Monday, October 21, 2013

The Old Man on the Country Road


There's an old man who walks along the country road, when I'm doing the early morning school run. I assume because he is carrying a brief case, and dressed in a suit, that he is headed to work. If you know country roads, you realize they are not the safest of places to be walking...there's no sidewalk, the terrain is rough, and cars don't always see you.

I have seen this man walking every single day since school started (just this year), and there have been several times I've wanted to stop and give him a ride. But I do not. Not when the kids are in the car, but truth be told, I probably wouldn't even if I was solo...because you just never know.

When the harsh weather happens in, I hope he's not still out there walking.

Humanity should make me stop. Fear of safety prevents me. I'm mad at myself for not stopping, and I'm sad (maybe that's not the right emotion to express how I feel) that I am too scared to stop.

Do you ever let fear prevent you from helping others, when it wouldn't be hard at all for you to help?

90 comments:

  1. I see your dilemma here and probably would feel similar to you. I wonder though where he is going and that curiosity would probably also be gnawing a bit at me, as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's always on the same schedule and dressed nicely. I assume he's going to the small town to work (quite a little walk too).

      Delete
  2. This is a hard one. I've picked up a woman before and I've given a lift to two older men, but I probably shouldn't have risked that. I want to be helpful and generous, but the world has become a bit too scary to risk your life. Sad really.
    -Jamie
    ChatterBlossom

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm sure I would do the same thing. I picked up one man before (he was old, having trouble walking, and said he needed to get to the grocery store to get something for his sick wife. Something made me trust him.) Ever since then, though, I've had little nightmares about what could have happened, you know? The world is a scary place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish it was a given you could trust and help others without worrying about negative repercussions.

      Delete
  4. I one time picked up a guy who was carring gas cans. I was rushed but stopped anyway. I dropped the guy off where there was gas..... he wanted me to run him all the way back to where we started. I told him I had to get to work, which was true. I am sure he could get someone going his way from the gas station.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny when you offer something, and people almost expect more. I've had that happen before too. ;)

      Delete
  5. I wouldn't call it fear and much as there are so many predators out there that it's just not a wise thing to do. After 25 years working as a deputy sheriff I'm very cautious. I've seen the horrors of those predators.

    Have a terrific day. ☺

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 'could be's' are too strong to ignore, which is too dang bad. It would be nice to help where help is legitimately needed without having to worry about danger. I know that's not the real world though.

      Have a great day, Sandee.

      Delete
  6. Yeah the fear of what if would make me keep driving. Plus you just never know helping people now a days, you could help them wrong or something and they'd sue you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would have been my first thought in Florida, I didn't even think of it here, but you're right, could happen.

      Delete
  7. I understand your situation Rosey. One has to be so careful these days. Maybe one day when your husband is with you it would be possible to have a word with the old man. You are a caring person. Have a great day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Judy!! Happy day to you too. :)

      Delete
  8. It's hard to tell you not to feel like you are feeling, as I would do and feel excite me the same way. It's unfortunate that life has taking us up to this point, but these days you can never be too cautious with oneself and especially with little ones being our responsibility.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's always my first thought, whether the kids are with me or not. Even if something happened to me they would be at a loss. I just think it's sad we have to consider it before deciding whether or not to lend a hand (if it's wanted and/or needed).

      Delete
  9. I completely understand how you are feeling because I would feel the same way. It's hard to not stop and help but for safety reasons I completely understand.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's true - you can't be too careful these days. You are so kind and caring, sweetie.

    Happy Monday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy Monday to you too!! Between you and Lizy, by the way, my Pinterest board is getting filled with yummy things! :)

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much for pinning! Love you, Rosey!

      Delete
  11. Honestly, I wouldn't stop either. You just never know these days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You really don't and that's what keeps me driving on.

      Delete
  12. Hopefully that guy is working and saving up to buy his own car. That is what a reasonable person would be doing.

    As for your question, yes. There are times when I have felt compelled to help someone and fear of what could happen has stopped me. There have been other times when I have felt more secure and given a stranger a lift. I couldn't even tell you what has separated one time from the other. Maybe I was younger when I was more inclined to help and not as aware of the many dangers out there. Now, it is very frightening. I want to believe that most people are good, genuine, and in need. But, that is precisely what a predator is counting on...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope he is saving, or just likes walking... :)

      I was more reckless with m y safety in the past (pre-kiddos). I don't remember giving any strangers a ride... but it could have happened.

      Delete
  13. I wouldn't stop either, it's horrible but at the end of the day your job is to protect your family and yourself, it's a downside of the world we live in

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right! And we have to remember we're parents with littles who need us, even if the kiddos are not with us at the time, so I still would go by him if I was alone. I tend to equate 'old' with nice and/or harmless, and that's certainly not always the case either.

