Our neighborhood is one of those up-and-coming locations where old houses are being razed and newer nicer ones are being... well raised. The bottom of the hill isn't really a great neighborhood.
As I hit our street on the way back coming up the hill I saw something. It was 7-10 boys. It looked like 2 were having a fight. The boys looked somewhere around the age of 13-16. One boy had another in what looked like a head-lock of sorts and the others were clustered around smiling/laughing. The boys looked to be of hispanic decent.
I saw this, had a momentary desire to pull over and ....
and drove on.
I thought back to the two (and only two) times I'd been 'beat up' growing up. Both were before the age of 15. Both times I'd taken the course of no-resistance. Not to give in, but not to physically fight back. In both occasions I'd managed to walk away fairly (physically) unscathed. Memories, however, last forever.
Should I have interceded as an adult. What could I have done. I am a 35 year old (average height) male. I am physically out of shape with no defense training. There were at least 7 of them.
So... do I find myself making excuses, justifications, rationalizations. I think how I used to have that golden wish of being a white knight. Media often portrays the hero as someone who will risk all to save someone who can not defend themselves. I think of the weaker 13 year old boy being laughed at by 5 acquaintances while another pummels him for a reason that has little cause to justify that action. I think about a theoretical 2 year old girl that may exist and whether her mother is competent or sane.
How do you save them all? You don't kill yourself. Sometimes the hero has to walk away from a battle so that he can find a better way to help those around him without killing everyone involved. Sometimes, it's not his job to save the one person in need he has seen.
The knowledge that intervention can make things worse comes from experience and at least thinking and trying. Hoping along the way that you've made the right decisions.
I think I made the right decision... Now all I have to do is see if there is anything I can do to prevent this from happening again or getting worse.