Wednesday, 23 March 2016

The Milk of Human Kindness

In a bit of a departure, this isn't about work, or LittleBear, or the deranged frothings of my tiny mind. It's an observation on how kind people can be.

As I left work/nursery yesterday, I pulled up to the junction in the aftermath of a messy accident. A little car had ploughed into the side of another car, flipping it onto its side, and then in turn been shunted by a van. The whole lot was sprawled across a busy junction, so I, along with the other people arriving at the scene, leapt out to see what we could do. The men from the van immediately went to the overturned car to see if they could help whoever was inside. The lady who'd pulled up just before me was already on the phone to the emergency services. I acted as relay between her and the van-men to pass on the state of the lady trapped in her car*. Phone-woman couldn't bear to look and was shaking, hence the need for a relay.

Nobody panicked, nobody did anything stupid. A handful of burly men took over directing the traffic to keep a trunk road through WorkTown flowing until the police could come and take charge. Another couple of people lay on the ground beside trapped-lady to keep her reassured. And I cuddled the woman from the little car who'd caused the accident. Because it turned out she was E, one of LittleBear's carers from nursery. She's only young, only been driving for a year and was shaking in a way I didn't know it was possible for a person to shake. She was terrified that she was going to be in trouble, distraught at having potentially hurt someone, frantic about what would happen next. And she couldn't get hold of her parents or boyfriend and just wanted someone to come and get her and make it all better. And she'd hit her head on the door pillar and hurt her foot, but didn't seem to be thinking about either of those things. So I did what I could to be motherly (because, somewhat scarily, I'm probably old enough to be her mother).

Then the firecrew arrived and started making the overturned car safe and preparing to cut it open. And the police arrived and closed the road, and started working out who needed attention and who didn't. And the ambulances arrived to look after the injuries.

Once I'd made sure E was being looked after, I checked with the police that it was OK for me to leave and went back to my car, where my fantastic LittleBear was still calmly sitting waiting. Admittedly he had a chocolate hobnob and his nanoo, and could see me the whole time, but I was still proud of him for not kicking up a fuss. And I drove home thinking how lucky I am never to have been in a bad accident, and how terrified I am of being involved in one with my precious LittleBear. But most of all I was just gently impressed at how calm and kind and thoughful everyone was. Every single person appeared to be more concerned with others and not with themselves. There was no voyeuristic gawping, no taking of photographs, no selfishness. Complete strangers worked together for the greater good, trying to keep the traffic flowing, trying to reassure the injured and scared. It was almost enough to make me believe that there's hope for humanity after all.

* As far as I know, the lady trapped in the car was fine. She was certainly conscious, talking and not obviously bleeding when the ambulances arrived, she was just trapped.


  1. I'm commenting because not many others do and, in case you think that no-one else reads or appreciates your blog, I'd like to say that I, and probably many others, read, appreciate it and love your honesty. I also love the way you explain your job in such a simple way so those of us who have no idea what you are talking about suddenly think we do! Well done - keep at it!

    1. Thank you! It's nice to know people are enjoying it. I shall endeavour to keep at it!