Ahem. I would just like to publicly point out that I was not actually in the meeting where the lady cried all the way through (please go here first if you have no idea what I’m talking about). No, no, no. That would not happen on my watch.
In fact, the entire Bystander Effect doesn’t happen on my watch.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a helper. I’ve helped my mum (pet), I’ve helped my teachers (pet), I’ve helped the homeless, the downtrodden, the random crying people, the drunks and on one memorable occasion the police with their inquiries. It’s pathological helping; I can’t help myself.
Aside from the obvious volunteering outlet for us helpers, I’ve never understood how people can keep walking when there is an injured bird in our flock. I certainly cannot. One time I stood up to an irate 6′ tall giant who was threatening his girlfriend’s face with a bottle. It helps that I’m an irate 6′ tall giant myself, but then I still thought it was very brave and foolish thing to do. But she needed help, so help arrived. Mind you, there was a group of at least 10 other people around us (including one 6’4″ giant who I could really have used) and they did absolutely nothing to help that girl. Or me for that matter. Amazing.
Speaking of the Bystander Effect, I learned about Kitty Genovese when I was studying Psych at Uni and while everyone else was nodding along in recognition, I remember very boldly thinking “I would not have done nothing.” I would not have been able to live with myself if I heard that girl cry for help and did nothing. I would not.
Is there a Superman Effect? I honestly think I have that Effect because who do I think I am with all this helping? All I know is that it doesn’t feel right to ignore someone’s plea or cry for help, or even their random appeal. Hence, I’m always volunteering to do this, that and thisthatthisthatthisthat when I really don’t have the time. It’s not that I can’t say No (I am actually very good at saying No), it’s just that I can’t do nothing… like I said, it’s pathological.