Musings from the ever-changing, ever-amazing and occasionally ever-baffling Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Callous Nature of a Hit and Run

Early this morning a man, his identity as of yet unknown, was the victim of a hit and run collision that took his life. I won't speculate on the details of his demise, except to say that it is tragic and heartbreaking and that someone, somewhere is going to get some devastating news today indicating that someone they love is never coming home again. There is a lot to be said about the callousness of a  driver who could hit a human being and drive away as if they hit a bag of trash, leaving them there on the road to die alone, but today I won't even write about that as the anger is still too hot to touch. Instead today I write about those individuals who had the audacity to complain on social media that they were delayed in their travels because the RCMP had to shut down the road in order to investigate a collision that claimed a life. Today I write about the cold and callous lack of compassion that seems to dwell in the hearts of some.

I have heard it before, of course, when tragic accidents have shut down the highway for hours as the RCMP picked up the debris and investigated the collision. I understand the inconvenience of being delayed and stopped in traffic, as it has happened to me, too - but how fortunate we are to be the ones safe in our cars and simply inconvenienced as opposed to the ones who lie dead on a highway. How lucky we are to be alive to complain about the delay and bemoaning how slow the police are at doing their jobs. How very fortunate we are to be the ones who are alive, and how we should hope that we will not be on the receiving end of that phone call or visit from the RCMP and learn that it is our loved one who is never coming home again.

I will never, ever understand those who can complain about an inconvenience at a time when someone has died. The callousness of that, the lack of compassion, shows that perhaps we have been fortunate enough to never have such tragedy touch our lives. It has never been one of our family or friends lying in tangled wreckage or crumpled on a road. It has never been someone we loved, and we have never gotten that phone call or visit. How lucky we are, and how shallow our complaints at the inconvenience we face when we are delayed.

It saddens me to see the sort of callousness I witnessed this morning. It is the kind of attitude that rips at the fabric of our community, and that shows a dark side of our humanity, one that does not reflect well on us in any way. It makes us seem as if we do not care, as if we do not understand the value of human life and the nature of compassion. It is a sad commentary on a tragedy which has seen someone die alone on a highway, and an even more sad commentary on those who would complain about the inconvenience of their having done so. It is the callous nature of a hit and run, and it seems, sadly, that the callousness and lack of compassion isn't limited to the hit and run driver alone. How tragic indeed.

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