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Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Value In Timeliness

You cannot do a kindness too soon,
for you never know how soon it will be too late.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

He who hesitates when seeing someone in need often regrets their own lack of action. That statement is not only a truism but it is also a proven common daily event. And the question is why?

A pattern of behavior
Studies have been performed that prove the more people present and witness a situation in a person needs assistance the less likely someone will step forward to help. People will film or take pictures of the event but they won't lend a hand to help the person in trouble.

A sad show of reality
I recently took a course centering on human behavior. In one lecture section we were shown a video of an elderly person crossing a busy street. There was quite a few pedestrians present. The person was hit by a car and continued to lay in the way of the flowing traffic. People can be seen watching and pointing before turning away. Cars would continue on jockeying around the victim lying in the street. A couple of cars nicked the person stopped for a few seconds then continued on. Even more startling was the person filming the event was close enough to take action but instead continued to record it. Did the victim live or die? It appeared no one present seem to care.

In opposition
A similar event was shown. It was also filmed. The difference was the was only one person other than the cameraman on the scene. That person without hesitation rushed out halted traffic and began to give assistance to the victim.

The facts
We were assured neither event was staged. As I noted studies have been conducted to back up the reality behind both events being established patterns in human behavior. That brings up some questions about those who took the course which includes myself and you who are reading this presentation. Unlike the course I chose to start off with the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote. For those that took the course will you if encountering a situation where a person is in need be more inclined to buck the trend and offer assistance no matter what? For those of you who read this piece including the quote, with this knowledge will you create change and enact a show of kindness.

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