Today I was leaving the supermarket and a woman’s pack of strawberries fell out of her packed shopping cart, scattering strawberries all over the floor at the exit.
There were three other customers, a couple and a woman besides myself exiting and an employee of the supermarket right there.
The couple, who were right next to the woman, stepped over the strawberries and headed out of the exit. I, right behind the couple, bent down and started to help the woman pick up the berries. The employee looked down at the strawberries and walked off in the opposite direction without batting an eye. The other woman hesitated, looked to see if either I or the employee would help and walked away from the scene to exit at the further door.
As I helped the person pick up the strawberries, rather than just accept my help, they told me that they were ok and that they “got it”. I stopped helping because if she said no to help, then no means no.
In retrospect, in today’s environment of extreme political correctness and #metoo, I should have asked if she needed help in case I was accused of harassing her. Yes, that is where we are at as a society now. She thanked me. I went on my way. The entire interaction took less than thirty seconds.
Looking at that entire minute as a population slice:
16.66% of the population needed help but hesitated to accept it when it was offered because of embarrassment, pride and vulnerability.
50% of the population thought that their time was too precious to stop for less than a minute to assist another human being in need and left without hesitation or figured someone else was handling it.
16.66% of the population thought that it wasn’t their job and was not paid enough to help.
16.66% of the population actually stopped and helped without hesitation.
Yep. Looks about right. Sad.