A girl( let’s call her Ell) sat with a sign-board saying “Need money for buying make-up. ” Ell was wearing fashionable outfit. At least she had her basic needs fulfilled. Maybe she could afford a little more than that but make-up. A lot of people approached her and gave her whatever they could.
“Make-up? Seriously? You need money for makeup?”
“Yeah, they are so expensive these days”, she said.
A lady appreciated Ell for being genuine.
A dude gave her money only to ask her number the next moment and get rejected.
“I said I need money, not boyfriend.” She replied.
At last a guy came and said, ” You need money for make-up? People don’t get food to eat. Get out of here.” and threw the board away.
Ell dressed as a homeless girl and sat on the footpath with a board, ” Need money for food. ” This time people didn’t seem to care. Few people came forward. Finally when a middle-aged guy brought some food and gave it to her, Ell had to tell him it was all for a social experiment.
What do we learn from this experiment? People were more responsive to the superficial needs than somebody’s need for food. How many homeless people we come across everyday but how many do we feel for or whether we feel for them at all?
I’m no psychologist but let me put it in this way. I think, we tend to help someone whose problem we can relate to. I know how effing expensive these branded clothes/make-up are but I don’t know how hard it is to sleep on a road or sleep with an empty stomach.
After all it’s your money and your choice. When you have fixed amount of money, you spend that on the things that you need the most. When it comes to helping someone, that should also reach out to that one who needs it the most. That’s how we can make the world a better place.
These are some reactions of people to this experiment that have kept my hopes for a better world alive.