04 April 2011

Am I what I say I am?

Yesterday, Katie got me hooked on What Would You Do?, a show which sets up controversial or difficult situations, then films actual people reacting to them. In the first scenario, an actor with Down's Syndrome poses as a bagger at a grocery store, while another actor coming through checkout urges him to hurry up. She also asks those around her if "these people" should really be allowed to work here:



In this one, a restaurant worker tells migrant workers that he will not serve them:





We are all capable of discussing and overdiscussing the political implications, the real-ness of these scenarios, the social backgrounds, everything. That's not what I'm trying to get at here. The point is that no matter what I think about illegal immigration or how much I dislike getting involved in random people's business, I am responsible, above all, not for changing the world but for how I act and how I love people, whether I agree with them or not.

Would I stand up for someone whose dignity is being insulted? Would the words leave my mouth with fire or with compassion, with pride, with spite? Would I hide my face, tell myself that I just shouldn't bother people? Would I treat a person like a person, even if I didn't particularly like that person or what they stood for? Would I confront another person on behalf of someone I don't even know?

I guess the root question here is this: Would I (and do I) do what is right when I know I should, or do I shy away from what is right because it is hard and I am not that bold?

Do I?

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