Originally posted by arcoiris18 on September 22, 2022 18:21
I believe Cash should have put aside his personal connection to Jeremy Strohmeyer and inside acted with his morals. When he supposedly looked over the bathroom stall to witness Jeremy with Sherrice he would have understood what happening and how horrible his "friends" actions were. In "The Trick to Acting Heroically" by Erez Yoeli and David Rand when they asked the three American men and the British businessman who stopped a gunman’s attack what they were thinking about at that moment they said “It was just gut instinct...It wasn’t really a conscious decision.” That is how David Cash should have reacted, with his gut feeling even if he didn't know Sherrice he should have done the decent human thing and either stopped Jeremy or gone to go get help, that was his obligation as the only witness. David Cash should have prevented Jeremy from ever entering the bathroom and he should have at least gotten someone when he witnessed Jeremy bring Sherrice into the bathroom stall. Being a witness is a hard thing because the pressure of understanding what to do in a situation is difficult. I think there are different levels of being a bystander because it depends on the severity level of what you are witnessing. For example, it is much easier to turn your head at someone who is stealing food, because they mostly really need it, compared to seeing someone murder someone because there is very little justification for that. I think we have internal moral compasses that help to understand when to act even if we aren't conscious of it. Another way of being a bystander, especially in more modern times is recording or watching a recording of an act happening. In "The Bystander Effect In The Cellphone Age" by Judy Harris, she says, "My husband was incredulous that no one else thought to try to warn the residents, but instead were documenting the events for social media." In her article, she says the bystanders were more interested in documenting what was happening instead of helping. This level of documentation is important though because it then becomes evidence, recently in the police brutality cases, and they help to find people guilty who otherwise would have gotten away. It is still important to always think of helping first because if you hid behind your phone to gather evidence you aren't always helping, especially if whatever is happening that you're recording goes sideways. Overall, the notion of an upstander,witness, and bystander is a tough subject depending on what type of thing they were seeing, but in most cases I think it is important to act with the intention of helping. This could be by intervening or getting more help or looking the other way in cases where it seems like the person isn't doing harm.
I think that your point about it being hard for witnesses to fully understand what to do in a situation is a good one. I don’t think that it is realistic to believe that everyone can jump in without a split second to think, (an exception being David Cash), because there may be a danger for the witness in doing so. I think that in some cases it’s okay to have to think things through. Depending on the severity of the situation, I think that sometimes your own thoughts of safety override the moral compass on which you act. In David Cash’s situation, I simply believe that he just lacked a moral compass. In other situations, if you truly fear for your safety or your loved one’s safety, I think it’s okay to not do something in that moment and look away as long as you find some small way to help in the near future. Even so, I do think its important for people to override their concern for themselves and help others.