Summary: We're not all called to be missionaries. We are all called to help those who are.
Speed the Light: Family helping Family
In October 2006, a new website appeared on the internet. LiveLeak.com was originally formed to allow video footage of politics, war, and other world events and combine them with the power of citizen journalism. Some examples of videos that can be found on the site range from military crackdowns during citizen protests in Ukraine and Syria to security camera footage of robberies, and everything in between.
LiveLeak has done some really good things. They’ve videos involving Fatemeh Moghimi, the executive director of an international shipping company, Soheila Sadegh Zadeh, a deputy of urban planning in Tehran, Ghamartaj Khanbabaei, a university lecturer and pediatric pulmonologist, and Marzieh Yadegari, a shooting instructor and high ranking police officer. What makes these stories special is that all four of these people are women. Thanks to LiveLeak, the “common person” in Iran can finally have their voice heard. Despite their government’s less-than-stellar reputation, people across the world can now easily see the difference between the Iranian government and the Iranian people.
The problem, though, is that this became a repository for videos that, at best, reside in the “gray” area of what is legal. In 2007 one of the most famous -- or, more correctly, infamous -- videos was uploaded: cell phone video of Saddam Hussein’s execution. Later that same year, an investigative journalism show on the BBC aired a show about how young people were recorded getting physically assaulted and knocked unconscious. When representatives from the show queried the "extremely violent videos" that had been posted to LiveLeak's website, co-founder Hayden Hewitt refused to take them down, stating, "Look all this is happening, this is real life, this is going on, we're going to show it.”
LiveLeak doesn’t just show international videos, though. On April 17th, 2008, six girls got in a fight in Clarksville, Indiana. The girls all ranged in age from 12 to 14. At one point, the fight was 5 on 1, with one girl grabbing rocks from the ground and repeatedly beating the victim in the head. We know this because at least three adults stood by and recorded the fight on their cell phones. None of them tried to stop the fight.
On Saint Patrick’s Day 2013, two people got in a fight in a Boston subway. After a heated argument, a woman gets up and starts brutally punching a man in the face. The other riders on the subway did nothing -- they just sat in their seats and watched. Many of them also recorded the fight on their cell phones and posted them online.
There are countless more examples of this sort of thing happening -- people are getting hurt, sometimes even killed -- and everyone around them simply watches and does nothing. Why? Is it because we like to watch? I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people laughing about a fight they saw, or sharing a video of a fight online. A lot of times they get excited, and start “picking sides” -- even though they don’t know anything about what is happening or why.