It is wrong to abuse the kindness of strangers

Yesterday morning we had a mixture of rain and sleet that resulted in the streets and sidewalks having the kind of icy slush that makes walking tricky. As I was making my way across campus for a seminar, I slipped and fell. It occurred at almost exactly the same time as a plane slid off the tarmac and ended up stuck in the grassy median while taxiing to the terminal at the Cleveland airport, which gives some indication of the slipperiness.

A student who was walking about twenty paces away came running and helped me get up. I did not hurt myself but was grateful for his assistance because the icy surface and the lack of anything to grab made it hard for me to get a firm foothold and get up by myself.

People in general are kind and considerate and helpful towards others and I have been the beneficiary of such acts many times. So I was really annoyed when just a few hours later I came across this video in which people pretend to slip and have a bad fall and exhibit difficulty getting up, even when others try to help them. It is supposedly some new fad.

This kind of thing is deplorable because it breeds cynicism in people and may make them hesitate to help someone the next time because they wonder if they are being pranked. It is not funny in the least and the sooner it stops the better.