Like it or not we share our little corner of the world and the entire planet with fellow humans, animals, insects, and plants. As humans we share the road. We share businesses. We share neighborhoods. We share towns and cities. We share the continent. We share the planet. As a martial artist we strive to attain a higher understanding of self defense, fitness, awareness, and mental/spiritual strength. All of this ultimately to give us greater health, and to prepare us for an unknown attacker who may or may not threaten us. But, we are prepared just in case. Time and time again I stumble across the following plot in headlines, movies, novels, and television shows. A person is assaulted, said person screams for help, and the nearby viewing public does not get involved. They turn their ears and eyes off to simply not be involved. In fact, this passerby flight syndrome is so real that most law enforcement organizations tell folks in trouble to yell ‘fire’ instead of screaming for help. Why? Because it is human nature to run and see a fire, but not human nature to run and help. None of us are looking for trouble. When a nearby person screams for help or are being attacked and are in trouble we naturally want to avoid it. This entry does not apply to car wreck victims, heart attack victims, or people in health distress. This entry applies to people being attacked by another person or persons. We should help. We could and can make a difference. But, most of us will not risk our lives to help someone that is being assaulted, raped, murdered, ect.
Let’s pretend I was in the mall parking lot near closing time and I heard and saw a woman being assaulted. My options would be to physically come to her aid, call the cops, or pretend I didn’t notice it. Granted in the era of cell phones most of us would certainly call the cops. However, police response times could be five to fifteen minutes away. Let’s say I ignored it. Let’s say I just got in my car drove away and called the cops. Said victim dies. Would I be able to live with myself? Could anyone live with themselves after allowing a fellow human being attacked and ultimately killed without intervention? If the above scenario did occur I’d like to think I would get involved and come to said victim’s aid. Sure there’s risk. But, there is also risk to my soul if I failed to assist.
As a martial artist I’d like to believe I would help. That I would intervene and try to make a difference. That I would come to the aid of a victim despite the obvious threat to myself. I’d like to believe most of my students would do the same. I believe it is our duty to make ourselves safer, our families safer, and our community safer. We can do so by being aware, by being kind, and helping a person in need. Most predators are seeking the path of least resistance. So, if a person or people do intervene there is a chance said attacker will leave quickly. However, there is a risk, but there is also a risk to our souls if we do nothing.