Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Witness' Guilt

I witnessed an accident this morning. A man, who happened to be my co-passenger in a jeepney bound for Turbina-Real, was hit by a car while crossing the street. I was shocked that I was still for a second. But honestly, I was relieved because I was not the one hurt. On the other hand I also felt guilty, guilty that I have not done something which I could have done.

Here was the scenario. All the passengers of the jeepney I took briskly crossed the street but suddenly halted in the middle of the road upon noticing an approaching fast-moving car. The man on my right side did not stop walking and was the one hurt in the leg. I looked back at the man but did not do anything to help. I continued crossing the street instead; I continued to walk as if accidents like the one I witnessed are ordinary occurrence where I can simply shrug my shoulders.

The incident occurred in a flash, but it stayed in my consciousness. While in the bus, I felt so uneasy. I felt guilty, guilty that I did not even bother to remind the man that a fast-moving car is near. I felt guilty because I thought that if only I have done such small gesture the man may have been spared from being hurt. If only…

On the other hand, I also thought that if only the man was more careful and faithfully follow the stop, look, and listen SOP he could have safely crossed the street. But no matter how I try to put aside my guilt feelings I am still irresponsible about the incident. I still feel guilty, and I know I am really guilty.