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EDITORIAL: We can do better

We’d like to think our region is full of good Samaritans who are ready and willing to help at a moment’s notice. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

This week, we’re printing two letters that deal with young women involved in bicycle accidents in our towns. The first one talks about an incident in Colonie in which a college-age woman fell off her bike along Albany-Shaker Road, and people drove past her and her sister until her sister stood in the middle of the busy thoroughfare to get someone to stop. The second one talks about a 9-year-old girl in Bethlehem who fell off her bike, and a person living near the crash site came out right away to assist.

While both women were helped, only one received assistance in a quick fashion. It took extreme measures for help to arrive in the Colonie case. Thankfully, the injuries both suffered were minor, but their experiences were quite different.

Going forward, we have to ask ourselves if we’re willing to jump in when we see someone suffering or if we’re satisfied passing by the scene. Butting into a stranger’s life is a tricky proposition because we don’t know all of the circumstances surrounding the scene we see, but it shouldn’t preclude us from doing our part to help someone in need. It can be as small of a gesture as asking if someone is all right or as grand as tending to a person’s needs, including performing life-saving techniques such as CPR, if need be.

We shouldn’t use our busy lives as an excuse not to stop and help, either. Is your boss really going to be mad at you for calling in and saying you’ve stopped to help someone you saw get involved in a car accident? Will your family never forgive you if you miss dinner because you saved someone from harm and stayed to file a police report? The answer in each case is no – unless your boss or your family are selfish, unfeeling people.

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