Seriously. What would you do if faced with a moral, ethical or otherwise emotional dilemma? How would you react in a crisis? Would you step out of your comfort zone or interrupt your hectic schedule to come to the aid of a complete stranger? An individual's reaction in situations like these shows their true character. It separates courageous heroes and heroines from...well, from others.
I'm not going to come down on anyone. There are many reasons why a person might not come to the aid of another. Perhaps the situation is dangerous. Perhaps they're afraid it's a criminal set up...one person distracts and another comes in for the steal. It happens. That's why those who do come to the rescue are courageous. But what if there isn't any imminent danger? Take, for example, the situations John Quinones of ABC News sets up in his Primetime show 'What would you do?'. Check out the link if you haven't seen the show before. I love watching it with my kids (yes, I'm hoping they'll learn that it's good to stand up for what's right).
These aren't simple situations. Each one involves a dilemma where actors set up a 'situation' and hidden cameras (and John Quinones) capture who walks by and who steps up to the plate. I've seen episodes that involved students cheating, non-disabled individuals parking in a handicapped space and refusing to move for a person in need, a man at the beach telling his wife she's fat and should cover up etc... In fact, they even flipped the scenario in that one to see how strangers would react if the wife said abusive things to the husband. Funny how people react differently depending on if women or men are the victims. John doesn't take it easy on folks. He ups the ante in each situation. It's an excellent show to watch if you're interested in human behavior. What writer isn't? The folks who step in, take action and do what's right are heroes and heroines. The show is full of inspiration for the types of characters we like to read and/or write about. I personally love stories/movies where the hero ends up being the shy/insecure guy who no one would expect bravery from. Neville Longbottom in Harry Potter comes to mind :)
So have you been faced with a moral dilemma that you'd like to share? Maybe there's one you witnessed or where you were the victim? What happened and who stepped in to help?