I love living in Whitehorse. I tell everyone, here and elsewhere, what a wonderful place this is. I love it so much that I often shed a few tears against my will whenever I come home from being down South or away on an international trip. I am that happy to be home.
Recently I shed tears for another reason. While I was waiting for the lights to change from red to green at the corner of Fourth and Second Avenues, just before Two Mile Hill begins, I saw a man stumble and fall. He wasn’t getting up when the lights changed to green.
I was the seventh car. No one ahead of me stopped to see if this man was OK. I imagine they would have driven around him had he fallen onto the road.
I stopped and another woman stopped after a few more cars had driven by without stopping. She had a cell phone and called an ambulance. I went and borrowed a chair from the business at the corner. A man kindly brought it out so we could get the fallen man off the sidewalk. The ambulance came. Two workers softly asked questions, checked the man out and got him into the ambulance.
Today, I shed some tears but not of joy at living in Whitehorse. I had a hard time reconciling Whitehorse and the people I love here with what had just happened. The man who had fallen was dressed very cleanly, was obviously stunned and not making any kind of fuss. He was just lying on the sidewalk.
I wasn’t scared even for one minute from stopping and helping him. I’m a five-foot-one woman and a senior. What about the first six cars who drove right by? Why didn’t they stop to help?
Whitehorse isn’t New York City, where you can be stabbed 20 times and no one helps you. Or is it?
This was in broad daylight and no one stopped. I can only imagine if it had been at night.
Today, I am not so happy to live here and I’m not so sure someone would help me if I stumbled and fell. I have a damaged ankle and sometimes I am a bit off balance. I could fall easily and so could anyone else. I met four other people this week who had all fallen and hurt themselves. It isn’t unusual. What is unusual is finding out that maybe no one will come and help you if you do.
Who are the people who live here? What kind of city do you want to be known for? It’s up to each and every one of us to be kind and helpful when someone needs our help.
Carol Ann Gingras