One day a guy was walking down the road and suddenly heard some rumbling in the bushes. Frightened, he began to scurry away from what appeared to be the origins of the sound. But then he began to hear whimpering and cries for help. Startled, he peered into the bushes to find a woman about to be rape by some strange man. She was struggling to free herself but the strange man held her captive with his bare hands. The concerned citizen was disgusted and repulsed at the sight. He took a deep breath, clenched his fist and then… shrugged exclaiming “what can you do?” He went home after that to watch TV.
Doing Nothing Is Still Doing Something
I am sure many of you who read this are probably disgusted. You think that guy should have done something. He should at least yell or made a commotion. Few of us would think that it is justifiable for him to have done nothing. We think that he has a responsibility to help someone who is in obvious danger-especially, if he can do something about it. We would hold him guilty because of what he had the power to do. That is a fair philosophical and ethical position. We understand that we have a duty to our fellow-man and woman to help when we can. We cannot claim that we are absolved from responsibility through non-activity. Our doing nothing is still doing something. It would be like helping the rapist get away with his crime.
If Lady Liberty Were Raped
What if the same thing happened but it was some women being raped but something like your children’s future, your job prospects, your retirement, or your neighbor’s health coverage? Would we think it justifiable to claim that our doing nothing excuses us from being responsible to one another? We all know the answer in our hearts. We have a duty to our fellow-man and letting injustice go unchecked is to assist in that very injustice we are likely to condemn. We know what is right and what should be done. We put off doing anything because we think it should be someone else’s responsibility, but that idea is a mistake. It is the responsibility of each and everyone one of us to protect one another. An attack on my neighbor is very much an attack on me. After all, it will not be long before whatever is afflicting him will come after me.
I Am My Brother’s Keeper
The world is already a harsh place. We contend with age, disease, disaster and a host of other misfortunes. One thing that is in our control is what we can do for those we come in contact with everyday. The little things like participating in the lives of our neighbors. Going to city council hearing to hear what is becoming of the future of our city. Every day may not give us an opportunity to stop a rape or save someone’s life, but everyday gives us an opportunity to affect some change that is meaningful to someone else. We should all collectively answer “Yes, I am my brother’s keeper.”