You would, right?
According to a recent social experiment by social psychologist Stanley Milgram, only 46% of us city dwellers would. The rest would give the kid money, ignore them or say, ‘Your mum is in that restaurant. Go in there.’
Shocking, isn’t it?
Well, it is to me.
I’ve always strived to help someone before I help myself. It’s just what I do. It feels right.
On a recent windy day, I saw a woman struggling to cram three packages into the post box, while trying to keep her skirt from flying up and revealing her frilly knickers. I jumped in and held the parcels, so she could complete her mission without flashing the whole of Elizabeth Street.
In the bus queue, if the person in front of me doesn’t realise the fare is pre-paid, I will dunk my card twice.
It’s no big deal. It honestly feels like the thing to do.
So I would hope that when a child asks for a helping hand, the majority of us would oblige.
Yes, there may be some danger in it. That kid could be part of some stealthy ring of under-aged thieves who distract passersby, while their buddies raid their pockets. Or they could be hopelessly lost in a sea of faceless people and have no idea where mum is.
That man asking you for $2 for a train ticket might end up spending it on a bottle of scotch. Or he may be desperate to get somewhere.
For many people, asking for help isn’t easy. It requires humility. It’s risky. After all, you could be the dangerous one!
My friends have been telling me that I will struggle on my impending trip to India. They reckon I’ll want to help everyone and simply won’t be able to. I can see that will probably be a challenge. But my heart is my heart, and it will always pulse with a desire to help.
My feeling is this: help out the person next to you, because you never know how much they need it.
Are you surprised by the stats that only 46% of people in the city would help a child in need? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Just post a comment below: