We all have intentions to do good. “When I have more time I’ll volunteer at the dog shelter.” “When I have more money I’ll donate to Kiva.” “When I know the dates I’ll give blood.”
But what if there’s no time to plan and you have to think quick. Would you do good then? Could you do good right now?
Recent social campaigns in different countries have put this question to the test. At a time when mainstream media continues to report distrust, uncertainty, crime, and danger in every part of the world, the results, as you will see, are astounding.
Would you help a freezing boy?
An organization dedicated to helping children, SOS Barnebyer, in Oslo, Norway held an experiment to see just how people would react to a lone boy, shivering in the cold by himself. A hidden camera was placed across the street, capturing every passer by’s reaction.
Would you give a young child a light?
When the Thai Health Promotion Foundation wanted to encourage smokers to quit, they set up a campaign that went viral – in part because it went beyond the anti-smoking message to show an adult’s compassion to protect the young. The video shows young children approaching smokers and asking them for a light. The adults in the video refuse to give the children a light and often tell them why smoking is a dangerous and bad habit. The kids then hand the adults a note that reads “You worry about me. But what about yourself?”
Would you steal from the homeless?
This Italian production company wanted to see if people would walk past a €100 bill that had been left for a sleeping ‘homeless’ man. Countless members of the public walk past and see the high denomination Euro bill and their actions are outstanding. Until, finally one member of the public does indeed steal the note. What’s interesting though is if you assumed who it might be before the theft took place.
Would you intervene if you heard domestic violence?
Every year in South Africa 1,400 women are killed by their partners. Advocacy group, People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) released a video showing what happened in a Johannesburg townhouse complex when one of the residents practised on a drum set in the early hours of the morning. They then repeated the experiment by blasting out a soundtrack of a violent domestic dispute containing blood-curdling screams, glass smashing, and heavy thuds. Both disturbances were set to the same noise level but while one experiment drew out the wrath of angry neighbours, the other brought not one peep.