Stepping up instead of back
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MacBeth
Posted: 6 October 2012 - 11:00 AM                                    
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Here's another aspect of MacGyver that's a central one for me: the idea of stepping up to a problem instead of stepping away from it. Believing that, if there's a chance you might be able to do something to help, you do -- or at least, you try. You don't take over other people's problems or enable them in helplessness (well, you try not to!), but you do try to help.

It's the idea of seeing someone in trouble, and running towards them instead of running away. Maybe it isn't always the smartest thing, but it's a better default reaction than the opposite.

If you believe that the resources that are always around you are "enough" -- enough for your purpose, or at least enough to make an attempt worth trying -- then you are never helpless.

What does Mac keep saying when he's asked if something will work? "I don't know." Then he finds out.



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Matt
Posted: 6 October 2012 - 12:01 PM                                    
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Very well put. One of my favorite things about the show (and there are many more of course, haha) is when Mac would say "I don't know" when asked if something he was doing would work. It was the idea that he was trying and if one thing didn't work, there was always the chance that something else might.



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KiwiTek
Posted: 6 October 2012 - 02:18 PM                                    
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That's a very good point Beth. And I think, as you mentioned, a lot of that comes from personal confidence in yourself and not worrying about what others might think of you if you. Not everyone has that take charge confident personality, but I'm reminded of an old saying I've heard all my life about how its often the quiet shy people who shine through as the best leaders in a crisis. I think it's something to do with being able to calmly asses a situation see whats needed and then organize it with no fuss and more importantly no ego, just a desire to resolve the issue at hand.

My parents were very much "get involved" type people. They would nearly always pull over to assist a broken down car, or willingly lend a hand to neighbors and friends. I remember my father even jumping in the middle of a domestic incident a few houses down the road from us one night.

In fact I remember one summer vacation in a camping park some people about 3 tents down from us had a gas cooker that somehow got out of control and very quickly people started panicking and running around waving their arms not knowing what to do. As soon as we heard the commotion my father was out there trying to put it out and ended up singeing his eyebrows off in the attempt. He had the whole plan wrong though because the fire was gas driven not oxygen driven so eventually the camp owner turned up with a fire extinguisher and put it out, but my point here is that as soon as saw trouble he jumped up and ran towards it in the way Beth specks of.

I think today's world is more dangerous than ever before with a lot more violence around so you need to exercise caution and good judgement when going to assist. I wouldn't jump in the middle of a domestic for example, but certainly pulling over to help a broken down car on the side of the road.





When you're out of resources, it's time to get resourceful. ~ Harvey Mackay

 
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Issus
Posted: 21 October 2012 - 12:51 PM                                    
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I got a problem with helping people, I have ideas on how to help them, and then there's the possibility that it might not work, and because of the kind of people that walk around these days, It kind of puts me off... Am I alone in this??

These days, people dont relay on each other as they used to (I've never seen this, only in MacGyver, the idea of helping a neighbour or someone in your community), and I know real cases when someone has actually tried to help, and gotten sued for it...Its nuts, not to mention sad.



In my oppinion, Graham Bell has a lot to answer for. It gets harder and harder to escape from the world, the news and worst of all, people.

 
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MacBeth
Posted: 23 October 2012 - 04:49 PM                                    
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At least in my case, Issus, when I see a chance to help . . . I don't really think about whether I should or not. It might be wiser to do so, but it's just not the way my reactions work. Some jurisdictions have what are called "Good Samaritan" laws, which protect to a certain extent when someone tries to help, but I can't say that I think about that, either.

You're right about it being ever less common even to know your neighbours, let alone be there to help them. But we do have communities: they justa ren't the same as the places where we live. A lot of our communities are interest groupds and friendship groups, and many of them are online.

I had one opportunity a few months ago, when a member of my writing group wasn't able to write or get online consistently because her computer had completely died. I was in a position to get her a donated laptop -- not a brand new one, but it worked, it had full legal licenses of all the software she needed, and it got her back on her feet!



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KiwiTek
Posted: 23 October 2012 - 09:21 PM                                    
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QUOTE (Issus @ 22 October 2012 - 08:54 AM)
I got a problem with helping people, I have ideas on how to help them, and then there's the possibility that it might not work, and because of the kind of people that walk around these days, It kind of puts me off... Am I alone in this??

These days, people dont relay on each other as they used to (I've never seen this, only in MacGyver, the idea of helping a neighbour or someone in your community), and I know real cases when someone has actually tried to help, and gotten sued for it...Its nuts, not to mention sad.

Is it really that common to get sued for trying to help someone? I've never heard of it and it would only be in the US anyway because other countries don't have that culture.

It is true that you have to be more careful and read a situation before getting involved, but then getting involved can mean simply calling the police and giving them exact directions/locations to where the incident is. So there are lots of ways to help without putting yourself in direct danger. It's just a matter of wanting too.






