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: 99

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

Ramona the Pest replied to Belmin Bratic's discussion Martial Arts
"That is true, and many times they are not forthcoming with the fact that they are masters of the art. We ended up making friends with one of the masters from Hawaii who moved here, and he agreed to train my brother and I. I have found I prefer soft…"
4 minutes ago
Ramona the Pest replied to Ramona the Pest's discussion How Can I Entice a Reluctant Camper?
"Ok, first of all I am not trying to make him some kind of Rambo outdoor survivalist guy, I just want him to try camping. Second, I am not going to have a huge problem with him if he decides he doesn't want to, and have not been bugging the hell…"
15 minutes ago
Paul Martin commented on Mike Norris's group Mantiques
"this is a early 80s Montgomery ward tool chest I picked for $40. The quality is 10x a modern craftsman (I know because I own one and its junk). When I finished refurbish, I had a guy offer me $500 but I couldn't sell it.  I never get rid…"
1 hour ago
Paul Martin commented on Mike Norris's group Mantiques
"my manual shears, I got these for a buck and they were frozen.  some wd40 and a blade sharpening and they cut like new"
1 hour ago
Paul Martin commented on Mike Norris's group Mantiques
"This was a gift for my girlfriend, I did it the same time as my green toolbox.  it came out NICE"
1 hour ago
Paul Martin commented on Mike Norris's group Mantiques
"this was a yellow craftsman ratchet toolbox I found.  I paint matched it to my truck and made it my car emergency tool kit.  everything I need to fix most car problems.  I have an affliction for old toolboxes"
1 hour ago
Paul Martin commented on Mike Norris's group Mantiques
"Hello gentlemen, I just joined and I'm always finding vintage mens items at estate sales and at auction. "
1 hour ago
Paul Martin joined Mike Norris's group
Thumbnail

Mantiques

A place for guys to show off finds and discuss places to obtain hard to find reminders of manly days gone by.
1 hour ago

© 2015   Created by Brett McKay.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service