Saturday, 28 January 2012

Heroes

 

Though I certainly have my malevolent moments, I generally try to treat other people in a courteous and helpful manner. I do this not out of a sense of guilt or duty, or because I expect some reward; it’s simply a habit—albeit one that has served me pretty well over the years.

Imagine if you are lying badly injured by the roadside and all the motorists pass you by because they think you are just a prop and that a gang of robbers is waiting in the bushes nearby.

But it is not just in situations like this that we should be concerned about. If we start being all too careful about getting into trouble in our interactions with strangers, we may start having doubts even with people familiar to us.

Even in our neighbourhood and our workplace, there is the feeling that it is better to mind your own business rather than engage and learn if something is amiss. That it is not worth it to go out of the way.

City dwellers indeed find all sorts of excuses not to lend a hand to help others. They are always in a hurry and can easily cite convenience, security and the traffic jam for not noticing

This is why people write letters about Good Samaritans to the press because these situations crop up so rarely, for city folk, at least.
 
Last year, we being surprised with the news of two-year-old child lies dying in the street in southern China, her blood running into the gutter while 18 people pass by without stopping to help her.

Millions have watched the video of this incident – I’m not linking to it here, it’s too distressing – and asked, why? How can this happen? And what does it say about  our society today?

There are indeed cases of con-men lying down in front of buses and then falsely accusing the driver, and examples of the courts wrongly ordering Good Samaritans to pay compensation after they intervened to help an injured stranger.

But if this is really the problem, then the good news is that it’s easily fixable by enacting a Good Samaritan law which offers basic immunity from civil claims to bystanders who stop to tend to the injured.

For many us, however, that is only part of the story. This case involves a child, just two years old, bleeding to death on the street in front of you. Why doesn’t that move the passers-by emotionally, overcoming their rational fear of being wrongly hit up for compensation?

It doesn’t really make sense. And in any case, if we’re being strictly rational, then a pedestrian or a cycle-rickshaw driver should hardly fear being accused of inflicting injuries on a child who has clearly been run over by a large car.
 
It’s also been widely noted that, compensation fears aside, the 18 passers-by didn’t even stop to phone China’s equivalent of 999 or 911 before carrying on home, many presumably to their own families, some perhaps even to their own two-year-old daughters

I don’t think this excuses the fact that 18 people saw fit to leave that girl to die, but it might explain partly why they did.

In life, we always have our choices. We can choose to be indifferent, or we can choose to care. We can choose to discourage, or we can choose to uplift. And because of these choices, a predominantly dark situation can sometimes become bright.

Note:-  In Malaysia, when accident happen it can cost traffic, we are nation of caring

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