Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A helping hand

Rick Badie reported a heart-warming story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) about a car jacking in Norcross, GA. When a woman made a quick stop at a Quik Trip, she left her baby in the car. A man stole the car while she was in the store. She left the key in the car to run the air conditioner for her baby. Mohammed Kabir, a man from Bangladesh saw her run out of the store after her car, screaming "My baby is in the car." He followed the car, calling 911, until he saw the driver stop and place the child, in it's car seat, in a parking lot. Mr. Kabir stayed with the infant until the police came. This is a heart-warming story, and I thank Mr. Badie for printing it.

However, when he criticized the dozens of other people who were there, and did not help, I feel he is being unfairly critical (although I understand how he feels.). Social scientists who have studied such cases have found that when we are in trouble, we are actually more likely to be helped when there is only one bystander than when there are many. Some of these bystanders who did act might have done so if they had been the only witnesses. Of course, Mr. Kabir deserves special credit because he actually did act, even though there were so many other people around.
There is an article about this at:

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