Among the most heartbreaking stories I had to cover when I was a reporter— stories where people were in the wrong place at the wrong time. An innocent person would unknowingly wander into a dangerous situation and end up becoming part of a tragic news story.
On the flip side, there are instances of people being in the right place at the right time.
The following is one such story that took place just this past month. Most organizations would not consider this story to be newsworthy, because nothing bad happened. But something tells me that this story had a huge impact on the 15-year-old girl who was helped by a mysterious good Samaritan.
The girl was waiting at a subway station in London when a man in his 40’s approached her and started talking to her in a suggestive way. She looked around at strangers near her, desperately trying to make eye contact, and mouthed the word “help.”
One woman responded. She walked over to the 15-year-old and pretended she was a long lost friend. She then stayed with the girl until the girl’s train arrived.
It’s a simple story. Not many news organizations would consider it important because nothing happened, and there was no proof that anything bad would have happened if the woman had not intervened. In fact, the only reason I found out about it was because London Police received a number of follow-up reports about a man matching that description approaching women on subway trains, and they are hoping the good Samaritan will step forward with more information.
Still. In the midst of all of the bad news these days— especially news showing people standing by while others near them are suffering in some way— it gives me hope. 🙂