This is one of those strange coincidence times. A few weeks ago, I wrote about an experience my friend had when she gave a service provider a bad rating- how the provider began texting her, etc. On Sunday I was visiting my parents at their over 55 complex. One of the residents was recently on the ABC show “What Would You Do”, which is a realty type show wherein actors stage an incident (like appearing to be drunk and about to drive) and they basically see how bystanders react- ie- would you step into a situation and say something.
Ok- so that’s the worlds colliding part.
When I wrote my blog, one person commented “You have to write the bad review. you have to call out the guy who reacted angrily to a bad review. We can’t let the bullies win.” Which I agree with- we can’t let the bullies win. But at what cost can we not let the bullies win? At what point do we risk our safety in order to prove a point?
Now, I’d like to say that I would be the person to stand up to bullies, to always do the honorable thing no matter what the cost…but in reality- I don’t know what I would do in a situation like that. If speaking up meant putting my daughter in danger, I am pretty confident I would not speak up. I’m not that strong. I will protect my daughter at all cost, and while I would gladly give up my freedom, safety and life for her, but I don’t know if I would give it up for someone else. I just don’t know. After I read Kristen Hannah “The Nightingale” I really confronted myself with personal what if’s.
Now- let’s bring in the TV show. I once watched part of this show (for the record- I hate this show because I think it promotes vigilantism, and makes people enter situations where they are only seeing part of a story. Unless I see someone in physical danger I am not confronting anyone based on words alone- I do not know the backstory). The particular scene I watched took place at a water bar I guess you’d call it. To visit this bar you had to drive your boat up to it. The actor appeared very drunk and looked as if he was about to get into his boat and drive. I agree that this was a life threatening dangerous situation. I agree that this man needed to be stopped. But I would contact the police, 911, coast guard, navy- literally any outlet I could think of- but I would not go up and try to take this guys keys away. Call me a coward, but if this guy was drunk and belligerent, what was I going to be able to do about it? He was probably twice my size. Now, the way the show is set up, anyone who stands to the side is a wimp, called out for not taking a stand. Is this fair?
Now here’s my audience interaction part: How far would you go to help someone? What are you willing to risk? Do you confront a bully? What would make you risk your life? When do you put yourself on the line?
OK- I’m adding this incident to the post, so this section did not appear to anyone who read this early- but I realize it probably belongs.
A few weeks ago I was at the supermarket- long line, and I had finally reached the front. I saw a man enter the store and immediately go to the cashier. I said calmly that there was a line and I pointed behind me. The man got belligerent, told me to mind my own business and started yelling at me. if someone could get so angry over me pointing out a line, what else is someone capable of?