In the twenty-first century, we have become a society of humans who are afraid to be human. It is human instinct to help people in need when we become aware of their situation. But in our modern-day society, we have started to ignore the instinct to be helpful. There are many reasons why this is happening, but for the sake of brevity, we'll address only a few.
When we come upon a highway accident, for example, the law says we must stop, and our conscience should tell us we must try to help. However, when we do try, there is the very real possibility that, not being trained in emergency medical techniques, we may do something wrong. We could be sued if we inadvertently create a worse situation for an accident victim. We've tried to help, but there is the potential for mistakes. Fear of the ramifications of aid gone wrong is a huge determining factor in whether or not we will assist.
People today tend not to want to get involved in other people's problems. No matter what the situation may be, getting involved means sharing some of our limited time and energy for the sake of someone else. This involvement requires an unselfish attitude, and may people nowadays simply don't feel that they have the time, the energy, or the resources to get involved in others' problems.
Fear of becoming attached to other people can be a deterrent to helping. This is a very real reaction to getting involved. An emotional attachment can develop when we've done something good for someone else and they have appreciated our efforts. Some people do not want to form any sort of emotional attachments and steer clear of helping people in need in order to avoid it.
Often, when we have helped people in a time of need, we feel obligated to continue to help in whatever new situation presents itself. We feel that if we help once, we will feel pressured to continue to help, and thus, we will be obligated to go on fulfilling needs for that person. This is, perhaps, one of the most frequent factors in why we are afraid to help others.
This is also a frequent factor in why we are afraid to help others. Fear of rejection is quite common on our list of reasons not to provide assistance. To many people, offering help and having it rejected is a prime reason why it is sometimes preferable for people not to offer help in the first place. Fear of rejection can become an irrational fear, as most people who need some kind of help will be appreciative.
"Not my business..."
A recent news video shows a man helping a woman who is fighting off an attacker on a city street. She gets away safely, but he in turn is attacked and stabbed. He lies on the sidewalk for almost an hour in a pool of his own blood, while others walk by unconcerned, or afraid to help because it's none of their business - or at least, that's their excuse. Some people even try to move the man and realize he has died. They walk on. Finally, someone thinks to call 911. So here we have an example of a man who helped, putting his own life in jeopardy, and examples of how others turned their back on him when he was knifed and dying. The first man lived and died honorably helping to save another human life. Those who walked past him as he lay dying were cowards, afraid to help because it wasn't up to them... it was none of their business and they didn't want to get involved.
These are just a few of the reasons people do not offer a helping hand to those who are in need of material, emotional, or physical assistance. The result of not helping can be a heavy price to pay in terms of guilt. The moral and ethical standards that should exist for each of us are compromised when we fail to help others.