The Learning Bystander



In every crime scene, there are always three types of people involved: The criminal, the victim, and the witness. Most of the time, the court settles between the first two since a statement which witnesses give are merely a hearsay without a solid proof. Now there’s another person who’s in there but not really involved. He’s the person that could have seen the events but refuses to share his knowledge and keep everything inside of him. Those people we called bystanders.

This is not always about crime scenes. These things always happen everywhere in every situation. There’s always the offender who started the problem; the offended who’s the casualty of the offender; the supporter who could be on either side; and lastly, we have the bystander who knows everything but chooses not to support. A bystander is a person who is present at an event or incident but does not take part.

the bystander effect

The Bystander Effect or the Bystander Apathy is a social psychological phenomenon in which individuals are less likely to offer help a victim when other people are present. However, there are bystanders that actually stop just to see what’s happening with some only watching for the sole purpose of fun and entertainment. Other bystanders take the opportunity seriously -These are the learning bystanders.

The advantage of being a bystander is the chance of learning from behind the scenes without getting hurt or affected. Learning from other people’s mistakes makes them like a student sitting in front of a school play of historical events. Being an audience is another way to absorb information of the people involved in a particular event which they could use to their advantage when the situation happens to them. Another advantage is their claim that they are just bystanders and uses it as their ticket to leave whenever the situation is getting tighter for them.


Being a bystander also has disadvantages. I mean, a bystander can’t be a bystander forever. There will be moments that a bystander must drop the act of a person who doesn’t care and should get involved too. Another disadvantage is when they get to know a lot even the things they don’t want to know, it is the curse fated to bystanders.

What’s hard being a Bystander is most of them are becoming (or have to be) emotionally dead. The overwhelming knowledge or sometimes guilt depending on what the bystander witnessed is too great that the only way to keep them inside is to become cold. For the ones with the ability of wild imagination, putting their feet on somebody’s shoes is a common way to understand someone. And doing so, it also demonstrates the exact same emotion happened in the situation, thus receiving the same amount of pain for the bystander.

the learning bystander

The risk of being a bystander is the temptation to use other people’s information to get what the bystander wants. This is the reason why most learning bystanders evolve to an offender when they are hurt by the person whom they watched for a very long time. The worst type is the risk of becoming puppet-masters, also known as manipulators, but that is another story.

The bystander effect will remain so if not broken. No matter how much we say that keeping yourself from a distance is safer, it’s still considered inhumane to not help someone in need. A bystander who takes it as an opportunity to learn, if not helping is still heartless as everyone else.


By Cinderella


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