The Bystander Effect Essay Example

  • Category: Events, Life,
  • Words: 1099 Pages: 4
  • Published: 20 June 2021
  • Copied: 132

Have you experienced a situation where you had to take action of the event but, instead you became the bystander? If so, what lead you to become the bystander? A definition given by Merriam-Webster defines a bystander as “one who was present but not taking part in a situation or event.” The bystander has an important role when an emergency crime occurs. Some people’s instinct is to help but will they actually help? Many individuals change their lives to spare or help other people when those are in need.

These individuals can extend from firefighters who risk with their lives to spare individuals from an ordinary individual who assists an elderly person to convey her groceries to her vehicle. Although there are various occasions when individuals help other people who are in need, there are additionally various occurrences when those same individuals abstain from aiding and getting included. The fundamental reason for this exposition is to clarify why and under what conditions a few people are more likely to not get engaged in an emergency. In addition, I will be analyzing many factors of causes and effects that a bystander plays. 

This world would be better if we are joined and help one another. Unfortunately, there are people who are quick to simply turn away and pass quickly through any circumstance that may not concern them. In the article, “Thirty- Eight Who Saw Murder, Didn’t Call the Police” author Gansberg shows, “A man peeked out from a slight opening in the doorway to his apartment and rattled off an account of the killer’s second attack” (Gansberg 131). This shows how the onlookers saw what was occurring. There is a cause to why the bystander acts the way they do. The bystander feels like by helping the victim; people might think that he or she was part of the situation. Bystanders often believe that is not their responsibility to assist others even if they see they need help.

Most have the mentality that if they do not help, others will act for them. In a way, this is how bystanders have a piece of mind without getting involved in the scene, and the victim will receive help. One of the reasons why bystanders decide to refrain themselves and not help is because they feel they could put themselves in a risky situation. On the other hand, you might encounter an event where you want to help someone, but you have friends or family with you; and you know there is a high probability that things will get out of control. As a result, it will be upsetting but you are conscious and know that the best thing to do is to ignore what you have witnessed to prevent putting yourself in danger, and the surrounding people. In conclusion, if we place ourselves in the shoes of the person who needs help, we will realize how beneficial is to help. At some point, we all have experienced the need to be helped. Therefore, it would be extraordinary if we make an effort and help someone as much as possible as long as we do not get hurt. When you least expect it someone else will return the favor.

In addition, bystanders also have effects based on their behavior. The consequences of not acting can make a big and terrible effect on the person. The first effect that the bystander carries if they don’t act in a situation is putting the victim’s life in danger. People can be set in a serious place whether they are being shot, stabbed, assaulted or anything that person presents. According to the article, “Identity, Place, and Bystander Intervention: Social Categories and Helping After Natural Disasters” authors Mark, Levine, and Kirstin Thompson reveal,“have suggested that the more people who witness or are aware of an emergency situation there are, the less likely victims are to receive help”(Thompson 230). This indicates the contrary of what people should do.

People shouldn’t focus on the number of individuals present in order to help someone that is in the need of attention. People should remember that besides receiving the favor in the future it also feels nice knowing you helped someone. Many people focus on just their business but do not look at the big picture to possibly save a life. People have died for not receiving the attention needed. Some will later regret not helping the person and when they try to it’s too late! Don’t be a bystander and act the quickest way possible because when you least expect it, one day you may need that special person to act in your favor. 

Furthermore, my suggestion is to not be the bystander in an emergency. Not all heroes wear capes, and I believe that a person could be some else's hero by helping them. I have been in a situation where becoming a bystander was never an option for me. I did anything out of my way to help my neighbor who was seeking assistance. It all began, when I started to hear screaming coming from my neighbor's house. I couldn’t be the bystander like some people were in the article, “Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder Didn't Call the Police” by Martin Gansberg. People saw what was going on yet, didn’t bother to help. On the contrary, I did involve myself in the situation to help and call 911. I would have regretted not helping the poor man later if he wouldn't have any medical attention when it was needed. An example of the article stated, “It was 4:25 A.M. when the ambulance arrived for the body of Miss Genovese. It drove off. “Then,” a solemn police detective said, “the people came out”(Gansberg 5).

This clearly shows people later than caring about the situation when it was too late. People started coming out once Genovese was taken in the ambulance. It could have been prevented if they had come out to actually help her when it was needed. Everything had simply happened in a flash. I was happy to be that person that helped him when everything happened. This experience has taught me that at any time we may need help from someone. It also taught me that we need to not put excuses to not help a person in need. Always choose to be the upstander and act or speak when it’s needed.

To conclude, don't be a bystander and take action of the situation if you can. According, to the article “Helping others is good for mental health”, “ The evidence shows that helping others can reduce stress, improve emotional well being, benefit physical health, achieve a sense of belonging and reduce isolation, and get rid of negative feelings”(Anonymous, 2012). Giving support to others may have more benefits than receiving support. On the other hand, if people do not assist the person in need; the needed person can be exposed to death. The people in danger rely on people around them. Helping others can make a difference in someone’s life. Like I mentioned help if it’s possible without putting yourself in danger because you never know when you need a hand.



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