We've all seen plenty of such videos -- videos where people set up fake situations to see how the passerbys and observers would react to them. There's even a show in America dedicated to such set-ups -- ABC's aptly named programme called, "What Would You Do?"

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They've touched on topics like racism and acceptance towards transgenders, homosexuals and etc. In the show, we would usually see people intervening no matter the situation and regardless of the number of onlookers. I believe that's because in the Western countries they've always been been taught to be vocal and to stand up for what they believe in. They are also more expressive and unafraid of what people might think of them. Very self-assured and confident people due to their different kind of upbringing and education, I would say.

So perhaps the percentage of random strangers intervening a hostile situation and helping someone out would be higher in Western countries than in Asian countries. I'm not talking about empathy or compassion here, just the tendency or probability of people helping others in need in public regardless of the situation. I believe compassion and empathy are important values shared by societies around the world, regardless of where you're from. Just that, whether we act on it, is another thing altogether.

Of course there have been some Asian version of such videos, with good reactions by the unaware observers. But those set-ups are usually more about people in need of some help, seldom about racism or the more serious or sensitive issues -- issues I think Asians would rather avoid getting involved in. Issues a lot of Asians are still not open to.

We've had one experiment done by a group of Singaporeans, showing how we're really not all a bunch of callous and unfriendly people.


Yep. It's about helping people in need for small matters. But still a heartwarming video to see how people helped without asking questions.

However, today I watched one such video that made me feel extremely disappointed. It's was made to find out if people would stand up for people with special needs when the situation arises. They got two young ladies with Down Syndrome to act as cashiers in a small convenience store, and got actors to be rude, unreasonable and mean customers.

There were so many more people who looked on than the people who intervened and helped the "victims" in the video.

I nearly burst out crying when someone finally helped and told the actor to give the girl a chance. It made me question myself and wonder what would I do, and what would most Singaporeans do for people with special needs when they need us to stand up for them against the really cold-hearted creatures in the society?

I would say I'll stand up for them because I'll be so mad to witness such atrocious behaviour. And I sure hope I won't ever have to prove myself right/wrong because then it would mean I will have to see such atrocity playing out right in front of my eyes.

I do believe most of us would help them out in such cases. I hope I'm right about that. Because I still have faith in humanity.

It's this video:


What would you do? 

Maybe we should ponder over it today and make a conscious decision in our hearts on whether we want to continue to be nonchalant about what's going on, or be a better person so we can help this society regain its warmth and positivity.

Take for example, recently, a video of a man molesting a girl on the train has been spreading on the internet. Besides the anger directed at the pervert, a lot of people were also baffled and angry at the person videoing the offence. Why didn't he or she step out and help the girl? Why didn't he or she raise the alarm and get that pervert there and then when he/she already has evidence in hand?

It's sad how some people in our society would rather take pictures or videos of accidents, fights and incidents than to help out. The value system we used to share has tipped over and the priorities have all gone haywire.

How do we stop this degeneration of our society before most of the younger generations become like that? 

Start leading by example. 

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