Sunday, February 20, 2011

Showing the Difference

Here's the situation - 

Your baby is gasping for air.  You call 911, and they dispatch an ambulance, but there's a blizzard howling outside.  The roads are clogged with snow, and you fear your child won't make it until they arrive.

If you're in New York City this past December, you probably couldn't do much more than pray to $DEITY and hope the ambulance can weave its way through the snow packed streets.

If you're in Baraboo, Wisconsin, you pray to $DEITY that the ambulance is led to your house by Manuel Canales, a snowplow driver for the local government.  When this man heard over the radio that a baby was in distress and the ambulance would have a hard time getting there in time, he kicked his truck into gear and plowed them a path.  He then plowed a path for them to get to the hospital.

So what's the difference?  

One difference I see is that it happened in a mostly rural area.  People in small towns and the country look out for each other.  In the times I've lived in large cities, I never felt that anyone I didn't have a preexisting relationship with would stoop to help me if I needed it.  When I've lived in small towns, it's an expectation that you will help out in any way you can, and that others will step up if you need them.

I won't comment on the union versus non union status of the drivers in question.  The rumor is that at least part of the problem in New York was a union instigated work slowdown.  But who's to say that Mr. Canales isn't part of a local union?

I will say that the difference here was that Mr. Canales put his own comfort and possibly his own safety on standby to help out someone he probably never met before.  I can't say that I'd expect someone in Washington, Chicago, New York, or Los Angeles would do the same.  I'm making a gross generalization here, but I don't expect to see a lot of stories like this out of the big cities.


Rick O' Shea said...

The difference is that Mr. Canales heard about the problem, knew he could help, and simply couldn't imagine an alternative to cranking up the snowplow and helping.

You ask somebody like that why they did it, and they say, "How could you not do it?"

Are there people like Mr. Canales in NYC and other urban areas? You betcha. But it's harder to hear about the problems (and have a clear solution that you can implement) like you can in a simpler, rural environment.

Either way, Mr. Canales and all those of his spirit deserve our gratitude and respect.

Old NFO said...

Good on him, it 'may' happen in the big cities, but you'll never hear about it... In small town America, it's more the 'expected' behavior.

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