Gransnet forums


The Good Samaritan

(124 Posts)
Anja Thu 03-Jan-19 09:34:04

I’ve just mentioned this on the thread about immigrants. Then co-incidentally read another thread when a well-known poster also mentioned this parable.

I’m not a religious person. But I do think this parable is as relevant today as it was 2000 years ago....possibly even more so in this day and age.


Luckygirl Thu 03-Jan-19 09:38:13

Indeed it is.

maryeliza54 Thu 03-Jan-19 09:40:47

And our Government is a shining example of this

maryeliza54 Thu 03-Jan-19 09:50:10

Got interrupted - I mentioned the government because societal attitudes are influenced although I appreciate not fully formed by the example that governments set in their policies and their public pronouncements, I have not heard one Good Samaritan type statement from any government minister spoken over this current migrant issue. There’s only been a deliberate ratcheting up of the situation led by the HS for his own political ends.

Anniebach Thu 03-Jan-19 10:12:05

When first married we moved to a town which was new to me. My husband had lodged with a lovely landlady there. I had morning coffee with her every morning. One morning she had a young man there who had booked in . He had come to the town for an interview for a job in Powys Castle, his wife had been very ill and he wanted to move out of the city. My car wouldn’t start, it was in a barn on the canal bsnk, the young man offered to come with me to look at it.
I invited him to our flat for lunch, my husband came home from the station we had lunch together, husband went back to work , young man left. Husband came bsck in a fret, messsge had come through ,the days before computers, the man was wanted by the police, he had fled from a psychiatric hospital, no wife, no job interview, had commited rape and had violent rages. I had stood on an isolated canal bank with him, taken him back to our flat. He didn’t hurt me.

Was I wise to be a Good Samaritan that day?

Granny23 Thu 03-Jan-19 10:12:26

I may have told this true story on Grandsnet before but here goes.

One hot and muggie Sunday evening, my heavily pregnant friend and upstairs neighbour asked me to accompany her to the chip shop to get sherbert fountains- her pregnancy 'must have'. We went up into town and she waited in the shady doorway of the closed British Legion while I ran along to the chip shop. The heat in the shop was incredible and I came over faint and dizzy, managed to get back to my friend and promptly passed out on the pavement.

At that precise time the congregation spilled out from the posh Parish Church's Evening Service and swept past us, tutt tutting, even crossing the road to avoid near contact, muttering 'Disgusting' 'Drunk and Pregnant' and suchlike.

Cue a car appearing from the 'bottom end', ie the rough part of town. The man stopped to ask 'Is yer pal drunk, hen?' Better get her home before the Polis lift her'. My friend protested that I was not drunk just fainted with the heat and the man replied 'Aye Right', picked me up and dropped me on the furry rug on the back seat of his car. Furry rug turned into an enormous dog who licked my face. He ran us to our flats, carried me in and would take no recompense other than a promise that we would do the same for him or anyone else in similar straits.

EllanVannin Thu 03-Jan-19 10:19:38

Good Samaritans are those you never see in any New Years Honours list ! Or maybe posthumously on occasion !
In other words they're never or rarely recognised.

Anniebach Thu 03-Jan-19 10:23:57

Never seen, entered or known of a ‘posh parish church’

Anja Thu 03-Jan-19 11:19:25

I once, as a young monther, broke down on a busy dual carriage way one dark night. I had my baby daughter asleep in the car and was sporting a good size pregnancy bump.

I managed to ride the car up onto the cycle cum bridle path just before it died completely. This was in the days before mobiles. I opened the bonnet, and stood looking at all the bits and pieces which meant next to nothing to me, more in the hope that this would mean damsel in distress.

Cars whizzed by. It was ages before anyone stopped to help, and it was an open topped van, filled with junk iron that pulled up over the curb and stopped. Gypsies! Three rough looking.

They shone a light under the bonnet and couldn’t help, but then towed us to the nearest garage. Wouldn’t take a penny.

Granny23 Thu 03-Jan-19 11:32:01

AB I was used to a village church where everyone attended. We only lived in town for 3 or 4 years when we were first married so it was all new to me. Nonetheless, it is a given in that town (and I am sure many others) that among the plethora of churches of all denominations, including another 3 CofS, this church is the Posh one, where women still wear hats, and their Sunday Best and unlike all the other churches in town, they do not let out their church or hall to the foodbank, brownies, etc, nor let it be used for Public Meetings, charity fundraisers, etc. They do occasionally have something like a choir concert or organ recital, but the proceeds are always for the Fabric Fund, never foreign missions, the hospice, children's charities or other good causes.

Luckygirl Thu 03-Jan-19 11:58:03

Granny23 - sadly that is true of our cathedral - I have searched their website for any hint of charitable outreach and there is nowt. Local vicars are pissed off with it as well as me.

