The other night, three fire engines roared into my neighborhood a little after 10 p.m. Realizing that a problem was potentially at hand, I threw on some clothes and tramped out into the cold to learn whether or not this problem could affect my home and family.
Standing there, I watched firefighters in full gear dive off of their trucks to access the situation, all the while preparing to risk their lives for others. As I stood there, though, I realized that I was the only resident that had departed from indoor warmth out of curiosity or concern.
Since Northern Virginia, like many other urban areas, is covered by townhomes and condos, where problems in one unit can easily affect others, I was quite surprised. Sure, people can look out the window to view the lights, but don’t they want to know what unit could be on fire? The activity reminded me of the last time that the fire department was called out to my area, where only a few of the close to 100 residents exited to discover what was happening.
All this made me wonder whether it was a lack of curiosity or concern that kept people indoors when bright, red, flashing lights streamed through windows and sirens screamed into the darkness. Do people just assume that nothing can happen to them? Or are they just hoping for the best, and not preparing for the worst?
It seems to me that these are the people who stroll down the nation’s sidewalks, while checking email and not paying any attention to anything. They are probably also the people who have the greatest chance of being robbed or attacked. Don’t be one of these people. Curiosity makes you want to see the people around you in all situations, and concern helps you avoid danger.
I really just want to know that I’m not the only person out there who actually wants to know what’s happening in the neighborhood, especially if it can affect me and mine. Do you agree?