A blog for my writerly ramblings, my rambly writings, and all things in between.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

An Angel With a Limp

Last night I happened to stay up late to watch the ABC news hidden camera experiment, "What Would You Do?" where they set up candid camera situations to see how (or if) people would react to various scenes played out by actors. For last night's episode, they had an actress portray a nicely dressed woman walking down the street in a busy part of New Jersey, then suddenly collapsing onto the sidewalk. Every single time she did it, people stopped to check on her and call 911, usually within 6 seconds. 

Next, they decided to change the scene by having an actor play a homeless-looking man who did the same thing- stumbled and collapsed, then lay there not moving. Decidedly fewer people took action, and even when they did, the average response time was 3 minutes. 

Next, they changed it up by having the homeless man have a beer can in his hand when he collapsed. 88 people go by without stopping. Then a small, bent over black woman comes hobbling up on her cane and sees the man. She stops, and is unable to help except to politely say to passersby, "Excuse me, excuse me, could you please call an ambulance for this man?" She leans over and gently takes the beer can out of his can and throws it into the trash can. Over and over, she asks the people passing by to get help for the man, and twenty-six people go by, ignoring her. While she waits, she gives the man a name, she says, "I don't know your name so I'm just gonna call you Billy. Come on, Billy. Open your eyes." Finally, a woman passing by hears Linda's pleas and stops to dial 911 on her cell phone to call for help for the man. More people eventually stop to offer assistance.

After the cameras were revealed and the follow-up interviews were concluded, Linda Hamilton just quietly shuffled her way back down the street, away from the spotlight. What a kind, brave, wonderful soul she is. Watching her standing there, like a guardian angel over the man brought tears to my eyes. Even thinking about it today I get choked up. To see the story for yourself, along with other "social experiments" done on the show, click here.

May we all be a little bit more like Linda Hamilton, and see those around us as our brothers and sisters, children of the same God, and treat each other accordingly. May God bless you, Linda Hamilton.


  1. It's always good to meet or see someone like Linda Hamilton. I wonder what I would do in this same situation. Hmmmm....
    Have a good day.

  2. I love/hate to see those social experiments. That is so upsetting that so many people would walk by that man, but you are right! What a woman!