Who Cares?

It happens too often…a life teeters on collapse while unconcerned bystanders (wearing “blinders”) are too self-absorbed to notice. A scream in the night, or a gunshot, and they all assume “Surely someone else will take care of that; something might happen to me if I try to get involved.” 

     Sixty years ago this month, in a normally quiet set of apartment buildings in New York City, at least 38 people were aware of an angry man stalking a lady there. After about an hour (attacking her three times), he finally stabbed her to death. No one attempted to help her or even call the police. For heaven’s sake, why? Reasons include fear to get involved (that they might be hurt or hurt another) along with other nonsensical excuses like they wanted to finish their TV program or they just didn’t want to be bothered. Unconcern for human suffering is totally incompatible with America’s claim to be a ‘nation under God.

     Who cares? Rarely in our history has such an un-American-sounding question seemed so necessary. Obviously, many Americans do care – the ranks of ‘first responders’ and volunteer charity workers attest to that. But it’s also apparent that some do not care – at least not enough to act. What’s needed is a sincere feeling of “I-am-my-brother’s-keeper” – giving impetus to an individual’s will to help another in need. That, along with a confident self-image and self-respect that mirrors the likeness of our loving Creator, would see it as a good thing and worth the effort.

        “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (Js. 4:17)           

        “Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.” (Prov. 21:13)                    

        “When you refused to help the least of these My brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help Me.” (Mt. 25:45)          

-John Driggers (4/29/2024, V6 #18)

Unconcern for human suffering is totally incompatible with America’s claim to be a ‘nation under God.’ Let's analyze the impact of the bystander effect.

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