Dear New Jersey,

I've never claimed to be morally superior to anyone else.

I generally keep my opinions to myself and go about my life.

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Recently, though, there was an incident that not only left me fuming but really questioning people in general.

I needed to pick up a few things at the grocery store over the weekend. It was a last-minute trip at night.

As I was pulling out of my parking space I noticed an elderly woman on a motorized scooter oddly sitting between a bunch of parked cars. It was especially dark in this part of the lot.

Photo by Keagan Henman on Unsplash
Photo by Keagan Henman on Unsplash

I pulled up next to the woman, rolled down my window, and said "ma'am are you okay?"

She stared at me with no answer.

I got out of my car and approached a little closer. I didn't want to frighten her.

Again I asked, "ma'am are you okay?" Nothing. I then asked, "do you need help?" Nothing.

This just didn't sit right with me so I got back in my car and drove around to one of the cart attendants.

Photo by Alexandru Tugui on Unsplash
Photo by Alexandru Tugui on Unsplash

They usually have radios to communicate with the inside of the store.

As I pulled up next to the attendant, I could tell that he had earbuds in.

I motioned to him to take them out. Before I could even say anything, he said "you have to get a cart up front" and continued walking.

I was really irritated at this point, but if I left without knowing this woman was safe, it would've bothered me.

After seeing that the elderly woman was still sitting alone, I parked my car and went back into the store.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I told the employee at the front desk that there was an elderly woman on a scooter in a dark part of the parking lot who wasn't responding to me.

The employee's response was, "I'm sure she's fine."


I can count on one hand how many times I've asked to speak to a manager. This was one of times.

The employee called for the manager with an attitude as I stood there about to explode.

The manager arrived and I'm sure that he was expecting me to complain about something.

I absolutely had plenty to complain about, but the most important thing was the well being of the woman in the parking lot.

Photo by Danie Franco on Unsplash
Photo by Danie Franco on Unsplash

I informed the manager about what was going on and he quickly asked me to go show him where the woman was.

By the time we got out there, the woman was gone. The scooter was still there so at least the manager didn't think I was making things up.

He thanked me for letting him know and I went on my way.

As I was driving home I couldn't help but think about how many people walked right past that woman and did nothing.

She wasn't hard to find. In fact, there were several people just a couple cars over from her.

Again, I'm not here to prop myself up for being an outstanding citizen, but how much effort does it take to check on someone who may be in distress?

Photo by Danie Franco on Unsplash
Photo by Danie Franco on Unsplash

Is it me, or is there just less caring for others in our world?

Hopefully, I've just been a bit jaded by this incident.

As a whole, the people of Jersey and kind and compasionate. Let's not let those qualities fade away.


Matt Ryan

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