The bystander effect is a social phenomena in which an individual is less likely to help a person in need when others are around. The bystander effect is believed to be driven by the thought that somebody else will handle the situation, a thought process that has lead to some deadly results in the past. No matter how potentially threatening a situation, and no matter how heroic an individual is, there will be a time when everybody succumbs to this behavior. I don’t think a person can be labeled as a bad person by not acting on a situation, or by not calling for help, but I believe the main reason the bystander effect happens is because of the possibility that a potential hero could be wrong. I have personally witnessed some situations that seemed more serious than they actually were, such as play fighting, and for the most part my first action is to observe the event rather than to intervene, or call for help. The bystander effect is basically 10 people taking the same stance on a situation and expecting another to call rather than to be labeled as a boy crying wolf. Public agencies have been running ad campaigns in an effort to quell the fire that is the bystander effect, but I think they need to first address the fact that there is no penalty for “overreacting,” so people should not fear any consequences. Nobody wants to call the authorities just to be told they are wrong about a situation, but if they can comprehend that they don’t need to fully understand a situation before calling for help, then many of the tragedies tied to the bystander effect will easily be averted.
New York City is officially in a heat wave, and it seems like this one will last for a while. A heat wave is an extended period of high temperatures and humidity, and for the past week or so, the city has been hammered with this hot weather. I can usually stand hot temperatures, as long as it is relatively dry, but in New York City, it is so humid that sweat can begin to drop as soon as you get outside. I would love it if the weather here was a bit more like Nevada in the summer, but unfortunately, we have been blessed with the presence of the Atlantic Ocean, and the moisture it presents. Heat waves seem to be extremely dangerous and fatal in New York due to our high population, and the amount of elderly people we have living here. Over the past couple of years, dozens of people have died due to the heat, with many others passing away because of the electrical malfunctions that come with the excessive power drain of heat wave temperatures. In an densely populated city, like New York, a heat wave causes tremendous stress on the infrastructure, so power outages are a normal occurrence. During a time like this, it is wise to stay cool, and to stay indoors when possible. It is kind of late in the year for this kind of weather, but it seems like we will be in for a warmer September than usual. As a life long New Yorker, I would gladly take a warm September over a freezing cold winter, but I honestly hope temperatures get back to a moderate rate soon. Autumn is my favorite season, and not only because I was born in October, but also due to the comfortable nature of the season. I guess I’ll just enjoy the heat while I wait for the inevitable cold of the winter season.