From Cowardice to Courageous: How to Be a Hero When Others Need Us Most
By contrast, the following week, when a crazed man with an assault weapon opened fire, killing 20 little children at Newtown, Conn.'s Sandy Hook Elementary School, there were no passive bystanders concerned about their own safety. The faculty of this school acted as courageous individuals without concerted effort, let alone reference to the headlines and despairing scholarship to save lives. Courageous teachers such as Vicki Soto, Anne-Marie Murphy, Rachel D'Avino and Lauren Rousseau, as well as principal Dawn Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Sherlach gave their lives by putting themselves in front of the armed intruder. The devoted educators did not consider their own well-being for a moment before they acted.
What is the explanation for such contrasting human conduct? Is it the callousness of New York's big-city life versus the more intimate small-town values of idyllic Newtown, 80 miles away? Was it the identification with the victim -- perhaps ethnic prejudice against Han, a Korean, versus compassion for innocent, vulnerable children? Was it that Han was a stranger to those on the platform while the teachers of Sandy Hook had a bond with the children? Perhaps it was all of those factors -- but perhaps it was more.
New York Times columnist Joe Nocera recently drew upon some pioneering research to conclude: "Sadly, the science says we're more likely to do nothing than to respond." His sources were two 20-something psychologists, Bibb Latane and John Darley, who a half century ago conducted intensive studies of the bystander effect to understand why people do not help others in distress in emergency situations -- even when there are others nearby to assist them. Their interest was catalyzed after the public outrage over the apathetic neighborhood response to the 1964 murder of 28-year-old Kitty Genovese in the Kew Gardens section of Queens. At least a dozen, and some initial reports suggested 38, neighbors heard her calls for help as an assailant stabbed her. As one neighbor was memorably quoted by the New York Times: "I didn't want to get involved."
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV