Filed under: Personal
When there’s an accident on the road, drivers will slow down just a little. Maybe it’s because they’re curious what happened. Maybe it’s because there’s police cars and other emergency response vehicles lining the side of the road. When there’s something, anything, to be seen, people will stop and stare and gawk and pull out their cameras and take photographs.
Like on Sunday, when I was in the car with the family and there was a crowd near the exit of the parking lot of the mall. We were confused, as they were a) getting in the way of exit and b) there was a firetruck by the entrance as well. Usually, in the event of a fire, people generally try to get away from the smoke. So as the light turns green (and there’s still people moving away from the moving cars…) we drove forward a little bit and saw what everyone was gawking at. There was a man standing on the railing of stairs that’s about two stories above the pavement. There’s yellow police tape blocking off the area. There’s police officers around. There’s one officer speaking to the man who was balancing along the railing.
And there’s a bunch of people just standing around staring at the scene with their cell phones and cameras out in order to snap photos. Because it’s not every day that you see someone threatening to jump two stories. Because it’s just going to make your scrapbook that much better. There were people with young children (12 and under) that were gawking at the poor man. And while everyone should know about life and death, it still seems inappropriate.
There was nothing in the news on Monday or today for the local or provincial news. Perhaps the officers were able to talk him off of the railing, perhaps he only injured himself.
I understand how people have issues pulling themselves away from watching the results of a car wreck. I understand that we’re drawn to the general dark and perverse thoughts and situations whenever they’re around. When there’s a scandal going on, we seek information in the form of blogs and newspapers and magazines. When someone dies, their dirty laundry gets aired. When someone divorces or cheats, everyone wants to know who with and what’s going to happen to their careers, to the money, to the children.
Two stories… Isn’t a particular serious attempt at suicide. It’s not even close. And there was a crowd taking photographs of a man who was standing on a railing feeling like he had no other choices in life besides to take his own. A cry for attention, or a cry for help…
To be fair, I don’t remember the last time that I saw someone threatening to commit suicide less than twenty metres from me. I don’t remember the last time that I didn’t look at a car accident or at someone making a scene. I don’t remember the last time that I didn’t look on with morbid curiosity. Maybe it’s something that we’re all hardwired with. Like a need to see the danger in the area, no matter how closed off or artificial it may be. Maybe it’s instinctual to want to see the danger, the hazards in our vicinity.
But maybe… We’re all just really morbidly curious and some of us are better at hiding it than others.