One autumn day, maybe two or three years ago I went home from work along the Brussels channel. I always go by bike, and it was dark and rainy, and I rode through a park that was completely abandoned at that hour. Then I saw a guy lying motionless on the small grass strip separating the bike path from the water.
I thought he maybe had fallen ill or had been attacked or whatever and that he might need help. So I got off my bike and approached the guy, and when I started to ask if I could do anything for him, he stretched out both arms and asked me to lie down with him in the cold, wet grass. The guy was just totally drunk and totally enjoying himself lying around at the board of the channel. It was one of the most absurd scenes I ever lived through.
But then I reacted because I was alone and there was no one except me who could have helped the guy, had he then needed help. If there were thirty other people I'd probably have gone on, just thinking that someone other might have more time, better capacity to help or whatever...human nature is strange.
Have a nice day!
It's a well known phenomenon called "bystander syndrome". It was well documented in the Kitty Genovese murder in New York. I guess this is a classic example because I would say well over 1000 people walked past him this morning and did nothing.