6/6/08

Stand By Me..



This video was aired on CNN and other news stations yesterday in an attempt to track down the person who rammed into 78-year-old Angel Torres [yes, he was a jaywalker, and no, that is not a valid reason to run into someone] and fled the scene. [BTW, if you're in the Hartford area and you recognize the perpetrator, please contact Crime Scene Division (CSD) Detective Michael Chauvin at 860-757-4229 or CSD Commander Sergeant Jason Thody at 860-757-4225.]

The clip runs a little over a minute and a half; dozens of pedestrians wander past the prone man, cars drive past him, and a motorcyclist circles around him before driving away. No one rushes to his aid. [although 4 people had enough time to dial 911 and request that someone else help the man.]

This is a prime example of what's known as 'the bystander effect' in psychology; more bystanders mean less chance of someone offering aid. Psychologist theorize that people tend to think that 'someone else will take care of it' and be less inclined to get involved.

Wow. As a [perpetual] student of psychology, I've studied cases like this before - in exhausting detail - but every time I see another example, I'm still floored by humanity's apathy.

How broken is the heart of God when one of His creations is wounded and the others refuse to lend a hand?

We all know about being a good Samaritan. We all know the extra mile concept.

We know this.

But do we follow it? When a life hangs in the balance, how do we truly react?

I'm checking myself for bystander mentality today. I want to be sensitive to the needs in people I see daily, whether they be cashier, homeless woman on the street, mail clerk, or Taco Bell employee. [Back off me - beans are fiber. *grin*]

Am I ignoring their needs because 'someone else will help' them?

How broken is the heart of God?

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