You know, I had a sort of "McQueary moment" a few years ago, when I was driving. I witnessed what I assume was an episode of extremely dangerous domestic violence.
I, instinctively, yelled out the window of my car.
If I had been thinking instead of reacting instinctively, if I had intellectually known or even reasonably predicted what was going to happen next, maybe I wouldn't have gotten involved. The immediate aftermath was to put myself and my three children (and an unknown number of nearby pedestrians) in serious danger. Thankfully -- briefly.
I told the story in a blog post later that day. I can remember my fingers shaking as I typed. I can remember peeping out the window for a few weeks afterward, senselessly afraid that somehow the danger would follow me home.
I can imagine the scenario, post-shout unfolding in a few different ways, none of which was "safe" for me or for my kids.
But I keep thinking now about the instinct to yell. It was immediate and involved no thought. I saw violence -- someone endangering someone else.
I had my own young children with me. I had reason to have physical fear for all our own safety.
And I still shouted.