The Doctor and the Accident


Imagine that you’re a doctor. You’re driving and you see an accident. You pull over and rush to help. On the side of the road there are a dozen people bleeding to death. You do what you can to help, but you realize that you don’t have enough hands to save everyone. If you don’t get help immediately, most of the people will bleed to death. You don’t need any special equipment, or people with any special training. You just need extra hands to stop the bleeding.

Imagine that you call for help. Your hands are covered in blood and you get up and start waving at the people driving by. The drivers in the fast lane can’t hear you, and you don’t expect them to. The drivers in the slow lane, however, not only can they hear you through the glass, but they can see the people dieing right in front of them. As you yell to them, they can see the sweat dripping down your face. They can see the pleading in your eyes. They can hear the desperation in your voice.

Imagine that none of them stop to help. They are all content to watch those people die. They are content to watch you desperately try to save them and fail. They are content to listen to their screams of agony. They are eager to roll up their windows after they make what they think was a mistake to roll them down in the first place just to see what was going on.

This is what it feels like to be an activist. I don’t want to be anyone but the doctor in this gruesome scene, so here I am. Except this analogy falls far short of the gruesomeness of reality. The people dieing represent all the lives ruined by government. They represent every business that didn’t succeed because of taxes and regulations. They represent every failing school. They represent people going hungry on welfare. They represent twenty two veterans committing suicide every day. They represent every victim of war ever. They represent our hopes and dreams for the future.

This analogy still falls short because most people who know about these things are much more present to them then as if by a mere passing glance. The horrors of government are not news to anyone. In reality, most people aren’t like the drivers passing by. Most people would be the guy walking past the bloody scene sipping on a soda pop saying, “Good luck with that, doc!”

But this analogy STILL falls short because in reality, for YOU to do your part to stop all of that suffering, you don’t even have to get your hands dirty. You just have to open your heart with empathy to the suffering of your fellow humans and start giving a fuck about shit that matters.