What’s a good Samaritan to do?

Values–we all have them for better or worse. But are some more important than others? Surely. What would you do if you happened across a 2-year-old toddler in the middle of a busy street with no parent in sight? A good Samaritan would rescue the child and expect no material return. Right? Of course but . . .

What if the mother of the child chanced upon you just as you put the child on a nearby sidewalk and loudly proclaimed that you were molesting the toddler. In fact, momma dear dials 911 and ask the operator to dispatch a policeman.

So being a good Samaritan is not so cool, is it?

Suppose an incident like this or worse, a “victim” who you assist sets you up for a fall or financial extortion, say, you are backing your auto out of a parking lot and the “victim” claims you hit him. And, suppose these kind of incidents are widespread in your community. What can or should you do to protect yourself? The most obvious answer is to not be a good Samaritan?

One more suppose–suppose the community leaders believe that the best way to turn you into a good Samaritan is to provide you with a monetary incentive for acting good–perhaps a reward of $100-$500 depending on the specific incident.

What say ye? Is this a prudent solution?

This story is not as far-fetched as it might seem. It seems that China today is especially challenged with flagrant claims that have motivated people to turn their head when witnessing a potential or real injury to another. And, there is lively debate about offering material rewards to those who would be good Samaritans.

Check out the story of Yue Yue, the 2-year-old child that was run over by several vehicles, an incident witnessed by more than a dozen bystanders who simply walked away for fear of being blamed or sued. Simply Google Yue Yue for the story.



2 responses to What’s a good Samaritan to do?

  1. On May 15th, 2012 at 6:07 am , Yury Gusev said...

    Yes or no, black or white, good or bad, a Samaritan or a bystander?

    These may be traps of a linear logic which more-more turns to be abortive in XXI.
    Any ethical dilemma we are confronted with is but an exact consequence of a (deep) cause that very rarely could be traced back to by linear logic.

    Each time I am confronted with ethical dilemma (as a Board Member, consultant, professor, husband, father or just a pedestrian) I strive to hear first not my hard drive (brain) but my soul (spirit, heart.

    It makes a big difference in our lives (ethical dilemmas including) – to re-act as a well-programmed bio-robot or to pro-act as a conscious self-programmer.

    Practicing this approach both mentally and in our deeds day-by-day we inevitably discover what is sought after as happiness: our life unfolds in front of us in balance and harmony and we are less-less confronted with ethical dilemmas as we eliminate their causes.

    Therefore, an integrated (non-linear) soul-mind approach to ethical decisions may be a tool of a Samaritan XXI.
    If governance is our profession, we have to consider the root-causes of (social, economic, environmental) risk aggravation, crisis, natural and anthropogenic calamities.

    Are they not but aggregated consequences of aggregated unethical decisions?

    Are we not bystanders of suffering societies, the Nature and civilization at large?
    Is it then high time for ethical and responsible governance – cognitive, subject-oriented, reflexive and adaptive?

    Is global sustainability (ability to endure) and development (ability to evolve) at vital* risk of unethical decisions?

    Thank you Don, for keeping us alerted!

    *vital ethical risks may mean that we… will quite soon meet in Heaven to continue this discussion.

  2. On May 30th, 2012 at 2:05 pm , George Williams (THE OWL) said...

    See my post today on THE OWL willigl.blogspot.com, entitled “Bloodless Solution?” I think the tip from Goldwater will go a long way toward cleaning up our government (at all levels) and solve the conundrum of “Citizens United”.

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