Human nature

George Macvicar
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It’s human nature, or at least human nature for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

Stopping in our travels to help someone in distress.

That’s what happened last Tuesday on the Burin Peninsula Highway, between Swift Current and Terrenceville, when a group of motorists stopped to aid an individual trapped in his overturned vehicle in a water-filled ditch along the road.

The story is heartwarming, if not heroic, for a group of strangers to come upon another person in harm’s way and take the time to help.

It’s not something out of the ordinary in rural Newfoundland though, and perhaps the larger centres in this province. Although there are reports almost daily of vehicle accidents on the Outer Ring Road in St. John’s that could result in motorists becoming desensitized at looking at a car in the ditch.

It’s something that has occurred in the larger centres in Ontario. That’s not to say Ontarians are not compassionate and wouldn’t help someone in distress, but with criminal activity in larger communities people become leery about stopping to help or perhaps even immune to these situations.

It’s not unusual for someone in this province or the Atlantic provinces to help others when it’s needed – sometimes simply stopping to fix a flat tire for another motorist, picking up a stranger hitchhiking on the highway or a neighbour doing something on their property and fellow neighbours offering a helping hand.

This is a way of life that local people cherish and one of the reasons you see people forced to leave the area for outside employment but returning regularly to establish their homes and raise a family.

It’s also the small town attitude people have for others. You’re more apt to help others when you know them and in a small community the chances of knowing others are much better than in large cities.

Many readers likely won’t remember, but a well-known Newfoundland singer Joan Morrissey (now deceased) used to sing a song with the phrase ‘Thank God, we’re surrounded by water’. It insulates us, in a way, from the declining morals of other parts of this world.

George Macvicar, Editor/Manager

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Swift Current, Terrenceville Outer Ring Road Ontario

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