What Would You Do?

3 Jun

What Would you do? The latest television craze Is probably more accurately described as a show that very few people have ever seen. It puts people in the midst of confrontation and sees if they will intervene. I saw a portion of an episode recently during the commercials of the NBA playoffs. It makes me think of a situation I’ve seen countless times in movies.

You see, I’ve seen many a movie where the protagonist is chasing some bad guy down the road. As the audience, we sit there and wonder how all those arbitrary people can just let them run by without throwing some assistance. Why would anyone not assist our hero who is seemingly fighting against the world?

Now let me offer an answer to the just-written question. Have you ever seen a movie where our protagonist, possibly falsely accused, is being chased by some menacing bad guy? In these situations, we often find ourselves wanting the unknowing crowd to stop the person torturing our narrowly-escaping hero.

I guess this is the problem with the people in the movie—they are not sure which of the categories of movie we are watching. I’ve frequently attempted to come up with something I could do to help the appropriate party either way, but unless the character breaks the fourth wall, it just isn’t possible.

This is the problem with real life also. There are some things that are universally bad, and when we see them, we should step in. But the list of innately bad things is much shorter than the list of things we see. I’ve seen a parent yelling correction at his kids in a way I thought was a bit harsh, but at the same time, I know sometimes I need to speak harshly to keep my kids out of trouble.

I’ve heard people talking about things that are criminal, but I also am aware that I have participated in a conversation that could have been construed as such to those not realizing we were reviewing some old diamond heist movie.

Honestly, this is the tough thing about the show (and real life). I guess it is somewhat similar to any other situation in life. We have to make decisions based on only partial facts. And the question remains, “What ShouldWe Do?”

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2 Responses to “What Would You Do?”

  1. Jack Pelham June 4, 2012 at 6:58 am #

    Matt,The question, "What SHOULD we do?" exists at a level at which most people do not care to operate for long periods of time. Many folks don't mind conjuring up a quick opinion and shooting from the hip with a "what WOULD you do?", but to get them to give serious and extended consideration to the question of "should" is a difficult task. As an activist, I know this first hand.The question of "should" opens up a huge can of worms–or at least it OUGHT to. "Should" is dangerous to the status quo. If we're going to go there, and if we don't stop going there, we're going to end up on a course of action that would radically reform our human institutions, as well as the individuals themselves. For example, I know of no church that would not be radically reformed if the members' paradigm was changed from "would" to "should". Similarly, American politics would be unrecognizable after such a paradigm shift.Most, it seems, prefer only to dabble in "should" from time to time. Sure, it SOUNDS good to talk about it, but most folks lack the courage, conviction, and understanding to live in "should" as a way of life. "Should" may help a pretender make some hay from time to time, but as a way of life, very few have the fortitude to handle it—and to handle it consistently.I estimate that perhaps as few as one in ten thousand people are authentic "should" people. This is a way of thinking that is woefully rare. (I'm not talking about dabblers, but about those who truly embrace the paradigm.) "Should" thinking, by the way, does NOT require high intelligence. In fact, it is the sort of mental operation that is NOT measured in standard IQ tests. Our society has very little room for this kind of thinking, and generally does not reward those who are good at it. Nor do our institutions since it's the "should" folks who rock the boat most often.Jesus was the consummate "should" man. How sad, therefore, that so many who endeavor to follow him simply don't get it.

  2. AskThePhatMan June 4, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

    Jack, I think you are correct that very few people ponder what they SHOULD do, and I am probably among them, as I was only talking about what I SHOULD do in this small, thinly defined area. Have you ever read the book In His Steps?

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