Tuesday, 19 June 2007

We Could Be Heroes....but....

Picture this: It's a cold, wintry morning and you're bustling down the sidewalk of a busy city street under your umbrella on the way to work. A taxi drives past and from a building up ahead a woman emerges, screaming as a man pulls her by the hair. What do you do? Do you confront the couple and offer assistance to the woman or do you lower your umbrella and keep walking?

Unfortunately, this very incident occurred yesterday in Melbourne and the decision to help cost a man his life. The man who was attacking the woman pulled a gun and shot 3 people who came to her aid, killing one.

Psychology tells us there are 2 reactions all animals have in such situations - fight or flight. It's a split moment decision between self-preservation and combat. But what motivates this decision? Honor? Courage? Consequence? I can't say if I would or wouldn't have rushed in to help the woman as I wasn't there, and while I'd like to think I would, the reality is I probably wouldn't have. Not because I'm gutless or scared of a fight, but rather because I have heard too many horror stories where the good samaritans end up worse off for doing the right thing. We live in a litigious society where criminals can sue victims, where kids carry knifes for fun, and where anyone in the street could be carrying a gun in their jacket. We live in fear, and I am not immune...but I wish I was.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"It Doesn't Matter" The Chemical Brothers
"Think About You" Guns N Roses
"Computer Talk" Primordial Soup
"Come As You Are" Nirvana
"Hells Bells" AC/DC
"Life Support" Vitamin HMC
"Calling Earth" Yves Deruyter
"Chasing Cars" Snow Patrol


Harmony Sweetpea said...

I'm not sure what I would have done either. I know I would have stopped, but whether or not I would have tried to break it up or just brought attention to the incident perhaps. You are right that this is definately in line with social psychology, when often the more bystanders, the less likely an individual will assist, simply because the more people, the less responsible you feel.

Your blog is really good. I had this layout til yesterday but people kept hassling me to change it. I still like it best though ;-)


Snoskred said...

Hi, I'm reading you via the Australian Blogs Community at Bumpzee, on the RSS feed.

Just dropping by to welcome you to the Australian Blogs Community, and to let you know I have just updated the Australian Blogs Community HTML links list file to include your blog, if you want to put it on your blog you can get a copy of it here -

http://fraudstars.info/~snoskred/aussieatoz.txt - A to Z
http://fraudstars.info/~snoskred/aussieztoa.txt - Z to A (The down-under version!)

The list is updated weekly to include new blogs.

In case you didn't know, anytime you post the first 250 characters go out on the RSS feed, so I'll be reading more from you soon. :) and I've updated my sidebar to the new list, so I'm linking to you now.

I wouldn't have stepped in but I would have got out my mobile and called the police.


Ron Davison said...

I've run this scenario. It's almost like trying to do a mental simulation of how you'd react to drowning. Bottom line, I don't know whether I'd have an out of body experience that might allow me to act without fear or feeling or whether I'd be frozen by fear and unable to move anything but my bowels. How sad that people who were brave enough to do something were killed.

flametree said...

Sweetpea - I think that the 'safety in numbers' mentality also comes into play. I know I'd be more likely to act if I was a with a group of friends who I knew had my back. It's a sad enditment on society when we all think that someone else will deal with the problems, so we don't have to worry. Glad you enjoyed the blog - I'm planning on keeping the layout!

Snoskred - thanks for virtually dropping by!

Ron - welcome back mate! I guess both situations (like many in life) are sink or swim - either way, you crap your pants ;)


Anonymous said...

Interesting blog but when you use someone else's art please could you acknowledge it. It is extremely unfair not to and could amount to theft. This picture is by Dinah Kendall Roe and is copyrighted.

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