This weekend, a man was found dead in Orpington High Street. Apparently his death is being treated as 'sudden'. What's surprising about this is that although his death was sudden, no one spotted him for 13 hours.
Think about this for a second. A whole day. We never really think about time passing. But we're starting to realise just how long a day really is. We'd like to think if we were sick, or collapsed in public, someone would come to our aid. We say we'd do the same. So how on earth, did someone dead go unnoticed for such a long time?
We're sad to say that this story gets worse. The man was only feet away from people setting up their market stalls for the day. He'd been there since 4am. Hundreds of people must have walked past him and not one stopped to see if he was OK. Not one even glanced back at him.
Now, much as we hate to admit it, most of us don't want to have to deal with the homeless or drunks in our day to day life.We're not proud of this but it's true. And it's possible that for a while people could have mistaken him for a homeless guy who was sleeping. Hindsight is a powerful gift. It's easy for us to say 'we would have helped'. However there is something chilling about not even being aware that a man has died because we choose to block out bad things in case they get in the way of our every day lives. We're too busy doing important things like buying a pint of milk.
This man was a person. He had a name and family and people who loved him. He was somebody. So for those who walked past him and didn't stop to see if he was OK and didn't even notice him, shame on you.
Londonist is wondering what happened to basic human compassion and whether it's left this city for good.
Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family.
Flickr image from Nicobobinus' photostream.