I had thought this letter might be about inconsiderate dog walkers who leave picking up dog waste to us senior citizens, mountain bike riders running us down, or obsessed cell phone users and twitterers ignoring us on the road or in crosswalks. However, an experience this weekend leads my thoughts in another direction. After an unexpected failure of my prosthetic leg, I found myself lying beside the south Mesa Trail with a severely bleeding stump (residual limb), prosthesis some feet away, and my dog nervously circling, worrying about what he could do. Since it was a weekend, with numerous visitors to open space, I wasn’t too worried about getting help. However, after several dog walkers, runners and hikers averted their eyes and rushed by to avoid getting involved, I managed to crawl to my prosthesis, clean off my bloody stump, replace the leg, hike the two miles back to the Eldorado Springs road parking lot, and drive to the emergency care facility. After 43 years of living in Boulder, teaching at the University, and observing the self-centered, entitled and uncaring nature of too many in our large young adult and baby-boomer population, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. However, this small and generally insignificant personal experience and its sheer callousness raised serious questions about our community, what values we hold dear, and who among us is our brother’s keeper.
Hoping for a better future,
Richard J. Kraft