Saturday, November 27, 2010

What would YOU do?

Have you ever seen that show, entitled "What would you do?" It's on one of the major networks and the basic concept of the show is they set up a dangerous/uncomfortable/bizarre scenarios, and then let their hidden cameras capture how people that see it, react.

For example, one time they had two people acting like they were on a blind date. When the woman steps away to go to the bathroom, the man, not-so-surreptitiously drops something in her drink. The man and the woman are in on it, but the people sitting around them are not. The point of the show is to see if people will step up to the plate and help the woman, or if they will mind their own business, or pretend they don't see what's going on.

The show really makes me mad. Rather, the people who keep their mouths shut and don't offer help in any way make me mad. And I had a first-hand experience with people that just didn't want to get involved.

You'll recall my post about Elise going low during a shopping trip. I am sad to say that there were people watching me during the whole episode, but never offered to help. Even when I was struggling with carrying an 40 pound child, a backpack, and a cart (don't ask me why I just didn't abandon it).

Even when I sat in customer service with a nearly catatonic child, the contents of my bag strewn everywhere. Discarded alcohol wipes, empty juice bottles and used test strips littered the seat next to me. As I sat and rocked Elise, I saw them watching me. Even a cashier that worked at the store stared at me every chance she got. But nobody offered to help.

It's not that I needed help, really... what could anyone do for me? But an offer would have been nice. Maybe they could have refilled the juice bottle with water for me when Elise asked for it, so I didn't have to leave her sitting on the chair by herself. Sure, the fountain was only about 10 feet away, but I wanted to stay close to Elise in case she passed out.

I think what I was looking for was a friendly voice. Someone to tell me it was okay, and I wasn't alone. Somebody to help me not to freak out.

I've always thought that I would speak up or step up in a situation where others wouldn't. After my experience, I now know that I would.

So, what would YOU do?


  1. Gosh Joanne, it's hard to say! I mean, knowing what I know now having a child with diabetes, I would surely step in and offer a hand.

    In the past, I have offered to help someone who was obviously distressed but was turned away. Not rude, just curt. Like I over-stepped a boundary. For a long time after that I resolved to keep to myself.

    Now that I am older and wiser, I don't give a rat's arse about what people think of me.

    You look like you need a hand? Mine is right here.

    Sorry no one took the time to ask you, though. Especially the store employees!

    I guess I am trying to look at both sides, but now that I could so easily be in the same situation with my daughter I would want someone . . . . anyone to step up and offer a kind hand.


  2. I would totally step in. BUT, I am a talk to strangers, listen to their conversation, butt in kind of gal.

    Sorry no one offered to help you that night! I have been there! :(

  3. Man, Jo...I completely know how you feel. In fact, this is how I found our current church.

    I'll have to blog that story sometime, but basically, everyone was starting at me as though my kid was having a disruptive tantrum and finally someone came to help me.

    Turned out to be a pastor at the church we currently attend.

    I think it's everyone's responsibility to extend an offer to someone appearing to be in need. No one can make it through everything alone.

  4. I help.
    My boys actually know that it's what I do and now they say, "Hey should we ask if they need help." I guess I've had too many times where I wish somebody would just do something, anything to help...and I am ALWAYS reminded of my leadership teacher saying, "A leader is the one that just does what others are still thinking about." It is a great reinforcer to just do what you know is right no matter how it may seem at the moment.
    I wish I were there for you. I hope that it never happens again, but if it does that you're surrounded by helpful people.

  5. Working in NYC, I would just be grateful I was not in any way incapacitated there, because while I think there are many New Yorkers who might stop and help, there are others who might take the opportunity to steal your wallet, etc. Still, I am truly shocked no one offered assistance in any way. Not even one person? Unbelieveable. Yes, I would have asked if you needed me to call 911 or help in any way, of course. Maybe they were shocked and waiting for you to stop assisting your daughter to ask? Especially, when you have a child so young.... I can't imagine......

  6. I am a firm believer of butting in... I have needed help and not gotten it so I do believe in offering it when I can.

  7. What would I do? I hope I would help, I hope I would be the one to step us and do something. I try to be that way.

    And by the way. I hate that show. The pretend situations are so awful, and everyone sits on their arse. I can't watch it. I just can't.

  8. I am a softie. If it appears that someone needs help, I offer it, especially when that someone is a parent with a small child...or a senior citizen.

    It bothers me that no one stepped up for you.

  9. Once I passed out in the Dallas library, and people just walked around me. I mean, I was out cold, on the floor, and people just stepped around and the checker kept checking out our books. Good thing Nathan was there. It totally shocked me to not have any offers of help.


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