The format of a My Take is 150 words – no more, no less – to express an opinion on a different topic each week. This week’s topic was bystander.
Standing by is more complicated than it sounds.
On one hand, it’s a way of saying someone is ready and waiting; a term of vigilance and care that tells others, “I’m here for you, when you need me.”
On the other hand, when that time of need arrives, standing by stops being laudable. In a crisis, bystanders are seen as passive, at best, and complicit at worst, for knowingly standing still as terrible things happen around them.
So where do you draw the line?
It’s fun to imagine playing the hero who leaps into action at just the right moment to save the day, but evidence seems to suggest that many find it easier to run away or freeze in place than to step forward and try to make a difference.
What’s easy is not necessarily what’s right, though, and doing nothing also has consequences.