Rachel – Day 79

27 Apr

The News: What’s With The Curse of “The Bystander Effect”?

On April 18th, a woman was being mugged in New York by a man with a knife. A homeless man named Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax came to the woman’s rescue by interfering with attack. The mugger turns on him and stabs him several times in the chest. Hugo attempts to run after the mugger (and his killer) but he ends up collapsing on the sidewalk.  For more than an hour, as Hugo lies on the sidewalk dying, over 20 people pass him with no attempts to help. A few men stand over him and talk, one turns him over and sees his wounds but then gets up and walks off.  Finally a call comes into the police, but once they arrive at the scene, Hugo is dead.


My Comments: I’m tense all over right now just having listened to this story. I’m angry at the world and at people for being so desensitized, so passive and so selfish. We’ve all heard of the “bystander effect,” where one person does nothing so others do nothing and then groups of people do nothing in the face of a circumstance that requires action and where one would predict an involuntary action of response would naturally occur. I cannot sit here and tell you that I wouldn’t fall victim to this “bystander effect” when put in a situation like that, but God help me if I do because my blood boils just thinking of being passive in a situation like what happened with Hugo. This hero, this good samaritan who was helping another stranger being mugged; this one human being left in New York who decided to take action and give a damn, he is the one who is left to die with no one to help him. What are those bystanders feeling now? Now that they know they walked by a dying man who was a hero for a stranger…..are they feeling guilty and beating themselves up over this or does life go on as normal? This homeless hero, Hugo is Jesus to me; he was Jesus to the woman being mugged and yet he was the one who got no help in return. As he bled out on the sidewalk in New York, what was he thinking? Perhaps his thoughts were this: Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.

Please let this sink in and remember this when you are faced with a situation like this. When someone is in need, remember they are someone’s Jesus, they are someone’s hero, they are someone’s somebody. And if for nothing else, help them because they are human and in need of help. What if it were you in need, wouldn’t you want the same? Don’t watch it happen, don’t walk by…..RESPOND, HELP and give us all a little more hope for each other as humans.


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