Action over Indifference

“If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say,
“Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.”” – Proverbs 3:28 (NLT)

“Whoever listens to a witness, becomes a witness.” – Elie Wiesel

Long story. Other day, was passing by a group of men. I did not have a good feeling. Based on their body language, it was not friendly or anything good. As a woman, being a target of sexual harassment and in constant danger of sexual assault and/or murder as well as with the sharp rise of anti-Asian attacks…either way, I remained alert, watchful, and ready.

A little down the road an Asian guy was watching. He was standing outside his store. The way he was looking at the group of men, it looked like he was being watchful for any signs of trouble. When I passed by him, the Asian guy looked at me. From him, there was some sort of mutual understanding and support given. He was watching to make sure I was safe. We nodded briefly in greeting and I moved on.

To be honest, a lot of these good Samaritans are everywhere. Some are more invisible than others, but there they are.

Some of us volunteer to walk with others. Some of us run errands for the elderly. Some of us support victims by serving as translators on the spot. Some of us research to find a way to end the cycle. Some of us provide information of resources in the community. Some of us video record incidents. Some of us jump in to help those being physically assaulted. Some of us write articles amplifying the issues that need to be addressed. Some of us watch when a neighbor is walking by to make sure they are safe. Some of us share our own stories. Some of us process our own experiences privately in a journal. Some of us offer a listening ear and a presence of comfort.

It doesn’t matter if what you do doesn’t get posted on social media. In a society that says, “Pictures or it didn’t happen!!”, it doesn’t matter if your actions to help others don’t get recognized or noticed. It doesn’t matter how great or small your actions are.

Even if you are just watching down the street to make sure someone you never knew is okay, or just listening to someone’s story, that’s taking action over indifference.

What matters is that we all choose one thing, even anything, over indifference.

And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference. Because of indifference, one dies before one actually dies. To be in the window and watch people being sent to concentration camps or being attacked in the street and do nothing, that’s being dead.” – Elie Wiesel

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