mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I'm a horrible person...

In life, you often think you are a good person, that if challenged you will rise to the occasion. I realized yesterday that I'm not a good person, that I won't step in when I should, that I'm an awful person who probably deserves every bad thing that happens to me and worse.

Yesterday night, bsom and I were driving to our weekly bar trivia night. We were headed up Joppa Road, a busy four lane (plus a turn lane in the middle)county road. It's the kind of road with a 35mph speed limit but a more realistic speed of near 50. I'm in the left lane. Suddenly, I hear a thump and then a yelping and I notice something in the road. I'm in displief for a short time, and then go to bsom "was that a cat in the road" and he replies "no, it was a dog. That guy just hit it" and points to a dark-blue Chevy Equinox. I keep driving, and about 30 seconds later the enormity of what happens hits me and I comment "I'm a horrible person. I should have stopped." Bsom replies that by now, someone else has probably hit the dog and killed it, and that if the guy who hit the dog didn't stop, I shouldn't feel to bad about it".

So I start rationalizing my inaction. There aren't really many places to easily turn around. It would be hard to stop - there's no place to pull off, since the road has no shoulder, and if I stopped in the right lane where the dog was, there's a good chance someone could run into me, and I could end up injuring humans trying to save an animal. And even if I stopped, what would I have done - I don't know the first thing about dog first aid.

Of course, these are all excuses. I should have done something. I pretend I'm an animal lover, because I have a cat and spend way too much time on ICanHasCheezBurger, but I'm not. Someone who loved animals would have done something, would have done more than just feel a little guilty. I had the chance to help an animal in need, an animal that was probably someone's pet, and I did nothing. I let it die. Essentially, I killed a dog. That pretty much puts me in the same category as mass murders and perverts who kill animals for fun.

I've never put a lot of stock in Karma. Life isn't My Name Is Earl, where every good action results in an instant reward and every bad action results in punishment. I'm not the world's most religious person, but I've always thought that Luke 13 was a good response to those who claim that bad things happening on earth are punishment for bad action - a rejection to claims like "AIDS is a punishment to gays and drug users" or "9/11 happened because we are sinners".

And more realistically, there are plenty of people who I would argue are bad or do bad things, but seem to have material and emotional success, and plenty of good people who have had bad things happen to them.

But I still can't help but wonder if the reason for my bad luck, for my inability to form relationships, for my fear of talking to people, for my general unhappyiness, is a punishment for being a bad person. You know, the kind of person who lets a dog die so he's not late to bar trivia.



At 3:15 AM, Blogger Muneer said...

I rarely have a comment on your posts after reading for 2 years, but I have commented on a whole bunch of your posts lately. Odd observation.

Anyways, comment: you didn't stop because you're a bad person, you didn't stop because it is a dog. Noone would have stopped. If you are going 50 down a road, there is no reasonable expectation of you stopping. You don't have to be an animal lover to love an animal. Understand?

While I have you here, I was rereading some of your olderish posts today. Go buy some self esteem on eBay or your local scotch bottle. You are not going to be fired for taking time off, and you are not a bad person.

At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dogs don't survive after getting hit at 50 mph. Maybe you could have put it out of its misery (not everybody is ready or equipped to take that kind of action) or helped the owner find out what happened, but...

You're right about the karma thing being b.s. from a scriptural POV.


At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"perverts who kill animals for fun"
not quite Anthony- and at 50 mph there wasn't much you could have done. I hit a dog 5 years ago. I pulled over, pulled it off the road and called 911 with the tag number- they said if the dog was dead to leave it and dept of public works would remove it. I asked what to do if it was still alive they said to leave it and the dept of public works would remove it. :{

It was dead, I called a friend at the humane society to report it and they said they would track down the owner via the tags.

Realistically, there is not much you could have done- roadside rescues are not for the faint of heart, and will often break it.

At 3:54 PM, Blogger Thibeaux said...

One night in New Orleans, a large black dog ran in front of my car and I hit it before I saw it at all, at about 30 mph. I stopped and saw it limp to the corner. A couple of girls in the car behind me stopped and approached the dog. The dog bit one of them. I talked to them and they wanted to call an ambulance for the dog, but I doubted that an ambulance would come for that, the dog was already walking away on three legs, and I wanted to get to my destination, the campus movie theater, on time.

The irony is that the only reason I wanted to get to the movie was to talk with girls, and here they were! Sometimes, I stick to my plan without noticing when conditions present a superior opportunity. That's an area where I continue to attempt to improve, and that's the area in which you did well. You did well when you recognized that you had a choice and seriously considered your options, despite the potential departure from your plan of getting to trivia night. That is what's significant, in my view.


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