The kindness of strangers 有感于陌生人的慈善心怀

Take Away English: The kindness of strangers

课文内容

Vocabulary: Crowds 词汇:群众

How much empathy do you feel towards other people? If you saw someone fall off their bike in traffic, would you stop and help - or just walk away? Many people would give in to apathy, go about their business and just do nothing. So it was a big surprise when about 100 bystanders got together recently to move a bus in east London to help a cyclist trapped under it. A video of the incident went viral on social media.

According to Zoheb, a driver who stopped his car to take part in the rescue, about five people gathered to move the bus. He says: "There was no chance we could do it, it was more an invitation for other people to help, really."

The initiative paid off. Diners from nearby restaurants joined in. There wasn't much coordination but it didn't take long to develop a collective understanding of what the objective was.

Spontaneous collaboration among strangers doesn't happen often. People in a crowd are not sure what to do - they don't have a plan. It's one of the reasons bystanders often do nothing, according to Dr Mark Levine, professor of social psychology at Exeter University in Britain. "The presence of others can inhibit you from helping", he says.

The key to positive group behaviour and intervention, Levine explains, "is building a sense of shared identity". Action has to be decided quickly, Levine says. "The longer you leave it, the harder it is to make a decision. If you don't immediately act then you kind of think 'Well, actually I probably couldn't have done anything anyway'."

But the people who took the initiative like Zoheb might make a difference. The cyclist ended up in hospital and the images of the collective effort might inspire others to more acts of solidarity.

词汇表

empathy  感同身受、同情
to give in  屈服,让步
apathy  冷漠
to go about your business  去做自己的事
a bystander  旁观者
to trap  陷入(出不来),困住
to go viral  像病毒一样迅速在网上传播
to gather  聚集
the initiative  倡议,提议
coordination  协调
collective  集体的
spontaneous  自发的
collaboration  合作
social psychology  社会心理学
to inhibit  抑制
intervention  介入,干涉
solidarity  团结

测验与练习

1. 阅读课文并回答问题。

1. How were the images of the rescue distributed?

2. How many people took part in the rescue effort initially?

3. Why do people give in to apathy when they should be helping?

4. What happened to the cyclist who was rescued?

5. Which word in the text means 'goal'?

2. 请你在不参考课文的情况下完成下列练习。选择一个意思合适的单词填入句子的空格处。

1. The concert was a failure. The band played as well as they could but their performance was met with __________.

apathy      empathy      solidarity      intervention 

2. What a chaotic situation. Everyone is trying their best, but there is no __________ and nothing is getting done.

continuation      intervention      coordination      empathy 

3. Thank you for helping __________.  I couldn't have organised the party all by myself. 

out      in      on      off 

4. Let's __________ in the meeting room to discuss the latest data coming from the US. 

join      inhibit      collaborate      gather 

5. I was going about my __________ when the police turned up and arrested me. I'm innocent! 

intervention      behaviour      business      street

答案

1. 阅读课文并回答问题。

1. How were the images of the rescue distributed?
The video went viral on social media. 

2. How many people took part in the rescue effort at the beginning?
About five people, according to Zoheb, a driver who was there. 

3. Why do people give in to apathy when they should be helping?
According to professor of social psychology Mark Levine, one of the reasons it happens is that people are not sure what to do. 

4. What happened to the cyclist who was rescued?
He was taken to hospital. 

5. Which word in the text means 'goal'?
Objective.

  2. 请你在不参考课文的情况下完成下列练习。选择一个意思合适的单词填入句子的空格处。

1. The concert was a failure. The band played as well as they could but their performance was met with apathy.

2. What a chaotic situation. Everyone is trying their best, but there is no coordination and nothing is getting done. 

3. Thank you for helping out. I couldn't have organised the party all by myself. 

4. Let's gather in the meeting room to discuss the latest data coming from the US. 

5. I was going about my business when the police turned up and arrested me. I'm innocent!