      Delete
  14. I can understand how you feel I would probably feel the same, but unless you find out where he comes from etc I would let him walk

    Have a tanfastic week ahead Rosey and thanks for gyrating by ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, letting him walk...he seems fit as a fiddle and okay with it. Maybe he just likes it for all I know. :)

      Delete
  15. wow, these people pull at my heart strings... love you have a great weekend

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too...I always have to be careful not to overextend myself in trying to help. I'd sure do a lot more though, if I could and still feel safe about it.

      Delete
  16. Sadly, it's just not safe to pick people up. But perhaps he really enjoys the walk to work?

    ReplyDelete
  17. this is quite a dilemma rosey...because of how the world is today, you'll just never know - it's better be safe than sorry....makes me wonder why can he not at least get a bike if he's all dressed up in suit with a briefcase? it just weirded me a little bit..especially if he's walking in a country road like that...

    just be careful...huggies♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I won't give him a ride, it just unnerves me to see him walking, especially if it's cold or raining.

      Delete
  18. Well some people just walk because they enjoy it. I know my husband always opts to park far away and take the stairs, maybe it's just his way. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume if he's in a suit and has a case he has a decent job. I totally feel you though, I'd probably be thinking the same way. Start waving when you pass him, maybe you'll get a feel for the kind of person he is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He always has his back to me walking in the same direction I'm driving, but if the chance comes up to wave, I certainly will do so.

      My hubby parks as far from the entrance as possible too. Always. :)

      Delete
  19. Well, I think it is better to be safe than sorry. I would think that if he is dressed in a suit and going to work, he could afford some means of transportation...Maybe this is his way of exercising? Also, trust your intuition and you can't go wrong. Oh and getting mad at yourself is wasted energy! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope it is his way of exercising.

      I like the 'getting mad' advice, it is true. :)

      Delete
  20. I know exactly what you mean. There have been times when I would've liked to stop and offer assistance to someone, but I just don't want to take the risk. It's sad that we have to be so careful, but I know that I am small and could easily be overtaken by a man if he wished to do so. I have to think of myself first, as much as I'd like to help sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sad that we have to think that way, but true we really do.

      Delete
  21. Honestly, I'd help a woman, but probably not a man when it was just me and the kids.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Better safe than sorry is a good attitude to have!

      Delete
  22. Thanks for this post. I feel the very same way. Years ago, before there were call boxes on the freeways for people to use in emergencies, I used to stop my car and--without rolling down my window--get phone numbers to call for people who were in distress. At the time, I felt the standard of "as you have done it to the least of men, you have done it to me" to be a strong directive. Now, looking back, I am very thankful that someone didn't smash my window or my tire and cause me to be disabled there and vulnerable. (My brother has since become a cop and I know more horror stories than I used to.) These days I am very glad there are call boxes and cell phones, so I don't have to feel guilty when I drive by. But I do feel bad about passing people by who are walking in our rural area. Still, there are a lot of unstable people out there. Once they are in your car you are in very close quarters, and even someone who didn't have violent intentions could cause serious problems. But it's a hard decision to make, to pass someone by.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, once they're in the car you better have been right to let them in there because it's a very confined space. You've made excellent points, including it's not always safe to pull over even if you keep the windows up. Thank you for your visit!

      Delete
  23. Maybe he is catching a ride with a co-worker and he is just walking to a meeting place. It is a sad shame that we live in a society where we fear what might happen if we help someone but we have to be cautious and protect ourselves for us and our families.Shortly after we married, my husband and I were stranded in the middle of a back country road
    before and a young man stopped to help us, he said if it had just been my husband he would not have stopped. We always stop to help people or step in if someone obviously needs some type of help but I would never give a stranger a ride. There are times when my gut says you better not stop and in those cases I just pray to God that they get the help they need and everyone involved stays safe and protected.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope he is choosing to walk for whatever reason. I've said little prayers passing him too. I worry about his safety too, that road has hills and such and you know in the country people are not always watching their speed, or the road carefully because there's usually not much to worry about in the way of other traffic.

      Delete
  24. It's very understandable - it's sad that there are those out there who need our help yet it's not our fault for being concerned and hesitant.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Rosey,
    It is a tough choice - humanity or safety? Maybe you could slow down and wave, since you see him everyday. This would, at least, establish some sort of rapport. A honk and a wave seem like a good compromise.

    I used to have an older gentleman who sat in the bench just outside of our office. He was disheveled and homeless-looking. He would just sit there, sometimes read the paper. He never bothered anyone. I struck up a conversation with him one day. What a fascinating human being. He was a veteran and had traveled to so many places. I would buy him a cup of coffee on colder days and we would chat for a bit. As scary as the world is, sometimes I like to think that maybe it's not as bad as I think. (My husband begs to differ and cautions me otherwise, especially when, like you in this instance, I have the kids.)

