Sunday, January 15, 2006

To be a bystander, or not to be?

You always hear these stories about the people who do nothing about something wrong, are just as bad as those doing the wrong.

You think about how any moralistic person sit on the sidelines and watch something they totally disagree with unfurl before their eyes?

Being Jewish, knowing all about the holocaust and bystanders, you are kind of instilled with the knowledge that to act is a big deal and pretty mandatory. You can make a difference, it just takes one to stand up to it.

I understand that in social situations it is not nearly as comparable, but still there is social suicide to deal with.

The other day I took a stand amongst a group of people, friends I hadn’t seen in a while. One was publicly embarrassing another in a way where a whole room full of people could witness what was going on. The others within the group were all laughing and I decided to put my foot down. It wasn’t pretty and I apologise for that. And it felt so weird to be the only person that really cared.

They stopped because they knew what they were doing was inherently wrong and I don’t know why I did and still feel so irked by the entire scenario.

I don’t know if it’s because those friends could now look at me and think one of two things:

1. That I took a stand for what I thought was wrong and now in some shape or form they respect me for what I did.

2. They think I’m a nut job because I cracked a spastic about something so minor and didn’t really affect that many people.

People get so caught up by those who “steal the show”, do people not care that their entertainment is at the expense of someone else?

I guess this would be a good time to apologise to the Leaning tower of Pisa chick …again, life comes and bites me in the ass.


Assaf said...

I didn’t understand who was involved there, but I guess that doesn’t matter. I like the way you wrote it though. I think it is consecuential to intervene when something is socially wrong and has gone beyond being socially/generally accepted in that specific context, if you know what I mean. In Mexico, we all make fun of each other even in front of our friends, but we take it well and many times build on it too. We are a nation that takes shit and makes it funny. I take a lot of shit from people and friends, and I don’t mind it, but I think it's a cultural thing as well. Some people clearly get offended. It is so hard to find a balance, but good on you if you felt you needed to do it. The only problem is that not everyone ends up happy either...

Paulo said...

Good on you Deb! I think it is terrible that people humiliate other people and use them as well. Like those ppl that come from Melbourne with no sunscreem...