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When Rosina Hernandez was in college, she once attended a rock concert at which one young man was brutally beaten by another.

No one made an attempt to stop the beating. The next day she was struck dumb to learn that the youth had died as a result of the pounding. Yet neither she nor anyone else had raised a hand to help him.

She could never forget the incident or her responsibility as an inactive bystander.

Some years later, Rosina saw another catastrophe. A car driving in the rain ahead of her suddenly skidded and plunged into Biscayne Bay. The car landed head down in the water with only the tail end showing. In a moment a woman appeared on the surface, shouting for help and saying her husband was stuck inside.

This time Rosina waited for no one. She plunged into the water, tried unsuccessfully to open the car door, then pounded on the back window as other bystanders stood on the causeway and watched. First she screamed at them, begging for help, then cursed them, telling them there was a man dying in the car.

First one man, then another, finally came to help. Together they broke the safety glass and dragged the man out. They were ...

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