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College Students Fail to be Good Samaritans

Real compassion looks beyond the faults of people to see the pain beneath it all and to see the hunger in people’s hearts.

In research done by Darley and Batson at Princeton in 1973, a group of theology students was told that they were to go across campus to deliver a sermon on the topic of the Good Samaritan. As part of the research, some of these students were told that they were late and needed to hurry up. Along their route across campus, Darley and Baston had hired an actor to play the role of a victim who was coughing and suffering.

Ninety percent of the “late” students in Princeton Theology Seminary ignored the needs of the suffering person in their hurry to get across campus. “Indeed,” the study reports, “on several occasions, a seminary student going to give his talk on the parable of the Good Samaritan literally stepped over the victim as he hurried away!” (Marshall Goldsmith, “Goal 1, Mission 0,” Fast Company, August 2004; www.PreachingToday.com)

From a sermon by C. Philip Green, Real Compassion, 10/22/2009

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