Sadly, I have fallen prey to a bit of fear. My very nature is to help anyone I can, especially if it’s quite obvious they could be endangering themselves but are unable to prevent it. For example, drunk people.
Sure it’s easy to just look, point and say “what an idiot. they deserve whatever happens.” but that’s fine if you are a complete asshole, or there is a direct reason you feel such antipathy towards that person (i.e. they hit your significant other/child/sibling…). But what about the poor old guy who just had a bit too much, who is not belligerent and is just trying to get home? Still feel like leaving him to his own devices?
What about when he gets off the bus, and falls flat on his face, glasses are bent, his bag is dropped and he just kinda lays there? Still feel like being an asshole towards him? Certainly not if you are a decent human being.
Now, let’s take this example up a notch. You are in a foreign country. A foreign country that has a very high level of racism. There’s an actual term that is used , Ethic Nationalism. Even if you are the victim of a sexual assault, and the perpetrator is known to the police, you still may not win.
I have heard other stories where another guy helped a Korean woman, being accosted/assaulted by a group of Korean men, and HE was charged.
So, what should you do when you see a drunk Korean male, older man(old enough to live through brutal foreign occupation or at least being tool about it from his parents), fall down and has a hard time getting up? Do you risk the chance that in his mind, you are some sudden monster and he decides to whip up a tale and make you the cause of all his problems? What are the odds of you getting out of that without significant legal fees and/or jail time?
Suffice to say, I held back when this very thing happened tonight. Luckily there were some Koreans around us that my wife knew (a former student of her’s that we are on very good terms with). So, it wasn’t till after they Koreans started helping that I offered some help. There was no way I was the least bit interested in taking on the mindset of nearly a culture 50 Million people and their feet-dragging, whining and crying, forward social movement into the modern world.
Then again, being white, we are a pretty good minority when compared to China so who knows….maybe we are in the wrong :)