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Shocking! Disabled Man Attacked - What Would You Have Done?

Shocking! Disabled Man Attacked - What Would You Have Done?

Based on actual events.

Another great evening over at the Blues Club on Samsen Road in Bangkok.  My friends and I went late but caught the last set.  Great music in a nice little club and lots of fun.

Walking home about half-past midnight the four of us turned the corner and saw him.

A homeless man, leprosy wounds having cost him nearly all his digits, his eyes, likewise, damaged.  A kind face blurred by years of alcohol and street living.  Blood pouring down his face, streaming out of his nose and mouth.  Blood all over his face, his hands, his clothes.

Frida was the first one to rush to him. "What happened?" she asked. Quickly realizing he couldn't understand and probably wouldn't have even if there hadn't been a language barrier.

"Did he fall?" I asked.

"I don't think so, Kenneth."

"Look!" Theresa said pointing, "There's a plastic bag with a broken beer bottle inside just over there."

"It doesn't look like it was his. Look at the label, that's an expensive imported beer." Siddhartha said and we all nodded in agreement.

"Some motherfucker smashed a beer bottle into this poor broken man's face!  Why?  What the fuck was he doing to anyone?" Frida was angry now.

"I guess he was just sleeping on the wrong doorstep." I said somewhat sarcastically.

Siddhartha stooped and took the man's hands gently, then offered his prayer scarf to help stop the bleeding. "I feel that he needs an ambulance. Theresa, what do you think? I'm going to stay right here and help him as best I can."

Theresa was looking around to make sure whomever did this wasn't coming back. A moment later, she said, "You're right Siddhartha. Kenneth, go find some help. I'll keep an eye out here."

"I'll go see if I can find the guys who did this. It's got to be a couple of drunk foreigners. No Thai's would do this." Frida interjected.

"You're probably right. Okay, Frida, but be careful." Theresa replied but Frida was already moving.

I went off to find help. I stopped two taxis asking them to call the police but they didn't want to get involved. Fortunately, two policemen on a motorcycle were passing as I ran towards the police station a few blocks away. I flagged them down.

Theresa told them what was going on and left them in charge. A few minutes later a first-aid team arrived.

Siddhartha wasn't the only one nearly in tears as we all looked on while the medical team worked with care and love for this man, a nobody by most measures, but somebody in all our eyes.  It was impressive and heart warming to watch them care for him, to be humans undoing the inhuman act that had started this.

All of us were shaken by the experience. We stopped in a nearby cafe and sat down to discuss our feelings:

Frida - Artisan

"Wow, that was something, huh? That dude was really messed up. I've seen a lot of shit like that, I can tell you. But, hey, you know it's all good now. The dude's taken care of and I've got a cold beer, life's back to normal.

"Man, those guys who smashed that bottle on him must have been really wasted to do something that messed up. I bet they won't even remember what happened.

"I'll tell you, though, that was a really cool experience. I mean, not that I wanted the guy to get hurt, but the way everyone jumped into action and got it taken care of. Sirens wailing, and then, the medical tech, he just jumped right in and had all his tools right at hand. The dude was a medical master!

"You know, it's funny, I kind of envy the way that guy lives. Total freedom. I mean, I know he's all messed up and shit, but at least he's free to live his life his way. Like, no rules. That's pretty cool, if you ask me. If he's back by tomorrow, I think I'll buy him a drink and we can toast to freedom."

What Frida, An Artisan, Wants To Hear

Wow, Frida, the way you stepped right in and treated him like an equal was amazing. You really have a talent for it. And that was pretty brave to go looking for those guys. They're lucky they didn't meet you.

Theresa - Guardian

"It's just wrong what was done to that poor man. There he was, abandoned on the streets. See? That's what's wrong today. It's not like the good old days when he would have been cared for by his family and community.

"And what about whoever did that to him? I know they'll never be caught but if they are they should be severely punished. I'd lock them up for years. Maybe send them to Singapore. They know how to handle people like that down there.

"Well, at least the police and ambulance people did their jobs right. I was glad to see they had everything they needed to help out. They're the only ones keeping this place together, from what I can see. I guess there is nothing I can do about it, though. People never seem to learn.

"If I see that policeman tomorrow, I'm going to shake his hand. He really did a great job taking charge of the scene when he got there."

What Theresa, A Guardian, Wants To Hear

Theresa, you did a great job back there! I really thought the way you took immediate charge of the situation, got us all working together, and then made sure we were all safe, was excellent.

Siddhartha - Idealist

"That was so sad, what happened to him. Did you see how kindly his face was? It really broke my heart. He must have a really unhappy story. I wonder what happened to him that he has to live like an animal?

