Someone is dying in front of you, and all you decide to do is laugh. You tell that person that you will do nothing to save him. He screams, taking his last breaths. You taunt him. You laugh at him, while recording what surely will get a lot of online traffic after you post it on Facebook or YouTube. After all is said and done, you go home and proceed as if nothing happened.
Sounds like a movie scene, does it not? Sadly, it is not. It is a summary of what happened in Cocoa*, Florida about a week ago. A man was drowning, while 5 teenagers stood by, ridiculed the man and did nothing to aid him.
My first thoughts were: “He had to have done something very wrong to them/ their loved ones, so they let him die as a form of punishment.” However, there is nothing known that would support this “hopeful” remark of mine. I am not here to dispute if the man, who drowned, was a “good” or a “bad” human being; whether he deserved it or not. I am here to discuss the actions of the actively passive bystanders. This was not an act of vengeance, but a pure, unadulterated psychopathic one.
Five KIDS, age 14 – 16 stood on the verge of the pond, while a 31 year-old was drowning. There are people who dedicate their lives to save others – firefighters, cops, first responders, etc. While I understand that not everyone is/ wants to be capable of such selflessness and bravery (for various valid reasons), it is hard for me to understand that someone would be the complete opposite of those.
Hopefully, none of you are put in a situation where you cannot help someone in distress, as it can be emotionally traumatizing. However, if you find yourself in such a situation, and you are unable to help someone, I would wish that you have the presence of mind and the conscience to call 911. You might not be able to directly save the person, but you might do so indirectly. And your conscience can be cleared, because you would have done whatever you could.
In the event of Cocoa, we do not know how the man got into the water. Maybe he was trying to end his life, but then decided it was a bad idea. Maybe the teenagers could not swim. No one will blame you, if you cannot swim. Killing yourself while trying to rescue someone else is not the point. The issue is that these observers did NOT call anyone else for help.
A man drowned. Five people saw it happen. A missing person report was filed three days later. His body was found two days later. So for five days, these boys walked around like nothing happened, while a man floated in the water, unbeknownst to his family and friends.
The sad thing is that those boy are free to roam the world. In the court of law, they have not done anything criminal. There is no law forcing you to help a dying human being. I did not think there HAD TO be one, for one to aid another. Apparently, law makers are now trying to compose some laws, which might prevent something like that happening in the future. But how would they enforce it? It is going to be tricky. This is not something the law enforcement should be concerned about. It should be our moral compasses that tell us how to act in dire situations. It makes me wonder how were these kids brought up? What made them so jaded, that they felt like laughing at someone dying was an appropriate response? If they are already so calloused, what will they do in the future?… It is scary to think of their “potential”.
Imagine yourself… in deep water… with no solid ground to stand on… gasping for air, while your lungs fill with water… whaling your arms in hopes that someone sees you and helps you… and then seeing a group of boys… there is a spark of hope in your head… and you kick the water… staying afloat… you cough out the water you swallowed… and then you hear laughter… you hear them say they will not help you… you hear them say out loud what you already know… you are good as dead… you do not believe it… you struggle some more… thinking this cannot be… then the world goes black…
I guess in a way, it was good that the teenagers recorded what they did, and posted their proud moment online, because it was shared around, which is how the drowned man’s sister found out what happened to him.
Is this how youngsters spend their time nowadays? Laughing at people in distress? Recording the tragedy and posting it online, presumably for other like-minded people to laugh at it? This is very hard for me to comprehend, but at the same time, it is not. These are the times we live in. Times, where atrocious things happen every day, and every day I hope that it is the worst, while knowingly prepare for even worse…
*What a yummy name! It might be inappropriate, but I could not help myself!