Sunday, 20 November 2011

The Bystander Effect

A blog post before I blow up and bust about a bellowing theme lately. 
"The Bystander Effect" a term coined by an article I read about the women who was murdered in a Lulu Lemon store while two Apple employees next door are said to have ignored the crys for help . 
There is also the little girl in China who was run over numerous times and left for people to virtually ignore her. I have found it curious the way people react.   Today I posted on my face book  " Judgement is the act of fooling ones self into thinking their superior"  and sadley we all do it in someway along the continuum.   Yeah me too ....

These glaring high profile events in the news become convenient distractions from our own "bystander effect" behaviour. The extreme cases allow us to look out at the world and says "Wow, those people there are so bad so I must not be"

A close friend of mine was in a coffee shop in her neighborhood with her husband and two kids recently. Her oldest son is special needs and although an older child (not an infant) requires more assistance in many areas.   While alone with him (her husband and other child ordering and separated by a crowd ) her oldest began to choke.  7 years old in a stroller due to his needs she had to unbuckle him and lift his limp body to perform the Heimlich maneuver.  She is a very small woman and this was extremely difficult and obvious. In this packed coffee shop, not one person offered help. Not one. In fact a few made comments and some seemed to glare with annoyance from the disruption it caused.

I personally will never forget tripping 7 months pregnant while running to a class for my 4 year old.  We both went down. Me- stomach first, him teeth to the ground blood everywhere. I literally watched a man in mid town Toronto cross the street as he made eye contact with me to avoid the inconvenience I had placed in his path. Numerous other people walked by- I kid you not!

We all have heard stories like this.  We have also all participated in the "bystander effect " somewhere on the continuum.    If you see someone struggling in any area of life and you not only don't assist (because sometimes you truly may not have the capacity ) it is than you are participating in the bystander effect.

I have made an new rule for myself. Anytime I am awakened by the stories that outrage me I will let them serve as a reminder to stop and look at my circle and my world. The place  I can change.  Its about being more awake to the world that you lay eyes on.  Getting out of the self serving hustle that we have been conditioned to pursue. Slow down to speed up , I say.

Have a great week :)



No comments:

Post a Comment