Posted by Unknown |

Ethical Conundrum

Fighting Men Small.jpg

I was walking to Community Dinner on Tuesday and I saw some guys across the road at the bus interchange, about 25 metres away (I was outside Forty Winks, they were at the Toilets near Jack's) start arguing with each other. There were four of them. I was intrigued. I'd been watching them for a little while because they looked to be doing the usual business that goes on in those toilets.

Anyway they started arguing. And as I was standing at the lights about to cross William St, they started fighting. There seemed to be two-on-two with punching and kicking and all the rest. Also at the lights with me was an old woman and a young guy. The young guy was extremely interested. He started saying "Get 'im! Just F***ing get into 'im!"

When the lights beeped instead of crossing the road this man ran across the Highway to join in the fight. The Old Lady and I started crossing road. I don't think the Old Lady noticed the fight. I kept watching as I walked because it was rather interesting.

The last thing I saw of the fight was of the guy who'd been standing with me at the lights trying to break the top off a branch he'd found on the ground so he could use it in the fight.

I just kept walking.

I was wondering what I should have done. I didn't really like the idea of getting involved and trying to break it up, but I didn't feel particularly good walking away either. I felt like I should have done something. I decided I was allowed not to get involved because I remembered this verse:

Like one who seizes a dog by the ears
is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own.
- Proverbs 26:17

But I can't say that verse convinced me not to get involved, it was more a justification of my desire not to do anything.

It makes me wonder what I would do in other situations.

The reasons I hope I would get involved:
My friends, family, people I knew, were involved
It was unprovoked/one party was not wanting to participate
They were in a weaker postion (Women, children, elderly, uneven)

The reasons I had for not getting involved on Tuesday:
I'd probably get hurt
No-one seemed to want to avoid the fight (I'd been watching for about 5 minutes before the fight broke out, both parties had plenty of time to walk away)
There was two-on-two (not three on one for instance)
The above verse

But still I felt more like a coward than someone who was morally right. I could have called the cops I guess. I'm not sure.

Jesus did say: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." (Matt 5:9). While I do know that I've spent a lot of my life attempting to make peace, I can't help but feel in this situation I only succeeded in looking out for myself.

Views anyone?