A shocking video experiment

This contrast between a beggar and a businessman in a Paris street illustrate that class, colour and status – and even how we dress – do matter in our societies.


17 thoughts on “A shocking video experiment

  1. Oh come on! That vid is a joke, right?

    Like it was made in Paris? Have you ever been to Paris and needed help? I have. Obviously I looked like a beggar instead of a tourist. 😉


    • My thoughts are that it is not a true reflection of every society and that it just implicates Parisians. I had a really bad experience there. I pleaded with about a dozen people for help and all except an American businessman stopped to help me, and I was in tears by then.

      Replicate the experiment in New York, London, Edinburgh, Belfast, Munich, Rome, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Amsterdam, Melbourne, etc and see if the outcome is the same. I am hoping that it won’t be. God help us if it is though.


      • Oh Kathleen,

        My first comment was sarcasm, and yes, I know I should not be acting like that. But I am afraid that I do not have a very high opinion of Parisians.

        It wasn’t anything major, in the sense that I was mugged or having a heart-attack, but nonetheless it was a major trauma for me and the experience left me convinced that Parisians are callous and indifferent. The country folk though were lovely….a totally different species. They didn’t care if I couldn’t speak French. They were very hospitable. And apparently they haven’t changed since I was last there 37 years ago:

        “ZUT ALORS! The French are being urged to shake off their reputation for being unfriendly and instead be a bit more “Oui” than “Non” towards visitors.

        A number of recent international surveys found the French capital was one of the world’s most hostile places for foreign visitors. Now restaurateurs and others dealing with tourists in the country are being asked to smile and help when asked if they speak English.

        The nationwide tourist action plan comes after a number of surveys showed that visitors to the country thought it was an unfriendly place. A recent study by the Trip-advisor website also found foreigners visiting Paris voted it the rudest city in Europe. Researchers found tourists thought the French capital had the least friendly locals, the rudest taxi drivers and the most hostile and aggressive waiters.”

        The Scotsman Newspaper—21/6/2014


      • We had the same experience of city dwellers vs. country folk. Like two different nationalities. Isn’t it bizarre when a whole country takes on a personality trait.


      • “Isn’t it bizarre when a whole country takes on a personality trait.”

        Yes Kathleen,

        I truly find that perplexing and fascinating. I’ve often wondered what causes that.

        Is it environment? Is it genetic? Is it learnt behaviour, passed down from generation to generation? Is it similar mindsets? Is it spiritual? Is it the result of suffering/victimhood, or pride perhaps? Is it religion, or lack of?

        Are there books on this subject, as I’d love to read them if there are?


      • I hear you Monica. You always look at it this way, that hurt that you experienced was a lesson in how not to be.


      • Yes Kathleen,

        Exactly! I was thinking that very same thing. And right on cue, I had a sense of the Lord lovingly saying to me: Matthew 25:35

        Do you know there were (and still are) so many beautiful, loving strangers who welcomed me into their homes during my travels, and I always remember them with great fondness and gratitude. They truly are an inspiration to me. And I think that when you are shown great kindness, you automatically want to do the same to others. I hope we never lose that desire to bless others.


      • Yes, people can also be incredibly kind and generous. The salve.

        Your story also made me think of the story of Job. I thought it was quite cruel to allow Job to be tested so harshly, but he came through it. He didn’t sway from believing in God (in good).


    • Yeah, I don’t know. I think it’s passed down like how you notice the manners of children depending on their parents. There could be something spiritual to it. Who knows. Depends on what they value and what they believe.


      • It’s amazing how God brings hurts up from the past to the surface; hurts that have been long buried in our subconscious, so that we can recognise the areas in which we need to deal with our ‘bitterness and unforgiveness’. The healing process can be quite painful, but it’s necessary to be able to move on.

        That video was really painful to watch, because I felt like that ‘leper’ all those years ago. It’s not until you’re on the receiving end do you really know just how it feels. And yet, how many times have I turned away from someone in need? Many! May God forgive me.


  2. I have to say. That does break my heart. Especially the fact that he is saying help me.

    I’m not making excuses but I think when people see someone who is on the ground and he is dressed as the first man was they often think he is probably drunk and lives on the streets, won’t change his ways etc – don’t know if they heard his pleas though. You don’t often see a well dressed man fall to his feet, so you look at it as more probably a sign of something urgent like a heart attack etc.

    I’ve mentioned before that I was one of the people who wanted to pass a man by who was in an arcade on the ground. My sister stopped for him. He was drunk and he had his bottles around him. It was a lesson for me that day to get out of my comfort zone. When the man came to he was hovering around with the bottle in his hand and I thought he was going to land on us lol There was a young man who knew him well and told us this happens often and that we probably wasted our time calling the ambulance. The ambulance people recognised him and I have to say that they had that weary look of ‘not again’. Still he hit his head on the ground and it could have been serious.

    All people are precious, even the ones who constantly fall.


  3. This is of course open to debate but I have found the bigger the city and more focussed the people are on generating wealth. The less they care about others. I found Sydney to be the coldest city in Australia and London was the worst city I ever lived in. I hear more laughter in Jakarta than Singapore. Kuala Lumpur is getting colder as Malaysia strives to be a first world country.


    • I think nature has something to do with it too Dom.

      They are trying experiments in certain places (can’t remember where) with introducing more greenery into very urban built up areas to see if it makes a difference to people’s attitudes.

      I have to say myself that when I drive through an area lined with trees and flowers, it doesn’t matter how much of a dump the houses may be, it has a feeling of serenity to it.


  4. Is it that people are more concerned about money?

    If that’s the case then why did this happen in China where everyone is ‘equal’? You might remember this.

    “Wang Yue (Chinese: 王悦; pinyin: Wáng Yuè), also known as “Yue Yue”, was a two-year-old Chinese girl who was run over by two vehicles on the afternoon of 13 October 2011 in a narrow road in Foshan, Guangdong. As she lay bleeding on the road for more than seven minutes, at least 18 passers-by skirted around her body, ignoring her. She was eventually helped by a female rubbish scavenger and sent to a hospital for treatment, but succumbed to her injuries and died eight days later. The closed-circuit television recording of the incident was uploaded onto the Internet, and quickly stirred widespread reaction in China and overseas. Many commentators saw this as indicative of a growing apathy in contemporary Chinese society.[1]” Wikipedia


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