    Good luck with this one.

    Sincerely,
    Karina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet that man remembers your kindness just as much as you remember that he was fascinating to talk to. :)

      Delete
    2. Hi Rosey,
      That would be nice. Isn't the cliche about how people always remember how you made them feel?

      Sincerely,
      Karina

      Delete
  26. I wouldn't have stopped when I lived in Seattle, but here I would. There are only 1.9 million people in our whole state so the chance of anything happening are pretty small :) Plus everyone really knows everyone else especially in the rural areas. My husband thinks I'm too nice sometimes though, so I can understand why you wouldn't want to stop!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're in a small community but I've not seen him before he started walking. I'm just wishing him well in my mind and not stopping. Hopefully he'll not be out there in the snow!!

      Delete
  27. I think as women, we need to be more cautious than caring. Sounds harsh, but we have ourselves and our families to think about. My husband has stopped and offered people rides before, but would never do so with any of us in the car. I remember this one time, he said he stopped for a young couple and their baby. It was really cold out. They asked for a ride to Kmart. He dropped them off and they said, we have other places to run to, mind waiting while we shop then take us out some more. LOL he was like, uh, I've got to get going. Hope this helped a little.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol at the never of the young couple w/the baby!! I've had people try and 'get more' too when I've helped. I just laugh and move along (quickly).

      Cautious is not a harsh concept, and I agree a necessity. Thank you for the thoughtful response!

      Delete
  28. In this day and age ~ it is conflictual because of safety issues ~ i have learned that I need to 'let go' and know that each person can take care of themselves ~ I don't have to do it. ~ Maybe once you learn who he is it might be different ~ just my thoughts ~ carol ~

    http://www.acreativeharbor.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Safety does make it a conflict of emotions. I'm just wishing him well mentally and driving right by. I wish I could stop and extend the offer in case he really did need it, but potential risk weighs too heavy to even consider it. I just don't like that that's true. Thank you for your visit and the advice too!

      Delete
  29. humanity should make me stop...but...its a scary world out there and you never know...as a woman, i dont know if i would stop for a man honestly. i think as a guy i have it easier in that regard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed that men do have it easier in this regard. :)

      Delete
  30. While I have been known to put myself at considerable risk to try an help another / stranger - you really have to have your radar on and your "sensors" - that little voice inside your head that is ALWAYS on, at least at a whisper level - turned up high.

    Like you I have heard too many horror stories (from first hand accounts as well as in the news) to not be VERY wary... And while I've mostly had very positive and gratifying when offering/ attempting to help a stranger - a few less pleasant but none worse than an interesting (if slightly scary) story to tell later on....

    On the other hand, there have also been a good number of occasions when my antenna did go up and that "little voice" grew louder - in those cases I always listen - because something is going on that makes those alarms go off - it may not even be the other person - but whatever it is - I listen and heed. Of course then we have no way of knowing what WOULD have happened but if you live your life as a good, kind, caring and thoughtful person as a way of life - then you don't have to feel badly on those occasions when a flag goes up and something holds you back - in those cases it IS best to follow the old adages "Better Safe Than Sorry" - and in any and all situation it's best to proceed with caution

    As to YOUR Specific Situation: We live in a mostly quiet part of a large urban area - I know things are very different "out in the country" - isn't there somewhere you could find out more about this man? Like where he lives and where he is going every day?

    I would do ask around - casually and among friends and trusted neighbors - but then again I am a writer and am hopelessly curious! It's altogether possible that he enjoys the walk - and even if carless - my Honey/Hubby rides his bike to work (20+ miles away in a heavily urban area) almost all year round and Winter's here are usually very nasty!)

    Even if you learn more about him - you might still want to keep your distance and resist the urge to be a good samaritan - one thing I DO know: just because he's nicely dressed/ wearing a suit is no guarantee that he's not bad news on the inside.

    Anyway, Good Luck, Stay Safe and Be Well.

    Jesselyn A.
    Jessterlyn(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your analogy with the suit is great. I think I equate older persons to the kind people my grandparents were, and of course that's not always the case. Thank you for your comment!

      Delete
  31. I don't know about giving strange men rides, but I do try to see where I can be helpful to people as I am out and about. I learned this from my cute husband. I can still remember being at a mall and there was this frail little woman with a walker, struggling to get out the doors. He literally ran across the food court, opened the doors for her, walked her to her car and put her walker in her trunk. Love him so much! So, the other day I was leaving the library when the book delivery guy dropped a couple boxes of books off his truck. I ALMOST kept on walking. I am so glad I turned around to help him clean up the books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, that's nice about your husband.

