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: 97

Tags: Batman, action, bystander, dark, effect, knight, man, of

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

Will replied to Mike F's discussion Young guys in the group New Warriors
"That man definitely does not speak for the greater MKP community, which welcomes young men (and sometimes has discussions about how to recruit more of them).  He may have spoken for his own "I-group" (a small group of 8-12 or so…"
2 hours ago
Michael B. replied to Titus Techera's discussion Healthcare ideas in the group The Great Debate
"Insurance is a small portion of the problem as a whole - a portion of which was actually formed by market forces. Insurance, in and of itself, has one purpose; to create access to healthcare. Full stop. In this, a successful ACA rollout only does…"
2 hours ago
Jai Chipperfield replied to Jai Chipperfield's discussion What to wear to a vineyard
"The vineyard is putting on the event to show its new products to re"
2 hours ago
Michael B. replied to Shane's discussion Government Services in the group The Great Debate
"I'm actually rather interested in reading - what I would see - as the anti-Randian Jennifer Government that the web-game Nationstates is based off of. Slippery slope dystopias are always a fun read."
3 hours ago
Mike F added a discussion to the group New Warriors
Thumbnail

Young guys

hey guys, I have been interested in the MKP for a few years now and even began pursuing my dream of attending a weekend. After many emails back and forth as well as a few phone calls with an influential guy there (who was very nice) I was politely told that the weekend is more for older guys and while there are annual meetings in my area, in which guys get together at a local church and further share and bond, because of the nature of these meetings (they discuss feelings and their deepest…See More
3 hours ago
Michael B. replied to Brett McKay's discussion How Do You Want to Go Out?
"I have instructed my wife that my body is to be donated to a local science program, so that I may forever be fondled by young coeds. Okay, cut the fondling part. My body is to be donated to a school for up and coming students, though."
3 hours ago
Mike F joined Will's group
Thumbnail

New Warriors

For discussing intense experiential work, owning the shadow, or any of the other things the ManKind Project is all about.
3 hours ago
Mike F updated their profile
3 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Brett McKay.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service