A panhandler gave a great performance on the 6 train the other day. You could tell people wanted to give, but they didn’t.
No one wanted to be the first to act, the bystander effect was too strong.
Some panhandlers have gotten smarter. They work with a partner who pretends to be an ordinary commuter. The partner gives first and we know what happens next…
The force field is broken. Lots of people begin to give.
The bystander effect is potent, but it has an effective antidote: leadership.