Let me tell you what happened. It will take some explaining.
We have three elevators in our apartment building. At certain times of day, the demand for them is very high. I suppose every building like it has ‘rush hours’ and mine is no different.
Joe and I arrived into an empty lobby, we pushed the button for the elevator and when it arrived, two people got off. Joe held the door for them and I turned my chair around. Joe is now on the elevator holding the ‘open door’ button. The lobby quickly filled up.
I know these elevators in relationship to my chair and other passengers. I know that the one I’m getting on will hold three passengers and me as the fourth. Since there was a crowd, I said, while I’m in position to simply back on to the elevator, “There’s space for two more if anyone would like.” Two people said ‘Great,” and got on.
Then the others, seeing my position, bolted behind me and filled up the elevator. Joe stepped off because I need his help with the elevators and clearly I wasn’t getting on that one. Someone took Joe’s space and the door closed with me still sitting in position to pull back on to the elevator.
I called out, “What the hell happened?” just before the door closed.
Joe said that the first two people who got on look shocked and dismayed that my space was clearly taken by those who bolted to get on. He felt for them.
I kind of don’t any more.
Being shocked and dismayed by the treatment of one person by another or a group, simply isn’t enough. They could have spoken up. They could have said something.
But they didn’t.
I suppose it did happen fast. I was taken aback by the swift moving river of people that bolted by me for the elevator. So, maybe they were too. I don’t know.
But, I’m concerned that we are becoming people who think that being concerned is enough.
Act up. (to borrow from a movement I really admired)
In the end, we got home. But, I think much differently now, about my home.
And wonder, do I have neighbours, or do I simply have people who live near me.