To the editor: I’m far from being a pessimist, but it seems clear to me (and I think most people would agree) that, for years, our society has been less focused on thoughtfulness toward others and increasingly focused on the individual.
The last administration certainly gave us a good push in that direction, and the ramifications of this are still being felt in numerous ways.
I felt it personally this week when I discovered that my brand new white Subaru had been hit while parked in broad daylight in the very center of Pittsfield, in front of 100 North St. (just steps from the police station, mind you) and abandoned. No note, no card, no apology, no name and phone number. The driver simply fled the scene, leaving me — a self-employed yoga teacher — to pick up the hefty $500-plus tab for repair.
The damage caused to the car was notable — not chump change for a person like myself. But the damage caused goes far beyond the cost of that repair. That one selfish action has repercussions far beyond the hit to my wallet. I feel less safe in my own hometown now. I don’t feel as trusting of my neighbors. I feel more cautious toward strangers. I can feel my willingness to be generous hindered. The list goes on and on. And each of my personal reactions to that thoughtless driver’s violence will cause yet another reaction.
Please let none of us underestimate the power of our own actions. None of us lives in a bubble. We are all connected. We have a responsibility to one another. When one person chooses to think of himself or herself and not the community as a whole, we all suffer. If a pandemic can’t teach us that, I don’t know what can.
It’s not only selfish; it’s also a crime in Massachusetts to hit a parked vehicle without stopping and leaving your information. It’s considered a hit-and-run — the same as causing an accident and fleeing the scene. To the person who hit me, it’s never too late to make amends. I’m in the phone book and easily found online.
Jurian Hughes, Pittsfield