What do you do?

Let’s say that you were in a situation where you were walking around, minding your own business when you encounter someone doing something illegal. Would you pretend as if you didn’t see anything or would you do something about it? What if you saw someone that in some sort of trouble. Would you help them out or would you ignore the situation.

I was walking to the bus terminal today and because it was so bloody cold out, I cut through Jackson Square. I was walking aimlessly around, trying to warm up from the cold, when I saw a man walk away from a store. I’m still half a sleep so I didn’t notice it much at first but the more I thought about it, the more that it seemed as if he had just stole from the store. I didn’t have my glasses on so I didn’t get a good view of the situation.

There was another girl walking from the hallway to the right. From her view, she was looking straight at the area where the man was. After I caught a glimpse of the event, I looked over at her and by the expression on her face, I think the man did commit a crime. I looked back at the store and noticed that the cashier was clueless about the whole thing?

The man looked like a homeless person. He had a toque on his head, his coat and pants were dirty and his beard unshaven. In a situtation like this, what can you do? It’s not your responsibility to keep watch of the store. It’s not your job to make sure everything is fine. If you had reported on the man, there no idea what he’ll do to do after. There’s a lot of things running through your head at the time. By the time you come to a logical conclusion on the situation, the time has passed to do anything about it.

What about this scenario? You are walking around when you see someone in need of assistance. Let’s say they couldn’t breathe and needed CPR. You are not trained in CPR but you’ve seen it done on Baywatch enough times that you believe you can perform it yourself. The person collapse so you dial 911 and call for an ambulance. In the meantime, you try to esuscitate the person so you start CPR on them. After a few attempts, you successfully revive the person. When the person is awaken, they are in pain. The ambulance arrives and takes that person to the hospital. You walk away, feeling good about yourself because you had just help save a life.

Later on in the week, you get a subpena, summoning you to court regarding the person whose life you had saved. Turns out, when you performed CPR on them, you broke a few ribs and they are now suing you for that. It makes you wonder how someone can do that to you after you had saved their life. Makes it seemed as if that person would before to lose their life than break their ribs.

In this situation, given the circumstances, you would have probably acted on impulse and did what you believed to be the best thing at the time. When you act on impulse, you don’t have time to weigh the odds. You do what you can and hope that it’s enough. The Good Summaritan Law protects people from situations like this.

These days, a lot of people are getting lazy and they won’t do anything if it doesn’t concern them. They don’t want to help out unless it benefits them in some way. They don’t want to do any favours for you unless they get something in return. What happened to the old days where people were more willing to help each other without asking for anything in return?