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No Bystanders This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Imagine how different the world would be if there were no bystanders. No people who just watch and never take action. Every issue that ever came up would be resolved. It would be almost Utopian.

I am often in situations that cause me to ask myself "Is there something I could be doing here?" When I shrug my shoulders and move on, I am guilty which I constantly justify by saying "Well, I need to look out for myself. If I worry about everyone else, I'll never have time to take care of me."

Can you imagine the world if every person felt this way? Issues that are in need of confrontation would never be dealt with. African Americans would probably still be slaves. Children would still be sweatshop workers because child labor laws would not have been implemented. Women would not be able to vote. I would not be in school writing this paper due to my gender. But these are no longer issues because there were people who refused to be bystanders.

Every person alive can say that he/she is not always a bystander. The media is an example of our justification. For example, it presented us with the moral issue of the Rodney King trial, where a black man was brutally beaten by white policemen based on racial discrimination. Most people take the view that, in this case, the policemen were wrong. This supports their justification that they are not always just watching, that they are doing something. These people are not taking any actions by forming an opinion. Those at home watching the news broadcasting the tape of the beating often take no action to try to prevent reoccurrence.

We are all guilty of this. I'm saying just be aware and do what you can. Do not just formulate an opinion, support it and take action. Support what you speak and the world will be a better place. ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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