“For nearly an hour, he lay on the ground as passers-by turned their heads to look at him, gawk or pause and walk off. One lifted his body to reveal blood on the sidewalk. By the time emergency workers arrived, he was dead.” Courtesy Associated Press.
Captured on surveillance camera, this week in New York, a homeless man came to the aid of a woman being attacked by a knife-wielding man. Sadly the homeless man was stabbed and left to die on the sidewalk. The image shows people walking by without a care in the world. This is rather disturbing. What has happened to humanity and what message does this send out?
What has become apparent is the continued effort to avoid helping anyone in need because of what society has become. We fear for our own safety and thus ignore the plight in some cases such as this even when it is life threatening and ends with a fatality.
I remember working in London in 1992 to raise capital to start Victory Printers. I would catch the subway to work every morning, and one such morning across from me sat a lady with her son. He couldn’t have been more than 4 years old. Sitting on her lap fidgeting and seeking attention for a good part of the train ride, eventually the child’s mom snapped, she grabbed his leg and sunk her teeth into his thigh! I thought this was some kind of game they were playing, but then realized this was her method of instilling discipline into her child. I was horrified! A simple train ride turned into an event that would stick in my mind for years to come.
Back in the day it was common place to be disciplined as a child. No heads turned when parents brought out the wooden spoon or belt, and usually when we saw those weapons of mass destruction coming out fear ran cold through our veins – well mine at least. A saying I dreaded hearing was “wait until your father gets home”. That resulted in the rest of my day being racked up in fear knowing that mom was going to embellish the event and dad wasn’t going to be lenient and I would get “it”.
Today, we see this incredible breakdown of discipline, that results in awkward social problems later on in life. Don’t get me wrong – I know there needs to be a balance and that going overboard is tantamount to abuse, but what has happened to the extent that we turn a blind eye and deaf ear when we are confronted with a situation that beckons our help?
Being blessed with two gorgeous daughters, disciplining them was a difficult task for me. If there was a way of avoiding it – I would, but inevitably I knew that discipline was necessary. I believe that if there is a balance between love and discipline then you will model a safe environment for a child to grow and thrive.
Getting a little of track here! Going back to the homeless man who put himself at risk trying to help someone, and then himself being left for dead really saddens me. What have we become that we can walk by someone in obvious need and not even attempt to offer any help? If it were you or me in this very same situation – how would we respond? Would we even dare to protect, and place our lives in harms way for the sake of saving a total stranger, or would we turn the other way, keep on walking, and not even bat an eyelid?