This morning I was waiting for the bus in Shibuya station and there was a guy sprawled on the pavement with his face down and his arm at an awkward angle. He was dirty, but not incredibly so. He might have been homeless, but if he was, it didn't look like he had been for very long.
There would have been thousands of people going past that stretch of pavement this morning and not one of them stopped to see if he was alright. I was a few meters away waiting for the bus, and I couldn't tell if he was asleep, unconscious or dead. From his position, I would say that he wasn't just asleep, but I can't say for sure. He may have had too much to drink and passed out.
So, what did I do? I got on the bus. I wanted to get to work on time. I made the wrong decision.
What is Aikido for if not for situations like these? To me, budo is about more than facing an attacker. It is about standing up and taking responsibility in difficult situations. This was a difficult situation, and I could have checked to see that he was okay, called an ambulance if necessary, or if not, then at least given him a bottle of water. I could have taken responsibility, but I didn't, and I regret it.
There is a word in Japanese called hanmen-kyoushi (反面教師）. It is a person who does the wrong thing, and you learn from their example and do the opposite. Please use me as such.