A few midnights ago, I heard some weird noise of something heavier than the stray cats that like to find holes for their kittens on my house’s rooftop. It sounded like someone was walking from the front to the back, then some sawing/cutting sound on cords.
I immediately grabbed brother’s walking stick and switched on dining room’s lights. Our windows were those old panes, not 1 piece of glass. I squinted but couldn’t see anything.
Going to the living room, I switched on the porch light and saw next door’s light was on. They never on the light at night if there’s nobody at the front even though their house is at the corner. But there was no sound from neighbour.. and I didn’t come out to check. Previously I had gone out to check the rooftop from my porch but not this time.
Then I heard some steps sound from the rooftop again and I followed it. I poked the stick at the wall and roof to make noise. I didn’t open my mouth to shout though. Everyone was sleeping like a pig.
After a few seconds, the sounds stopped. I went back to sleep. Hadn’t been sleeping enough with doggie barking almost every night. When I have lots of money, I’m going to get a wooden house for her. Keep her inside – dark and quiet. But then, she wouldn’t be the guard dog like she is now.. When there was sound at the rooftop however, she didn’t bark! Maybe she couldn’t see or smell this fella.
The next day, that day actually (since the footsteps were heard at midnight), neighbour informed my grandmother that they heard someone from their rooftop too and the whole family woke up but that didn’t deter the robber from stopping to cut something. Luckily the robber didn’t continue his plan and break into their home.
I told my brother about this and he said, “Should inform other neighbours too.”
“Aiyo, yeah oh!”
We should gang up against the robber.
But knowing my parents (grandmother is discounted since she’s old and frail), they would be the 1st one to run if there’s any danger instead of helping others.
Why, just the other day, mom said about a place we were passing by, “Eiyea, so dangerous here. There’s no people here.”
“So? Even if there’s people, it doesn’t mean they will help you,” I retorted, using her thinking. In psychology, there’s a term called Bystander effect.
When there are a lot of people in an event where someone needs help, nobody would do anything even though someone was calling out for help and they could see that someone needed assistance. Each expect the other person to do something. In the end, everyone just watch in shock or excitement (free show) until the event ends. They then claimed they weren’t responsible for not helping.
Sure, they didn’t commit the crime but they didn’t help it to stop either. That itself is also a crime because they are letting the crime continue on.
However, once someone takes action, other people would probably follow suit. If there are kind people around..
“You can’t fault other people for not helping if there’s a robbery. What if the robbers come back and attack you for helping them?” she countered.
“So when you are in trouble, don’t go complaining other people didn’t help you! Because you are not willing to help others too.”
“Ahh.. what if you die helping someone else? What about the people you have to take care of?” she asked me back.
So we should just let these baddies take advantage of our weakness – stupidity, fear, selfishness? Why not everyone just stick together and help each other against the robbers?
I made a resolution. If I hear anything that remotely resembles human on the rooftop at night, I’m going to inform my neighbours. Better be safe than sorry.