What does being Alive Mean to me and why i Appreciate a Life

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If there was a moment where a person is struggling for their life, what would you do? Children are raised with the lesson of serving others and “see something, say something”. However, it seems as if that lesson only means holding a door open for someone, and fails to be put into practice when truly needed. Many individuals have died because a person failed to act and help them or report the crime. It is debated whether these bystanders should be held accountable, however, when a person fails to help someone knowing they are in danger, they become an accomplice to the crime being committed and should be found guilty. When a crime is committed, many focus on the two main protagonists, the victim and the perpetrator. However, it involves a more composite set of characters than just the two – the bystanders. Bystanders are viewed as people who can protect the victim of the crime. They’re individuals who can alert the authorities or even stop the violence. If a bystander speaks up, it is possible that the crime or attack is less likely to happen, and they have the possibility of saving a life, making the decision to not do so is a crime in itself.

For many, if an emergency situation were to happen right before their eyes the act of intervening becomes a debate within themselves. Psychologists suggest that the decision to intervene or not depends upon the number of other witnesses present, also known as the bystander effect. The bystander effect is when there is a greater number of people present, the less likely they are to help a person in distress. It has been studied that bystanders are more likely to intervene if there are few to no other witnesses (Cherry). A lack of responsibility is created with the presence of others. As a result of having a great number of witnesses, individuals do not feel as much pressure to take action, since they believe that the responsibility should be shared among all those present. Thus making people feel the need to behave in correct sociable acceptable ways. When other bystanders fail to react, individuals often take this as a signal that a response to act is not needed or not appropriate. Researchers have discovered that “During such chaotic moments, people often look to others in the group to determine what is appropriate. When people look at the crowd and see that no one else is reacting, it sends a signal that perhaps no action is needed” (Cherry). While the bystander effect can have a negative effect on an individual’s ability and behavior to react, researchers have also discovered that there are a lot of different factors that can help people overcome this tendency and can increase the possibility that they engage in helping behaviors.

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Being alive means being “right in the moment”. Whenever a person takes the moment to stop and say, “wait a minute, this is wrong” it will help others follow in their steps. In today’s world, many people refuse to help because it’s “none of their business”, or they don’t want to put themselves at risk, or simply just don’t want to get involved. There are also those who record the event on their devices for their own entertainment rather than as evidence that can help the victim. It seems as if keeping up with their social media is more important than a human’s life. In 2017, a group of teenagers witnessed a disabled man, Jamel Dunn, a thirty-two-year-old, drown in a pond while screaming for help. Instead of trying to save Jamel or call the police, they recorded him struggling while mocking and laughing at him. When Dunn went underwater one last time, one of the five is heard saying, “Oh, he just died.” They laugh and leave. They refused to report the incident to the authorities but posted the video on social media instead. Three days later Jamel Dunn’s body was found. (Barton). As a result of these five teenagers refusing to assist Jamel, he died. The act of neglect to assist a person in need is clearly an issue that should be punishable by law. These teenagers just watched from the sidelines, while before their eyes a human being was fighting to stay alive, and refused to help by intervening or call the police.

If the duty to rescue only requires calling for help in some situations, there isn’t an excuse for neglecting this duty, because in most cases the bystander isn’t putting themselves in danger. In society today it is, “harder to require individuals to take certain actions than it is to prohibit them from doing certain things. And when the law does require people to act, it sets the bar very low – hence, the fact that simply calling 911 is enough to satisfy one’s duty to rescue” (Barton). Although there is not a legal duty to help someone that doesn’t mean there isn’t an ethical and moral duty to do so. There are federal laws that prohibit concealing information about specific crimes. Under 18 United States Code, Section 4, an individual may be obligated to report a crime if they are directly asked during a criminal investigation. Whenever, “you have the knowledge of the commission of a felony; The felony actually occurred, andwhat does being alive mean to you the felony is a federal offense; if you willfully conceal the commission of a felony federal offense, you can be charged with ‘misprision of a felony” (Wallin). If an individual could face jail time for failing to report a criminal offense before or after it happened, they should be held accountable for failing to report the crime during it taking place. If the bystander were to report the crime during the incident they could save a life which is just as important. By saying nothing the bystander allows the crime to be carried out, helping the criminal commit the crime.

Although victims may die due to the perpetrator and the neglect of the bystander, death is not always the outcome. Some victims survive the event and are left scarred, asking themselves, “why didn’t anyone help me”. Many victims wonder why the bystander would just let the crime happen and find both the perpetrator and the bystander guilty of the crime. Ruth Krug, a survivor of a criminal act stated in an article, after the attack, “It wasn’t just humiliation and shame. It was anger and betrayal. After I was raped, I was haunted by the physical trauma and by thoughts of the rapist. But I also couldn’t forget the bystander…he chose to stand by silently as my dignity and self-worth were stolen” (Krug). When bystanders chose to not act, they show neglect towards the victim inflicting even more harm onto them both emotionally and mentally. After Krug was attacked she states that, “the most haunting reminder of the injustice was the witness, a man who had chosen to stand by silently…those who just stand by and allow violence to occur are not really just bystanders; they have inflicted lasting mental harm on the survivors…rejected every opportunity to help me reclaim my voice and my dignity…invalidated my ‘no’ all over again. I felt disempowered, unable to use my voice”. An individual who accepts a nefarious act is as much involved as the perpetrator committing it. Those who accept it without protesting against it are really cooperating with it. By failing to act or simply calling the police and alert them of the crime, a life is at an even greater risk, and they deserve to be held accountable.

This is the world which exist today, where people just turn the other cheek while someone is dying right before them just because it none of their business. The act of doing such thing should be punished because at the end of the day, it’s not just the perpetrator committing the crime, it’s also the ones who see and know about it, and do nothing whatsoever to help. 

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What Does Being Alive Mean To Me And Why I Appreciate A Life. (2021, Jul 01). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/what-does-being-alive-mean-to-me-and-why-i-appreciate-a-life/