UNITED STATES—Something that really disturbs me about Americans is our inability at times to do what is right even though we know people are constantly or always watching. Like why do we have to be called out to address bad behavior when we see it? Hmm, this reminds me of a theory we learned in psychology known as the bystander effect. Yes, the bystander effect, some of you may have heard it, some of you maybe not.

I recently heard about a news story where a man was beaten, yes, you heard me beaten to death after a minor fender bender with another vehicle. The suspect punched the victim and then continued to violently assault him until he died. What baffles me is clear video showing multiple witnesses just sitting there, not doing anything. Not attempting to stop the suspect, not contacting the police or calling 911. It just stuns me how selfish we are sometimes as a society.

Look don’t get all holy on me because I know someone is going to say, well, you don’t know what the person might do, they might have a gun. Ok, and? What if that was YOUR LOVED one, wouldn’t you want someone to intervene and to help solve the problem? Absolutely, and anyone who says otherwise is a complete idiot. We sit around and watch hoping someone else will do something, but instead nothing happens. Stop expecting others to do what you KNOW you should be doing. Be bold, be fearless, and don’t be afraid to do the right thing.

Now am I asking everyone to risk their lives for a complete stranger? No, but be a decent human being and call for help. Sometimes that call you make can be the difference between life and death America, why can’t some people see that? Or a better question is WHY don’t some people care to hear that? This is why we have so much violence in this country; we see things and turn a blind eye to them. If you see a crime transpiring and there is something you can do to prevent it from happening, dammit do something already!

We allow criminals to get away with murder because we don’t have the guts to make a stance until it transpires to someone we care about. Once that happens, it changes everything and we become numb, we feel the pain the families of the victim who lost their life felt. It’s not a great feeling, and not addressing the issue while it sits right in front of you says a ton about your character people.

This absolutely goes for bullying as well America. As kids, teenagers and adults we see it time and time again. So many decide to be innocent bystanders, when they know they should take action, but they’re looking around for someone else to do something that you should do. Stop being afraid about what others might THINK about you, because trust me if you confront a bully and call them out on their antics, you might get that person to have a bit of self-reflection.

The only way to stop bullies in their track is to call them out on their antics. Don’t be a bystander, this not only regarding the issue of violence and bullying, but it’s about being a decent human being. If you see something wrong, say something!