      I would have helped with the books too. :)

      Delete
  32. Rosey, I do love to help others, but there's a fine line between helping and putting yourself in harm's way. I know there are other people you help in other places. I think it shows what a kind person you are that you want to help the man. Now I want to help him. :) Maybe if we ALL got in your car, we would feel safe enough to at least stop and ask him if he needs help. :)

    Love, Joy
    Yesterfood

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, safety in numbers. :) Pity it's a pause to help someone. I understand it (and adhere to it), but I don't like it.

      Delete
  33. In this day and age it is wise to be prudent about offering a lift to a stranger, one can never tell. It's a shame that humanity has come to this but best to be safe than sorry.
    Perhaps you could mention the man to a law enforcement officer, express your concern that the gentleman may be putting himself in harms way by traveling the country road on foot. Maybe they could investigate and steer him to resources that could provide him transportation to wherever it is that he is going.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for taking the time out to comment, I appreciate what you have to say.

      I love the earrings that you blogged about today too, very perfect for the season! http://abeadersblog.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-oxymoron-of-manufactured-handmade.html

      Delete
  34. Unfortunately yes because this is such a mixed up world....Beautiful area.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember going into neighbor's houses and visiting as a child, and I was never scared. Perhaps that was negligent on my mom's part (she had no idea where I was), but in that time it was pretty typical. Not anymore. I won't let the kids go an aisle over in the grocery store.

      Delete
  35. I think you're wise not to stop. As you say, you just don't know, and you really shouldn't take a chance. If he's well dressed, he's probably not destitute, and is probably walking because he chooses to do so. Maybe for exercise. Or maybe as a temporary thing until he gets a car perhaps. As others have said, if you're really concerned, maybe you could tell the police.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think he's walking to work, so in any case, he could afford a taxi (if they come out this far??? eek???) or to pay a neighbor or something, I would guess? In any case, today IS Wombat Day, so I'm headed over to your blog.

      Delete
  36. Oh Rose - you are such a kind hearted person - this too would trouble me. I absolutely think that you should trust your gut and continue to trust your gut. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I was in NYC I think I wouldn't stop...there's so many ways to get around, including by foot. Here it's quite a hike from point A) to point B) with nothing but crops in between the two. I wouldn't want to walk his route, but I wouldn't take a ride from a stranger either, if I for some reason I did have to (walk it).

      In any case, thanks for stopping by. :)

      Delete
  37. I really understand your predicament, and I think it is a valid one too. Too often we hear / see / read horror stories about strangers that turn on the person that helped. Do what your gut instincts tell you..

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I feel clearer today...it's too big of a risk, and I already knew it but I felt guilty not stopping because I wanted to stop. If that makes sense. :)

      Delete
  38. I feel the contradictions: yes, or no? Maybe?

    No answers here. Same questions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too bad we have to have the questions. But it is what it is.

      Delete
  39. I've been in that situation and I let fear stop me. Fear built up from experience or other people stories.

    Watching too much ID tv I think.

    But perhaps you could strike up a conversation....learn his story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the oppt'y arises & all is 100% safe, I will surely give it my best try.

      Delete
  40. I have such experience too. Nowadays, the world is crazy. You never know which unknown person is good and which one is bad!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need an 'are you nice/harmless' detector. ;)

      :)

      Thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  41. Yes, I would be doing the same as you. Wanting to stop but fear preventing me, because you just never know. I hope he's not out there walking when the weather gets bad :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well if he is, I hope a guy will stop and see if he needs a ride. It can get pretty nasty out there in the winter!

      Thank you for your visit!

      Delete
  42. i know what you mean...but its a crazy world out there right now... so you need to be safe... its to scary out there these days...
    but then again... he might want to do it for the exercise :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope it's just for the exercise. :) He's pretty old... but he seems very fit too, so I dunno...maybe he DOES like to walk. :)

      Delete
  43. (The Old Man on the Country Road) # 1 let me say that this picture is so beautiful, I love the fall. And you do have to be so careful now days. I wonder if there is anyway you could find out some info on the man on your own,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by! I'm just hoping at this point that he's not out walking when the harsh weather hits.

      Delete
  44. i understand exactly what you mean by "sad"...it's sad with the way this world works sometimes, that we have to be so extra cautious. this reminds me of this summer...my mom would go on runs and one day she was running on a very hot and humid day. a man came out with a glass of water for her and she politely said "no"...she wanted to take it and thanked him greatly, but deep down, you just never know what could have been in the water... i'm sure it WAS just water.

    ReplyDelete
  45. it stops me all the time. it's sad but it's the world we live it.

    knickgirl_3 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete

Your comment is awaiting moderation. Thank you for your visit!