On Christmas Day, a terrorist attempted to blow up an airplane as it approached the Detroit airport.
A Nigerian terrorist has been able to hide explosive chemicals on his body and was attempting to combine them when a fire broke out instead of an explosion.
Dutch tourist Jasper Schuringa, saw what was going on, and took immediate action. The interview with him shows why this man is being called a hero, while the other 200 passengers sat idly by and watched him leap into action.
Why did hundreds watch the drama and fail to intervene while Shuringa is being hailed a hero?
1. The By-stander Effect.
Television has made it normal to be a voyeur. We see shows like World’s Scariest Videos, Cops, and videos on You Tube that have desensitized us to the reality that violence occurs. It happens on a regular basis, but as we watch those shows or videos we are entranced by the violence, and conditioned to stand by and watch, as opposed to doing something.
2. The Belief It Cannot Happen Here And It Cannot Happen To Me.
Human beings abhor violence. It is against the nature of most people to be violent, and it is repulsive to take part in it. With this in mind, when people see a video of violence, they secretly say to themselves, “Thank God it is happening to them and not to me.”
Those who become heroes have said to themselves, “It can happen here, it can happen to me, and by God’s help, I have the power to stop it.”
When potential heroes take this stance, they have already cleared the hurdle of denial that wastes precious time in a scenario. Denial robs us of response time, and critical seconds to stop a violent action.
Had Shuringa waited just a minute, flames would have engulfed the plane, and hundreds would have perished in a terrible death.
3. Mental Planning
Once a person has agreed bad things can happen to them, and that they are likely to observe it someday, they begin mentally preparing for that eventuality.
Most of the passengers on the plane boarded the plane and only had a passing thought of terrorism. Shuringa most likely boarded the plane, scanned the passengers and identified those he thought had the potential to be a terrorist. He most likely had already worked out a plan if he spotted suspicious behavior, and made a note to enact the plan if something happened.
This saved precious life saving seconds off his response time. He attacked the problem when he saw it and remained calm during the execution of his plan.
Pre-planning is the key between disaster and death and calmness and life.
The vast majority of people in the world do not want to be a hero, avoid violence, and will simply watch when bad things happen.
Thankfully, Dutch tourist Jasper Schuringa was not one of those people. He thought about it in advance, he mentally rehearsed what he would do, and in the moment of truth, he reacted and saved lives.
Training, even if it is mental training, is a powerful weapon in stopping violence against you, your church, or your family.
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