Following your gut

Sometimes people try to do the right thing. A lot depends on what it is. Friends and family get the first priority, but then it gets dicey. And sometimes, they just don't know what to do, so they do nothing.

I was listening to the Jaycee Dugard interview, and what struck me was how the two campus security ladies followed their instincts when they saw Phillip Garrito, with two young girls, on campus. He wasn't breaking any laws, but they just felt something was off kilter. So they did some background on him, and as a result, they started the ball rolling that lead to the rescue of Jaycee.

They did something when their instincts warned the situation wasn't right. How many of us would do the same? Once, several years ago, I was leaving the mall when I saw a young teenaged couple arguing quite loudly. The guy was much larger than the girl, and he kept grabbing her and jerking her back when she tried to leave. I watched from my rearview mirror, then turned around and drove up beside them. I told myself that I would want someone to intervene if one of my daughters were in trouble in public, so I rolled down my window and asked if she was okay.

I got a typical snippy teenager response, which didn't bother me one bit. I hung around them a few more minutes, and the situation seemed defused, so I finally took off. At least they weren't yelling, and he wasn't grabbing her by then.

I have made a pact with myself. I don't care if I'm called a busybody. If I see something my gut tells me is dicey, I'm going to do something about it. If it’s nothing, great, I’m happy. If not, well, I won’t have to worry that I could have helped someone and didn’t.

I couldn’t live with that.