprise me. I think media stokes antisocial behavior, glorify’s it. As a society it feels like we have become observers rather that participants. Don’t actually do anything, watch others do it on youtube. I enjoy blogs, I think they are some of the most real, honest places left in society. The negative comments made on some of them would blow you away. ( Not you Niki I don’t doubt that you’ve had experience. ) A shift in consciousness, yes, a shift back to ethics, morals and respect. When people look up to and laugh at despicable speech and behavior, not much will change. Niki, get busy and create a shot of your attitudes and we’ll get everyone inoculated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, the internet makes it very easy to promote and condone the disconnect. I’ve stopped reading comments for most things online because even on the least likely topic to cause strife I’ve seen very hateful comments. The comments section can be worse than the news itself a lot of times.

      It’s sad that we live in this spectator society. I’ve seen videos of things happening where everyone was filming and no one was helping. Just unbelievable.

      I’m very thankful that I haven’t had a negative response to my blog. It was something I was concerned about when I first started because of things I’d seen on other blogs. There have been a few isolated instances but my community here is amazing.

      Thank you, Michael. We can all certainly do our part to make the world a better place. Even the smallest things can have a great impact. Have a wonderful week ❤

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