*Anja - I have worked a lot with the Gypsy/Traveller community as I used to be the project coordinator/ photographer and pic editor for their national magazine. There are so many good and kind people in their community who do a great deal of work for charity. Mind you there are one or two who I would be happy not to meet again - but that could be said of the settled community too.

annie - how scary for you. Sad that your kind gesture was followed by these concerns. It is often forgotten that people with mental health problems can be a danger - not often, but it is a feature of some psychotic states. I still think you did the right thing.

sodapop Thu 03-Jan-19 11:59:37

It is often the most unlikely people who are the best Good Samaritans. Conversely my ex husband passed a college friend of our daughter on a country road pushing a broken down scooter. He was in two minds what to do as we always impressed on our daughters not to get into a car with a strange man. He came to get me ( I knew her better) and we took her home. That was a few years ago now but it's still a dilemma.

Granny23 Thu 03-Jan-19 13:30:18

A traveller's pick-up truck broke down outside our house and DH went to offer a jump start but the traveller said it was beyond that and his brother was coming to tow him away. He did ask if we had a rope for the towing which we did, so gave it to them and off they went. Next morning we found a big bag of kindlings and another of logs at our back door, together with the rope returned.

mumofmadboys Thu 03-Jan-19 13:39:12

I once gave a lift to a man who had broken down on the outskirts of town. He was about 20 years older than me at the time. He said his mum had always warned him not to have lifts with strange women!!

Alexa Thu 03-Jan-19 14:17:23

People have basic needs whatever their religion, nationality, skin colour, sex, age, social class, or past history. The Good Samaritan was a man from a despised social group who addressed the basic need of a man whose social group despised Samaritans.

If equal affection cannot be
Let the more loving one be me.

W H Auden

Alexa Thu 03-Jan-19 14:23:22

PS there was no issue in the original Good Samaritan parable about the Samaritan's risking anything . Reason has to play a part in any ethical consideration. You cannot help someone else if by doing so you are going to make a bad situation worse.
Helping illegal immigrants to their basic needs is not risking anything i.e. giving basic needs is only money which our government can well afford.

Anniebach Thu 03-Jan-19 14:34:17

Luckygirl my husband didn’t think I did the right thing, he had to tell the chief inspector he had just had lunch with the man ! On a serious note, I didn’t do the right thing , walked on a lonely canal bank with a stranger and then took him back to our flat , it was foolish , most unwise

Fennel Thu 03-Jan-19 14:37:52

I've given people lifts a few times. But sometimes they wish they hadn't asked.
eg I picked up a young lad on a country road in France, where you drive on the right. He was standing on the left side and after I picked him up I kept going on that side shock.
Poor lad he was gesticulating wildly until I got the message.

NanKate Thu 03-Jan-19 15:03:25

My dear Dad was always helping people in distress. Over 60 years ago he was about to drive home from his office in Birmingham when he came across a family in a car totally lost and clearly distressed. They were an Australian family who were over in the UK on holiday and they were trying to find their hotel. No sat nav or mobile in those days. Dad told them to follow him to follow his car and he guided them to where they should be. The family became great friends and I was only in touch with one of them today who still keeps in contact and writes to me every Xmas.

Dad was always picking up hitchhikers and going out of his way to take them to their destination. He picked up two young men out in the countryside one day, Australians again. They started chatting and Dad asked where they lived. When they told him Dad said ‘I know what that area looks like as I have seen some wonderful paintings of your home area by a famous Australian artist’ (Dad was always trying to improve himself and learn about art, theatre etc. Even though he came from humble beginnings). The one lad said ‘I’ll tell my dad he has a British fan’ ! Yes dad had picked up the artist’s son. That made my dad’s day.

grannyactivist Thu 03-Jan-19 16:13:34

I have often taken in strangers (of every age, ethnicity, religion and culture) and only one time in all those years have I ever truly felt threatened. I know that bad things can happen, but I accept the risk gladly because my life has been incredibly enriched by all the people I've met (and learned from) through the years.

When he was just seven my husband was with his family in Norway when their car broke down. The local garage couldn't get the necessary part until the following day, so the garage proprietor took the family to his brother and sister-in-law who put them up for the night. So began a friendship that continues to this day - the children are now in their forties and fifties and the closeness between the families has never diminished.

Luckygirl Thu 03-Jan-19 16:37:48

I remember coming out of the hospital where my DD had just given birth - and emergency section, so I was slightly over-wrought. I was in a town I did not know at all, it was dark and bucketing down with snow. A couple of men were outside when I was trying to clear the car and getting the map out to try and work out how to get back to my DD's house. They asked me where I needed to get to and told me to follow them - I did - they got me back through a blizzard. I really blessed those kind men!

I guess they could have taken me anywhere and robbed me - or worse - but they were decent kind men who just wanted to help.

oldbatty Thu 03-Jan-19 17:40:43

I suppose the Samaritan did take a risk taking the stranger to his home?

I love the parables, they seem to make a lot of sense to me.

mumofmadboys Thu 03-Jan-19 18:11:31

Love the Auden quote, Alexa

Fennel Thu 03-Jan-19 18:59:20

My husband is especially kind, bless him. And always eager to help somebody out. Whether staying or eating with us , or financially.
He took on me and my children, not an east task!
But you need to know where to draw the line.

Alexa Thu 03-Jan-19 21:38:15

Yes, the Samaritan may have taken a risk but the point that Jesus made was that a generally despised person may love his neighbour better than respectable persons love their neighbour. The Widow's Mite has much the same theme.