Bystander Effect

Good Samaritan Day

Your DGB for today is to obtain the skills and tools to become a better good samaritan.

Today is Good Samaritan Day, and we all remember the iconic finale to Seinfeld where the cast witnesses a man getting carjacked at gunpoint, and instead of helping him out, they stand around and crack jokes about it, all while Kramer films the entire thing. The victim notices and and they all end up in jail under the brand new “Duty to Rescue Law.” If you haven’t watched it, oops...spoiler alert, but the episode was used to highlight a phenomenon known as the bystander effect. The bystander effect is the aversion to helping others in an emergency situation when there are other people around. Some think it’s because we take social cues from others before acting or because we are waiting for someone with more expertise to step in.

Today we are asking you to break out of the bystander effect and be prepared for situations that may arise. There are three specific things you can do to be prepared to be a good samaritan. The first is to become comfortable delegating. Instead of asking someone for help, take charge in a situation by saying “you, in the hat, call 911.” Taking the lead and stepping in will make others feel more confident in helping out. You can learn more tips on bystander intervention here. The second thing to do is to learn the skills necessary to possibly save a life. Get your CPR or First Aid certificate to help someone in need while you wait for the professionals to arrive. And third, purchase a first aid kit to keep in your car or bag. You never know if you’ll need it for you, your family, or a stranger, but it’s always good to have on hand for bumps and bruises or more severe injuries.

So don’t be a Seinfeld and have your career ruined by cracking jokes while you see something bad happening. Prepare yourself with the tools and skills to be a good samaritan and maybe your dreams of a having a show about nothing will come true.