Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What Would You Do?

This summer, I have been watching ABC News' What Would You Do? series. The foundation of the show -- ABC sets up scenarios where action is clearly needed, and then they film the people who stumble into the scene. For example, a child actor cries on the sidewalk or a blind woman is given incorrect change at a store. In some scenarios, actors portray extremely racist or sexist attitudes. I find myself cheering for those that step in to help. And I am overwhelmed at the number of people who actively pretend not to notice, just so they don't have to get involved. We see people who pretend to be talking on the phone or reading the paper as they walk by. Some people literally turn around and walk the other way.

At the end of each scene,
John Quiñones approaches those who chose to either get involved or look the other way. Those that helped are usually in tears, as they realize that the horrible situations they just witnessed aren't actually real. Most of the people who chose not to help apparently wouldn't sign a release to allow ABC to show their face. Embarrassed, perhaps, at the evidence that they are complacent in times where they are needed most?

So, "what does this have to do with animal welfare
?", you may wonder. What would you do if you saw a stray dog running in and out of traffic, and you knew John Quiñones was watching? What would you do if you saw a picture of an injured kitten, and you could choose fancy coffee or saving a life? Would it change if you knew you were being filmed and might show up on ABC in prime time? What would you do if you knew that animals were dying every day, and you did nothing? Would it matter if anyone knew?

I am asking everyone who reads this to ask yourself what you would do if.... And I challenge you to live every day like you are being filmed and
John Quiñones is watching and waiting to ask you why you did, or didn't, do anything.

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