"And those people who did that to him, what must they be feeling now? I can't understand how anyone could do something that vicious. They must have really been hurt by their lives to act that way now. So sad. I'm going to pray for them and that man tonight.

"I wish the world wasn't the way it is. I keep trying to do what I can to make it better, to help people like that poor man and even those who attacked him. I think I'll come by and see if he's okay tomorrow. Maybe I can bring him some food."

What Siddhartha, An Idealist, Wants To Hear

That was really wise, the way you suggested we handle the situation. We couldn't have done it without you.

Kenneth - Rational

"It sure is a good thing that we came along when we did. That guy was bleeding a lot! It's a shame that he has to live where he can be attacked like that. I guess it's pretty much the same problem everywhere.

"What's crazy about it is that it can be fixed. We can design society so guys like him have a place to live. It's not that hard.

"Also, I was wondering if his leprosy is treated. It's completely treatable with antibiotics that are cheap. Of course, that won't fix all the damage already done but it can at least stop the progress of that disease.

"If he's around tomorrow, I might try to find out if he has been treated and get him some help if he hasn't.

"One thing I can't understand is why anyone would do this to him. It just doesn't make any sense."

What Kenneth, A Rational, Wants To Hear

You were brilliant! You knew exactly where to go and how to get help. I wish I had you around to rely on more often.

It Takes A Village

In these four profiles you can see how each personality type brings its own unique and valuable skill and perspective to a situation. We each have some of all four personality types but we each shine in our own type. Each personality, each temperament, brings something valuable to society that the others don't provide in the same measure.

When you understand each personality type, you not only know more about yourself, you know more about everyone else, too. Knowing personality types gives you power and the power to love even those who are very different from you.

True Story

This story is based on an actual experience I had. You can read the original article on my (unmaintained) personal blog. In the true story, there were just two of us. Me, a Rational, and Willeke, an Idealist. With an Idealist and a Rational, nobody ever looked for the guys that did it, nor did one of us stand guard and coordinate the activities. We just each did what we do best, caring, and solving problems, respectively. Right then, that was exactly what that man needed.

Willeke and I saw the devil that night but he did not hold sway. In the end, love prevailed.

P.S. I was in Bangkok a year later and finally saw the homeless man again. He was on a doorstep across the street from where we had found him that night. He seemed healthy and happy within the limits of his life. When I made eye contact with him and gave him a little nod of greeting, he just looked back not recognizing me in the least. I was just another anonymous passing foreigner. I walked on with a smile all the way into my heart.

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Which personality do you relate to and why?

3 comments
Jim Callahan
Jim Callahan

I think your premise that people are of equally valid, yet different, personality types intriguing.

It seems to me that the guardian was kinda rational when standing by to coordinate activities.

I tend to wonder what the artisan contributed by looking for the bad guys, although I admit it might sound gallant to do so.

Attention to the need for physical action, get help, (rational), and support for the person in need (idealist), seem the most important to me. The other two guys, well, they had some interesting ideas about right and wrong, but how does that compare?

Kenneth Benjamin
Kenneth Benjamin moderator

@Jim Callahan Hi Jim,

Since Guardians are more focused on structure and authority, they often go for leadership roles. In the case of an event like this, and short of them being trained to directly assist, they are more likely to take a protective role. At least that was the message I was sending here.

The Artisans are living in the 'now' and want to act more than think. Had the Artisan been a trained medical tech, they would have reveled in the opportunity to act. Tracking the people down is an impulsive act that likely would only be taken by an Artisan type in this situation. And, yes, gallantry, courage, (think the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz), is trait-typical.

The Rational is more about solving problems, less about action, per se, although all four types would act in accord with their temperament. In this case the Rational (me in the real events), chose to go for help as the only rational thing to do.

The Idealist was more concerned with the state of the person. More warm than the Artisan and Rational types, and more similar to the Guardian in this regard.

Had I taken this story and completely fictionalized it I would have had the Artisan be the medical technician and the Guardian be the policeman. The other two types would have taken similar, if more directly active roles.

The point here is knowing the relative strengths and weaknesses of each type so that you can value the contribution that each makes. It is also important to know how to communicate with each type.

You, Jim, as a Rational, want a reply like this, focused on analysis. An Idealist would want to talk about the needs of the people involved. A Guardian would be more interested in the societal and community aspects. An Artisan more interested in the actions taken. These perspectives were what was reflected in their responses.

All of this is a broad generalization but it's helpful to see people in these rough categories while still understanding that each of us is unique in the details.

I'm glad you're intrigued :-D

Jim Callahan
Jim Callahan

Hi Ken,

You have improved my understanding of this considerably. Being a rational, understanding is paramount to me!

Hat's off to ya!!!

Jim

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