It appears there are far too many people who are oblivious as to what’s going on around them. Reading the paper, watching the news, talking to and observing people makes clear this disturbing fact.
More and more good people are standing back doing nothing while some sort of injustice is taking place. In the recent past, while a terrible situation was taking place, one bystander excused his doing nothing by claiming he had only a nanosecond to make a decision to act.
I strongly disagree. This particular adult has had a lifetime to prepare for situations like this. By this I mean at this stage in life you should have developed a conscience. You should understand that if you ignore an injustice taking place you will eventually have to pay for it. And when this payment comes due it probably will be more painful than anything that may have happened had you taken the risk to help.
If you have not developed this conscience you are an incomplete person. Although I pity you, I can’t excuse your lack of action.
I’m not suggesting that you get into a wrestling match with a gun-wielding maniac, or enter a dark alley from which screams are emanating. However, there are things that can be done. For example, you can shout from a safe distance, "Here come the police!" Or make a cellphone call while shouting, "Police, please send help to this location." If you don’t have a cellphone you can fake it. Often these diversionary tactics will be enough to distract or halt the injustice taking place. Ideally, we should try to help those in need.
Recently, I was talking with a bunch of well-fed, self-satisfied people after an enjoyable dinner. The subject of the unfortunates in society came up. One member of the group bragged they never worried about that kind of thing, they just let it go.
That was one of the most callous statements I have ever heard. How can you let something go if you refuse to see it? And if you do see it, how can you ignore it or pretend that it isn’t happening? In order to let something go you have to first see it, feel it, and wear it.
As most of us have loved ones we wouldn’t want harmed, we should ask ourselves the following question: How can we expect help for our loved ones when they’re in need if we won’t help others in similar difficulties?
Ron Buffie is a Winnipeg-based writer.
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