I went to see The Bee at the Utah Arts Festival last night. The Bee is a storytelling event. A woman got up and told a story that was wrenching and still so raw in her that things were left out for us to fill in, not details, not the reality we had not witnessed with her, but the meaning of what she witnessed: the connection between her emotions and her principles, and the transformation she was undergoing in her own relationship to faith and morality.
She rushed to the scene of a terrible accident, one among several who rushed to the scene. She was the only one there who offered comfort to the dying person, the only one who took any action at all besides holding a phone up to take video. What she did made it possible for someone who loved the dying person to be present as they died.
She was shaking so much as she spoke that she could barely get the words out.
Her story made me think of Kitty Genovese, and the beginning of this devolution of our species, from those who might think of any other human as a tribe member, and go to their aid, to beings who might call out to the attacker to stop, but not actually enter the scene and confront him, to beings who enter the scene, but only to take away an image, something to post somewhere online and make their life seem more interesting.
Let alone how awful it is for people to stand by while another suffers.