The treatment of bystanders

This post is by Seth Godin from Seth's Blog

This seems to be cultural, not based on income, caste, race or genetics.

Some professions and communities give a greater percentage of their income to charity than others. Some towns have no-kill dog shelters while others have a reputation for abandonment. You might find an online community that welcomes and supports newcomers, and another that simply trolls and argues with them.

You can find a surf beach where the norm is to let others have the right of way and lend a hand, and others where surfers would rather go to jail than let you have a shot at a wave.

A sailboat is more respectful than a Jetski. It’s silent, picturesque and safer for those around it. Given the choice, some groups of people choose one, some the other. And while we can have productive conversations about what actually helps the most bystanders in the best possible way, it’s also pretty clear that some organizations and cultures are more aware of their impact than others.

Bystanders, by definition, can’t give you anything in return. Treating others with care and dignity isn’t a shortcut to a sale or profit, it’s simply something that gets done around here (or doesn’t.)

Part of our opportunity is to normalize the behaviors we’d like to be around.