There are many good people in the world and I know that people show love and compassion to others daily, but those moments do not get broadcast because the media chooses to air more sensational stories.  That being said, I couldn't help but be saddened when I heard the details surrounding the death of Ki-Suck Han.

The photographer is receiving a lot of heat for snapping a picture of the man as he was attempting to climb up off the tracks while the train is coming at him.  I agree with those saying it was wrong for the photographer to be snapping photos while a man needed help.  I know many in the world of photojournalism would disagree and view it as their responsibility to document and report truthfully and objectively.  
*Disclaimer: the photographer says he was attempting to use his flash to alert the train

I am even more stirred to disappointment by the fact that these choices were rewarded by the NY Post as they published the photo depicting the moment before Han was struck and killed without ANYONE coming to his aid. This, in my opinion, points to a bigger problem and that is the issue that saddens me most: We live in an every man for himself culture.  The subway is a busy place and all it would have taken to save Ki-Suck Han was a few good people who, in the heat of the moment, quickly stepped in to lend a hand.  If this had happened, instead of a lone man struggling to climb up off the tracks, the photographer would have snapped a picture of people working together to pull the man up.  This story would have sparked an entirely different, more positive discussion.  

Where were people who were willing to jump in and help a fellow person?  In the heat of the moment why was EVERY person waiting for the train too paralyzed to help?  Was it fear, self-preservation, shock, self-involvment?  Why don't we value the life of others in the same way Jesus values us?  It comes down to a heart issue that Jesus illustrated in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).  We need to love each other as much as we love ourselves.  We need to be willing to step in and help someone when we see a need.  If every one of us carried this message in our hearts and lived by this belief, there would be far less stories of people suffering.

I have never been placed in a situation like what happened in the NY subway, so it is easy to say, "I'd find a way to help," but even as I'm tempted to think that, I feel a prick in my conscience forcing me to ask myself, "Would I really?"  How many times have I passed by a person in need and ignored the need because I was too busy or because it would require more of me than I wanted to give. Ouch!  Even worse, how many times have I not helped another because I had already passed judgement on them.  Finally, there are the needs I never even saw because I wasn't looking beyond my self.  Everyday, there are people in need that cross our paths- strangers and friends.  Maybe the need is money, food, a caring word, a listening ear, time...  

During the Christmas season more needs are highlighted and more people are in the giving mood.  What a great time to start looking beyond ourselves and asking how we can love our neighbor!  I want to walk in a greater awareness of the needs around me and a willingness to help where I'm able.  Will you join me in becoming a "good Samaritan" this Christmas season and BEYOND? 

                                    Jesus said to him, "Go and do the same"
                                                                                     Luke 10:37


01/10/2013 10:02am

In Psychology, we learned about the bystander effect. The more people seeing, the less likely some one individual is to help because everyone thinks someone else will or, if no one is helping, that help is not really needed. I, too, was struck with the same feelings and thoughts you express. May I be quick to offer help. They can always turn it down.


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