Selflessness and Overcoming the Bystander Effect

Selflessness and Overcoming the Bystander Effect


A collaboration between DNI MarCom & Strategic Research

Have you ever driven past a minor automobile accident you witnessed as a part of a larger group of motorists? Most motorists assume that “somebody else” will stop to help the victim. They may think “Surely somebody with more time and resources will stop to help this person.” The problem with this approach is that it is the most common, especially among large diverse groups of people like those found in Metropolitan areas such as Oklahoma City. This approach is so common, in fact, that there has been a term coined for it.

Whether or not you’ve heard of the term before, you’ve probably experienced a few real-life examples of the bystander effect. According to Wikipedia, “The bystander effect, or bystander apathy, is a social psychological theory that states that individuals are less likely to offer help to a victim when there are other people present.”

Sometimes, we get so caught up trying to keep our own heads above water that we fail to notice others who are drowning. We all have parts to play in the wellness of those in our communities. You could be the one who acts, rather than watching and waiting for someone else to act. In other words, you can be proactive and change the world NOW, or be reactive and wait on the world to change LATER. The choice seems fairly clear.

The easiest way to remain selfless in a selfish world, in my opinion, is to remember the golden rule: the simple principle of treating others as you yourself would like to be treated.

Selflessness is the quality of a person who is more focused on the needs of others, rather than his or her own. It means showing more interest in the welfare of other people. It is one of the most endearing qualities that one can possess. So many today are pursuing the ever-so-evasive feeling of satisfaction. If only they knew how much they could improve their own lives simply by helping others more often.

The most notable attributes of selflessness are giving, focusing on others, appreciation, and time. All these attributes have a part to play in the overall role of well-rounded selflessness. Need some ideas to get you started?

  1. Donate used cell phones to an organization like Cell Phones for Soldiers (wipe them first!)
  2. Donate home-cooked meals
  3. Donate your skills and TIME (volunteering)
  4. Focus on others
  5. Appreciate others
  6. Spend time with others
  7. Donate blood products regularly (platelets, plasma, whole blood, etc.)

In the spirit of selflessness, DNI will be hosting a mobile blood drive on June 8, 2022. If this post has inspired you so far, please feel free make an appointment and help us fill all the spots!

Selfless giving is the art of living. Read that again. Meditate on it. Live it.

There are so many in our communities who could use a helping hand. A lot of times, when people think of selflessness, clothes donation immediately comes to mind. While this is not to be discounted, it’s important to also remember to not only give what you don’t need, but to give what is needed without expecting anything in return. The results may surprise you!

As part of DNI’s SHINES culture, the MarCom team took on a task to try and find good causes that DNI could help partner up with. “Curbside Chronicle has always been special to me, and I try to give my $2 away to get a magazine whenever I see one of those green aprons at the stop lights”, says Christina Wright. “This organization helps support the homeless community by teaching them business and entrepreneurial skills.”

If you don’t already know about Curbside Chronicle, their website describes the organization as, “Oklahoma’s street paper created to provide both a voice and employment opportunities for people who are experiencing and at risk of homelessness. The Curbside Chronicle is a program of the Homeless Alliance, a nonprofit organization in Oklahoma City whose mission is to rally the community to end homelessness.”

Their organization has also expanded over the past few years to include a floral shop that teaches specialized job skills and business skills to homeless as well. The flower shop runs events around each Holiday to boost sales of bouquets and plants.  Christmas is one of their more popular times where you can purchase live wreaths that range in price and are stunning.

Please check out each organization and help further DNI’s support of such a great cause!

Curbside Chronicle: The Curbside Chronicle
*subscriptions and/or magazines can be purchased online as well*

Curbside Flowers: Curbside Flowers