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Posted 06-05-2008 at 02:43 PM by ostarella

You have to wonder...

What were these people afraid of? Getting their hands dirty? Is this a big-city thing, this callousness? Or is it just the new way of looking out for the old number one?

I don't understand it. At all. In the neighborhood I used to live in, we had a lot of car accidents at the intersection. Mostly fender-benders, but sometimes worse. Everyone in the neighborhood would come rushing out, running over to the cars, checking the people, calling 911 - it was what you did. One time we had the whole intersection blocked off by neighbors until the police came, because of the seriousness of the accident. And Lord help any driver who decided he'd just push past the people directing traffic.

Then again, maybe it's not so new. I can remember (barely) when I was a kid, I heard a dog barking and a woman yelling across the street. Before I even realized what was happening, my dad took off running - some stray dog was harassing a woman, jumping at her, nipping at her legs. The woman was scared to death. My dad went over and beat the dog off, and walked her home. And all the other neighbors, male and female, were standing on their porches - watching.

What is it that makes some people jump in to help and others hang back? Do we rely on a crowd to tell us what we should do, or do we lead the crowd? And it's not just the "big stuff". Do we hold the door for an older person, help someone reach the top shelf, let another driver onto the busy road ahead of us? Do we even smile in passing a stranger? Or are we too busy, too important, too selfish to even do that?
Total Comments 3


  • Old Comment
    Darrell Lawrence's Avatar
    What makes people stand back? In todays society, it's the threat of being sued. People see it in entertainment all the time, and are pretty conditioned to just stand back now.

    I mean... back in the day, someone breaks into your home and you shoot them, you're in the right for defending your home.

    Today? Someone breaks in, and if YOU injure the CRIMINAL, he sues you and wins!
    Posted 06-05-2008 at 05:44 PM by Darrell Lawrence Darrell Lawrence is offline
  • Old Comment
    But don't most states have good Samaritan laws? They could have at least gone over to him, kept him safe while calling 911. Nobody even called 911! A police cruiser was on its way to another call when they found the poor guy. It's just not right, lawsuits or not.

    As to the break-in - we have a saying around here - well, let's just say "injury" isn't part of the equation. (But I'd call 911 afterwards )
    Posted 06-05-2008 at 06:08 PM by ostarella ostarella is offline
  • Old Comment
    Studies have shown that the more people there are around the less likely someone is to step up to help. It's some kind of odd herd behaviour, people wait for someone else to take the lead, and then they'll follow. But if there's nobody to take the lead, people can be attacked in the middle of a crowd and receive no help.

    The BBC did a show about it, with various scenarios. They showed there was a big difference in for example the number of people who would come and help a woman lying apprently unconscious in the street, compared to a man, since the assumption would be that the man was drunk.

    One scenerio they did was the classic arguing couple, but with the man getting violent to the woman. Most people walked past pretending not to notice, becasue they were a couple, where if it was a mugging they'd have been more likely to intervene. The one guy who did step up turned out to be someone who used to be homeless and had experience of being on the wrong end of the way people can selectively not notice someone in distress.
    Posted 06-08-2008 at 05:04 AM by junkfoodmonkey junkfoodmonkey is offline
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