A couple of situations to chew on:
AmbulanceNormally, the general practice (and the California Vehicle Code) is to pull over and stop when an ambulance approaches you. If yhou can't pull over and stop, then stop where you are in the lane of traffic you happen to be in. All this is for the benefit of the ambulance driver and the patient they are carrying, or are enroute to carry. . . to save precious time in the event of a life threatening medical situation.
The other day, I was returning home from running errands when I witnessed the following: not only were drivers not pulling over or stopping on my side of a three lane each direction city street - a busy suburban street heavily used within eyesight of a hospital at that - they were not pulling over or stopping on the heavier traveled opposite direction of the street! Granted, that side of the street at that midday hour was full of cars, and it would have been difficult to pull over. The ambulance driver gamely stayed in the heavier traveled lanes going his direction, and kept airing his siren, though at a low pitch as though he was resigned to not see the situation get any better for him to move more efficiently.
My wife has spent her working career in the nursing field, and has been a Registered Nurse for years. I reported what I saw to her. She said that was crazy that drivers wouldn't pull over and show any courtesy or consideration. I quite agreed. I've frankly never seen this kind of thing happen anywhere before, at least in the United States. So I called the Sheriff's Department about it.
The deputy I spoke with told me that there was nothing he could do about it. "When we see it and we are out there, we do ticket drivers like that," he remarked. "Thanks," I sighed as I hung up the phone.
This situation is sooooooo lamentable. Have we as a society - as a culture - lost respect and compassion for those in trouble and in need of emergency medical assistance? Is it really all about what's in front of one's nose that counts? Selfishness? I know, the deputy I spoke with said that if it were their loved ones - the driver's own family or friends - in the ambulance, they would behave differently and pull over. But how about the rest of the drivers remaining?
AppointmentsI was calling around to several doctor's offices lately. I'll recount my experience with one younger doctor and her staffer at the phone here.
Me: "Hello, I'm calling about seeing a doctor."
Receptionist: "You need to see her now? She doesn't take patients now, and not even today. She's booked up. . . booked until (two weeks later). You'll have to make an appointment, or see urgent care somewhere else."
Me: "I don't need to see a doctor now. I don't even need to see a doctor soon. I just got out of the hospital! I'm just inquiring about if your office takes my medical insurance."
Receptionist: "Everyone else has to see the doctor right now. You don't? You're sure about that?"
Me: "Yes, I'm sure. I'm just calling around to see about seeing another doctor."
Galatians 5 (from The Message) has some good words on these matters:
19-21It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.This isn't the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God's kingdom.
22-23But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.