I recently published an article on my website (www.theheroscape.com) about an incident that occurred while I was at the zoo with my little brother. Basically I happened upon a 13 year old kid spitting into the ponds and streams of several exhibits.

Even as I write this, almost a week later, it strikes me how many people were there who saw the same thing I did, but did nothing. It seemed a classic example of the Bystander Effect, a social phenomenon where a person does not offer any assistance or do anything to intervene in a crisis situation because of the presence of others. It seems strange to think that we are less inclined to take action when there are other people around, but studies have proven this to be true. The more 'other people' are present the less likely an individual is to take personal responsibility for doing something.

This wasn't a crisis by any means. But I imagine people were shaking their heads and grumbling about what they saw. "Where are his parents?". "Somebody should do something.".

In my mind "somebody" should have been any adult who noticed. And this incident highlighted one of the failings of our society. Nobody wants to get involved. Nobody wants to take responsibility. If no one intervenes now when his crimes are relatively small, what will happen if this kind of behavior escalates to vandalism or something else? Where will he learn that society will hold him accountable for what he does, which can reinforce one of the foundations of manhood in a boy who is just beginning to discover his strength and power: respect.

It reminds me of the scene in The Dark Knight where Harvey Dent holds a press conference to announce that the Batman has offered to turn himself in. The citizens, even the police officers are scared and they're willing to trade their liberty, their right to a peaceful and just society for a promise of safety. In the bargain is nothing to end crime; and by allowing this they shackle themselves like a woman facing a mugger. "Take what you want," they say. "Just don't hurt me."

A man can't be a bystander and consider himself a man. When others whisper 'someone should do something' he must be the one to spring into action, whether it be alone or with a dozen like minded men at his side. In times of calamity or relative calm, whether fighting for a cause or defending the public trust, a man must act. To do otherwise is to betray all of us.

Views: 106

Comment

You need to be a member of Art of Manliness to add comments!

Join Art of Manliness

Comment by Adam Bauer on October 9, 2011 at 9:25pm

Well put! Agreed, I remember growing up any adult had the right to say somthing if your were up to no good. Today society seems to think "its not my problem" but it is if we make it, and we must make it our issue or society will go downhill even faster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comment by Cynric Whitaker on October 9, 2011 at 6:42pm
Indeed. And we live in a society that seems to love to judge others for what they done. Maybe that's why reality TV is so popular. Sometimes I wonder if that mentality contributes negatively to our individual desire to stand up for what we believe because being wrong means facing ridicule and judgment.
Comment by Iosephus Lvcs Gonzalez on October 9, 2011 at 6:27pm

So true, Cynric. I feel that we're afraid of being judged as "backwards", "authoritarian", "nosy", or something of that sort, if we stand for what we believe in.

 

Latest Activity

Penelope replied to O'Neal's discussion Addressing Bad Hygiene?
"It's unclear to me whether OP thinks the problem is around the anus or vulva/labia.  The hygiene recommendations for these areas are different - and not straight-forward.  The recommendations have changed over time, and not every…"
4 hours ago
Native Son commented on Herb Munson's group The Great Debate
"Well, RT probably got the video from CNN...considering the video or excerpts from it have been all over US domestic newsoutlets."
5 hours ago
Tim Covone joined Steven C.'s group
Thumbnail

Exercise

Exercise is a crucial part of maintaining a manly physique. Join up to share ideas, get support and discuss plans with other men.See More
7 hours ago
Tim Covone joined Dennis Heins's group
Thumbnail

The Smoking Lounge

Come on in, light up your favorite pipe or cigar, and relax with the rest of us.
7 hours ago
Tim Covone joined Shaun Daws's group
Thumbnail

Philosophers

An open forum for discussion of the big questions.
7 hours ago
Liam Strain commented on Herb Munson's group The Great Debate
"1. Yeah, how did they get that footage? 2. That ship was leaving from Gdansk in the Baltic, less than 20 miles from the Russian city of Kaliningrad. You don't think that we'd be doing the same thing to a Russian ship 20 miles from…"
8 hours ago
Kenneth Cole replied to Sir's discussion US Presidential primaries in the group The Great Debate
"Hooray is right!"
9 hours ago
Kenneth Cole joined Herb Munson's group
Thumbnail

The Great Debate

"Iron sharpens iron." A place for men to impact each other by debate and exchange of ideas. This is a group where no ideas are off limits. If your motto is, "I never talk about politics or religion," this group is probably not for you. A "gym" for thinkers.See More
9 hours ago

© 2016   Created by Brett McKay.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service