Essay Contest: “Yes, I can help.” — Adora Shou

Adora Shou (8th grade)

Because You Can Help

9 December, 2015

In today’s society, our technology is highly advanced. At a few clicks of the mouse or a couple of depressions of some buttons, we can order merchandise, find out a wealth of information on a subject or get a robot to do the housework. However, there is something that we are starting to forget how to do, something that should come naturally but doesn’t anymore, something that is basic and human: helping others. Yes, we can do so many things with the aid of technology, so why can’t we readily help others as well?

This phenomenon may be because there are other people present to help. An infamous example of this took place in March, 1964, at Kew Gardens, Queens, New York, when a young woman, Kitty Genovese, returns to her apartment building and was stabbed to death by an armed man. According to newspaper reports at that time, at least a dozen neighbors heard her cries of help, but no one came to her aid until it was too late. This case has prompted research into what has become The Bystander Effect. The theory suggests that when surrounded by other people, an individual is less likely to intervene. The individual may feel that he cannot offer adequate help and that there ought to be someone in a better position to offer aid. In thinking so, he would rather not take part.
However, we shouldn’t just accept the results of such research, but we should try and prove this theory wrong. If everyone ignores a person in need, wouldn’t our society be a cold, cruel and callous one? All it takes is one person who has the courage to step forward to lend a helping hand and he may make a huge difference. Perhaps he will make someone’s day, bring comfort to someone who’s hurt or even save a life.

There are many ways we can help in our daily lives. The help offered does not have to be large-scale or significant to make a difference; we just need to take the initiative to do it. The smallest acts such as giving up our seats to that wizened elderly on the bus or helping a friend to study for a test can be appreciated greatly by the receiver of the acts. The next time you see someone who needs your help, be proud to say, “Yes, I can help.” Because you can.

Updated: December 11, 2015 — 12:16 am
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