Bravery

Lucas A. Davidson
3 min readNov 26, 2023

Daily Meditation 638–11/26/2023

Not everyone watches the news. Certainly, most of us “keep up with” bits of it, but many don’t watch it or read it every day. However, despite that, I’m fairly sure most of us have heard a story like this in our lifetimes:

“Woman brutally attacked in broad daylight, cries for help ignored”
Or “Child screams for help, abducted from schoolyard”
Or “Man, calling for assistance, ignored and stabbed to death in mall.”

And, in modern times, nearly all of these moments have some camera footage. Sometimes from a CCTV, but most commonly from bystanders with their phones. In the background, we can often see even more people, phones in hand, mesmerized and filming the incident.

This article is not one of “poopooing” the behavior of people filming someone being victimized, at all. Any ol’ NPC can say “Shame on them” for that — go scroll through Twitter comments of these attacks and you’ll get your fill.

No, this is a call to all of us to just be a bit braver.

We’ve all had moments where somewhere inside our heads (or hearts), we feel like (or sometimes know) someone needs someone. They need help. They need just a hand. They need advice, perhaps.

You see the man at the gas pump sort of wheezing and clutching his chest.
You hear the woman screaming at…someone in the store to “Leave me alone! Please! Please go away!” with sobs, desperation.
You know your neighbor is abusing their children.

And many of us — perhaps even a majority of us — turn a blind eye in cowardice. We take on an attitude of “Somebody Else’s Problem” or that surely someone will swoop in an put a stop to things. And, unfortunately, so many of us witness these “SEPs” and just ignore them, sleeping perfectly fine at night when, perhaps, we should’ve gotten involved in some capacity.

Now, not all of us are “purely” brave. That is, we wouldn’t directly step in to stop the attacker in the three headlines at the start. Most of us aren’t carrying a weapon. Most aren’t trained in martial arts. Most aren’t even fit enough to interject. But most of us silently watch on or just scurry off. We could raise a ruckus, calling “Fire…

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Lucas A. Davidson

Daily philosophical meditations on Eudaimonia. These are distillations from the forthcoming book on the topic. Comments or jobs: lucas@multistatewide.com