When you're out of resources, it's time to get resourceful. ~ Harvey Mackay

 
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MacBeth
Posted: 24 October 2012 - 05:53 PM                                    
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QUOTE (KiwiTek @ 23 October 2012 - 09:24 PM)
Is it really that common to get sued for trying to help someone?

Good Samaritan Laws

" . . . a good Samaritan doctrine is a legal principle that prevents a rescuer who has voluntarily helped a victim in distress from being successfully sued for 'wrongdoing'. Its purpose is to keep people from being reluctant to help a stranger in need for fear of legal repercussions should they make some mistake in treatment.

"Good Samaritan laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, as do their interactions with various other legal principles, such as consent, parental rights and the right to refuse treatment."

Although the US is currently the world leader in shameless (and shameful) litigiousness, Good Samaritan laws originated in England (a former leader in that field), and exist in many other countries, including Canada, Australia, and much of Europe.

"Good Samaritan laws are laws or acts in some cases obliging people to give reasonable assistance to those who are injured, ill, in peril, or otherwise incapacitated (duty to rescue), and in all cases protecting people who do so against legal action. The protection is intended to reduce bystanders' hesitation to assist, for fear of being sued or prosecuted for unintentional injury or wrongful death."

In some jurisdictions, failure to at least try to assist is a crime.

"Laws in North America mainly shield from liability those who choose to help in a situation they did not cause. Laws in much of Europe and other countries criminalize failure to help in such a situation: people in such countries who do not help someone in peril may be prosecuted."



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One should go to the woods for safety, if for nothing else.
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KiwiTek
Posted: 26 October 2012 - 08:53 PM                                    
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QUOTE (MacBeth @ 25 October 2012 - 01:56 PM)
Laws in much of Europe and other countries criminalize failure to help in such a situation:  people in such countries who do not help someone in peril may be prosecuted."

Reading that reminded me of hearing about the French "good citizen law" when Princess Diana was killed in her car crash. There was talk about the photographers being charged for not stopping to assist as the law requires.

I think we have a law here in NZ too that says you have to stop to assist at a car crash if you see one. Although I'm not really sure if it's enforced any more. I remember back in the 90's? when AIDS was a big deal there was discussion around if such a law could be enforced if there was blood present and you didn't have adequate protection, i.e. gloves and decent footwear.

But really I think it all comes down to a bit of common sense and decency towards trying to help another human-being... AND being willing to help another human-being.







When you're out of resources, it's time to get resourceful. ~ Harvey Mackay

 
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Scwilson
Posted: 18 August 2013 - 07:13 PM                                    
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jeep.gif Mac is one of those guys who sees beyond the impossible and looks for a solution that is hidden from others around him. Mac uses whatever is around him, useless junk or everyday items that Mac modifies to solve a problem. Macgyver's specialty is innovation and that always gives him an edge over his adversaries.



 
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KiwiTek
Posted: 18 August 2013 - 09:39 PM                                    
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QUOTE (Scwilson @ 19 August 2013 - 03:13 PM)
jeep.gif Mac is one of those guys who sees beyond the impossible and looks for a solution that is hidden from others around him. Mac uses whatever is around him, useless junk or everyday items that Mac modifies to solve a problem. Macgyver's specialty is innovation and that always gives him an edge over his adversaries.

And how does that statement relate to this discussion?




When you're out of resources, it's time to get resourceful. ~ Harvey Mackay

 
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MACPhotog
Posted: 10 December 2013 - 09:45 AM                                    
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I believe that to truly embrace our inner "MacGyverness" we always need to step out rather than step back. MacGyver no matter who, what, where always helped those who asked and some who didn't. That was a major underlying principle in his life. This willingness to help he took everywhere, more than his SAK, duct tape, paper clips, though all those things did save his butt from time to time. wink.gif



 
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denizen
Posted: 12 December 2013 - 12:16 AM                                    
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Good point. Its about trying to break your old habits and run with a new selfless one. It aint easy but its worth a try.



"The bag's not for what I take, Colson - it's for what I find along the way."

 
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AmigaDeVenezuela
Posted: 31 December 2018 - 09:52 PM                                    
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QUOTE (denizen @ 12 December 2013 - 12:16 AM)
Good point. Its about trying to break your old habits and run with a new selfless one. It aint easy but its worth a try.

For some it may be hard to break "selfish" habits. It would be hard for me too if it weren't for the fact of how in need my friends in Venezuela are. They need food, medicine, personal care items and clothes. If it weren't for me and my friends here in the US then they would not receive any help. Their neighbors would not receive any help either. When my friends receive the boxes they share with their neighbors. They are like me. When they see a neighbor in need, even though they are in great need themselves, they share what little they have.



"He always used to say, 'There are no great things to be accomplished in? this life, just small things done with great love.'" Rachel, remembering Father Jim

"Primitive working conditions. Lowsy hours. Monster workload. No pay. What a deal!"-MacGyver Slow Death about the clinic for Hassan's people.

"...but our lives aren't just measured in years. They're measured in the lives of people we touch around us." Peeta Mellark in Catching Fire.

 
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