I had an experience today which made me doubt humans. When you think about it it is a strange ambivalence of behavior that occurs in society. On the one hand social engineering is the new big thing with very promising results. Social engineering is based on trust and on the fact that people assume the best in other people. On the other hand the experience I had today was the complete opposite. No sign of empathy or helpfulness from anyone.
Let me paint you a picture. A girl is lying on the floor, obviously hurt, on the platform of a major subway station in Vienna. She was not hidden behind a column or anything she was in plain sight. In addition the station is the last station for that subway line in the center of Vienna. When the train enters the station almost everyone has already gotten up and is facing the outside of the train. There was even a CCTV facing her and the station does have its own station control post, or whatever it is called.
sad story of a hurt girl
When the train I was on entered the station I did see her so I decided I would check if she was okay. The train stopped, I got out and moved towards her. There was a number of people who looked at her but nobody even bothered to check up on her. The positions she crumbled into was a weird floor facing ball of misery. Usually when someone is in a station and almost dead because he is so drunk you still can tell whether he is breathing or not. When I walked up on here I could not tell whether she was or not because her posture was so strange. When I reached her I asked if she was OK and if she needed help or if I should call an ambulance. She told me that she has a sharp pain in her lower stomach area and that a friend of hers is picking up some medication for her so she just waits. I then asked her if she wants me to stay and wait with her. She forced a smile and said that she would like that. I sat down and started to talk to her until her friend came back. It took about 20 minutes or so until her friend arrived, now if you do a little math you will realized why this is terrible. I was there at around noon, trains are entering the station in a 4 minute interval. People from Vienna know that wherever you go you need at least 20 to 30 minutes for one direction. Assuming a low number of 30 people exiting the train on this platform that is 300 people who were on that platform. You have to know that there is another platform opposite to the one she was on where there are a lot more people waiting for trains. So a really pessimistic worst case assumption of 600 people were in visibility range of her. Not a single one bothered to check her condition.
There was an incident in Vienna where a guy died in an elevator of another very high frequented subway station. I do not remember how long it took until someone took action but from the CCTV data they identified that many people were using the elevator while he was in there – dead. I think these two incidents reflect very well how the western culture, at least in Austria evolved. The majority of us has grown into self centered, egotistical shitheads who care more about their next poser picture on Facebook then other people.
This is not supposed to pledge for more empathy around the world. It would not be of any use anyway. The 95% of people who are egoistical idiots will not change just because someone writes something on the internet. This is more like a rant and therapy for myself and of course a big thank you to the 5 percent of people who are not completely self absorbed. You are the 5 percent that make walking the face of the earth worthwile and beautiful!
I think it is sad that humankind has technologically advanced so far, but our hearts have not.
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