Thursday, May 20, 2010

What Would You Do?

Have you ever watched that show on ABC that puts people into situations where they should usually intervene but so many people don't? It's called "What Would You Do?". Last night was the first time I had actually watched it, though I had heard of it many times.

The scenario I watched was of a young man with Downs Syndrome being verbally abused by his customers. Both the bagger and the abusers were actors, but the other people in line waiting to check out were not.

Following that scenario was one of a same-sex couple bringing their children out to dinner while a rude, close-minded waiter refused them service (all actors again). What would the other diners do?

More often than not, in both situations, people don't say anything. They might show disgust on their face, they may duck their heads as if they don't hear what's going on, and in the worst case scenario they actually agree with the actors. It made me angry. But that's not what I'm writing about.

What I'm writing about is the people who did say something. The ones who could see what was going on and may think it didn't affect them personally but they could see that it affected them globally. One of the men who stuck up for the same-sex marriage said his parents were survivors of the Holocaust. He said that maybe if people didn't just turn the other direction, so many, many deaths wouldn't have happened during that horrible time. A young adult male that stuck up for the man with Downs Syndrome had a sister with the same genetic disorder. He wasn't even in line to check out but he heard the abuse way down the corridor and came running to protect the young man.

Society needs to look at situations like this at how in the long run it affects everyone. We need to stop being selfish and think if someone is not disrespecting us then it's not our business. It is our business to educate such discrimination and hatred. We need a society of humanity, love, peace, and acceptance. Half the problems in the world could be solved by people becoming more tolerant, respectful, and open-minded.