The Bystander Effect Ignites Survivors
A Person in Distress
“The bystander effect occurs when the presence of others discourages an individual from intervening in an emergency situation. The greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is for any one of them to provide help to a person in distress. People are more likely to take action in a crisis when there are few or no other witnesses present.” A pattern of behavior replicated many times.
Various factors contribute to the bystander effect, one of them being the diffusion of responsibility: “when a task is placed before a group of people, there's a strong tendency for each individual to assume someone else will take responsibility for it - so no one does.” Ambiguity also when uncertainty surrounds a situation.
Lands on Fire
Now, don't we see the bystander effect having an impact on tragic situations happening worldwide? For instance, we are witness to how the Amazon, California, Central Africa, Indonesia, and Siberia are lands on fire. Only naming a few.
I do not know exactly what we should do, but I do know - based on the evidence - that, if nothing is done, the poor will be exterminated and the rich will deal with their guilt in the form of charity, while everyone’s children will inherit the Earth barren, a red sky and poisoned water.
This scientific reality is continuously reported and investigated, leaving us neither space nor time for standing by. Yet while the effects of climate change have taken many victims around the world and threaten to take many more, a worldwide community of bystanders are unresponsive.
Straight Into The Eye
Thus, we must ask ourselves: what am I doing to act on climate change? Am I a symptom of the bystander effect, standing by watching as tragedy unfolds? What set of tools can we arm ourselves with to be a vehicle of awareness and action for other people? Talk about giving purpose to existence! “Loss of faith just ignites survivors. They stare doubt straight into the eye.”
© 2019 Aydasara Ortega Torres