Thursday, September 06, 2007

Turning a blind eye....

'What would you do?'
'How do you mean?'
'If you were walking through a shopping center and there was a bomb scare?'
'I'd be so scared i'd run away.'
'No you wouldn't.'
'I'll give you a piece of advice, never be a person that sprouts bravado and bravery, because no one knows what they will actually do in a situation until it actually happens to them.'
'You've got a point.'
'With my brains in my crouch, how could I not.'

Your Sociology teacher taught you about bystander apathy, he was someone who you respected and admired, the way he said things and what he said will always be on your mind, one being more than other's was the story of a woman called Kitty Genovese. As he explained how she was stabbed and stalked you thought that it was just one of the 'standard' murders, but the reason you remember it is that as she died, many 'respectable' people watched and listened to her screams, and did virtually nothing to stop it.

Granted, some people called the Police and one woman called out to the man to 'let that girl alone' but no one went out to investigate the screams or to see what was happening, the killer ran away, but due to there being no intervention, he searched for her, found her, sexually assaulted her, and then murdered her. If one of these 'bystanders' had gone out, maybe it would have been different, maybe this young woman, only twenty eight years old, would have got married, had children and lived a life of happiness and joy.

The point here includes the war in Iraq, just because everyone can't be helped, it doesn't mean no one can. Yes the circumstances in Iraq were similar to many other countries around the world, but to take a stand somewhere, in one Country, can set the standard for the other's. If a person is arrested for assaulting a Police Officer, charged, prosecuted and sent to prison, maybe another person will think twice before they attempt to murder one.

If there's one thing you are sure of, is the fact that you would most likely have done nothing more than the 'respectable' New Yorkers who sat by and listened. If there is one thing you are, it is a coward. You believe in self preservation, above all else, if a bomb exploded in a town centre, you would run away from the carnage, not towards it.

Therefore a question that always plays on your mind when you put on the uniform, is why do people stand by and do nothing? Why did the young man stand across the road and watch as two girls beat up a young lad on his way home from school? Why did the next door neighbours just watch television as a woman screamed for help? Maybe you should be able to answer your own question here, but you don't have any feelings about why, however if you did, their sense of apathy and selfishness would sicken you.

Yes you may be a hypocrite, but you're a hypocrite with a point that is hard to ignore.

'I have a very strong feeling that the opposite of love is not hate, it's apathy, not giving a damn.'

Leo Buscaglia


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