2018年8月1日 星期三

英語聆聽練習 12:The kindness of strangers

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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.

詞彙表
hard up 拮据,經濟困難
to afford 負擔得起,買得起
financial crisis 金融危機
redundancy 裁員
welfare system 福利體系
to fall into debt 負債
a food bank 食物銀行(食物賑濟處)
to get by 勉強過活
limited stock 有限的存貨,庫存有限
a referral (官方的)送交、移交,引見
to abuse the system 濫用制度、體系
a voucher 票券,代金券
a handout 救濟品
a donor 捐贈者
a ready meal 現成食品
community spirit 社區精神
a volunteer 志願者
a beneficiary 受益者,受惠者

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