Recently in Chongqing, an 87-year-old man surnamed Wang stumbled and fell outside his building in a residential community. He laid there for a full five minutes before a security guard helped him up. A surveillance camera recorded 45 people, reportedly, ignore him.
Near the end of Wang’s ordeal, a group of people surrounded him and rubbernecked as if he were a car accident. Finally, two security guards helped him back to his apartment. We’re told that he was already in poor health, and that lying outside for any longer could have put his life in jeopardy.
Interviewed on camera, Wang said people were afraid that he would accuse them of pushing him down if they offered a hand. It’s an excuse that you’ve surely heard before, and surely it’s wearing thin.
One of the security guards who assisted Wang, Liu Jian, said he also hesitated before helping, but for good reason. “One time, we helped another senior citizen,” he said. “It was about 10 pm, and when we got him back, his family said we beat him. The police station investigated and found that no such thing happened.”
We applaud Liu for reaching out even after his sour past experience. For everyone else, this message:
I know we’re surrounded by scoundrels and cheats, and it’s fine to be cautious. But right now, the number of publicly documented instances of people not helping when they should far outnumber the instances of people helping when they shouldn’t have. In the former, absolutely no one looks good.
Also, security cameras: they’re everywhere. Gotta remember that.