Mario Micallef ‘22
On Friday, April 3, a man assaulted a teenage girl who was hanging out with her friends at Norton Commons, a residential community 20 minutes outside of downtown Louisville, Kentucky.
The man claimed the aggressive behavior ensued because the girls were not practicing “social distancing.” The man, a doctor at a well known hospital in Louisville, was charged with first-degree strangulation since he applied pressure to the girl’s throat impeding her breathing.
This morning, I drove to Dunkin’ Donuts and saw a man, maybe in his early 40’s sporting a white paint-splattered shirt who was helping an eldery hispanic woman jump start her beige Buick Baxter with his old beat up red Ram Van. I drove past them, got my coffee, then I drove to drop off some packages at UPS, picked up some dog food at the grocery store, and drove back to my home, spotting the two strangers still there pulled off to the side of the street towards the corner. The man held jumper cables and looked intently at the woman’s car engine. The woman stood outside, one ear to her three kids in the backseat, the other to the man.
Now, I have obviously never met the doctor from Louisville, and the Twitter video of the chaotic scene, as well as the NBC article in which I discovered what happened both do not go into much detail about his life, his upbringing, or his current mental status. However, I can tell you that he would most likely do what he did again, and show no form of hesitation.
There are two kinds of people during a time like the one we all find ourselves in. The first is the Louisville man: panicked, hopeless, angry, selfish. On the opposite hand, the other type of person is the man in the white paint-splattered shirt: also panicked, but hopeful and selfless instead. Neither man is right. Neither man is wrong. I don’t know which kind I am, and I am not telling you to be one or the other. What I do know for sure is that both men are scared, the difference is how they dealt with their fear. And the question is: how do you deal with yours? Do you try and fix the ‘problem’ yourself, even if it means hurting someone? Do you open your hood and attach/reattach cable wires for hours on end?
Social distancing is a good thing, but so is compassion. Let us not forget our fellow man or woman. That’s a lofty statement for some punk college kid. What am I doing that is so compassionate, you might ask. Nothing special. All I, or you, or any of us can do is to never let our fear overshadow our compassion.