We’re no strangers to incidences of abrasive people yelling at others in public.
The incidents are usually recorded by smartphone-wielding bystanders, and these silent observers are usually lambasted at on social media, with many asking why they chose to simply stand around rather than offering their help there and then.
There are of course many reasons as to why someone would choose that over helping the poor fella(s) in the situation (Too dangerous? Getting hold of incriminating video evidence against the culprit is a better approach? Person recording is actually an aspiring director?), but what actually stands out is how non-confrontational – to a fault – many of us can be.
Sure, there’s that one person (or a few) recording an incident who is rendered helpless, but in many cases with a sole hero emerging to save the day, many bystanders remain firmly rooted at the ground they’re standing on, remaining as, well, just bystanders.
Another one of these videos has emerged, and the roles of antagonist/troublemaker, protagonist/hero, victim, and cameraman were once again reprised.
The StarHub Incident
In the video, we see the man in the light grey shirt behaving barbarically and yelling vulgarities the other man, and a hapless StarHub staff trying to ease the situation.
Throughout the commotion, as one man got more angry, the other simply stayed calm.
As the video made its way across all Facebook newsfeeds, the hero himself, now identified as Justin A. Farren, posted a comment sharing his POV and thoughts:
As compared to concurring with the negative (often toxic) sentiments shared by netizens who have watched the video, Farren urged them to give the man some sympathy, and to appreciate that “things like this are rare in Singapore”.
He still asserted, though, that the abuse was uncalled for.
Not Just Another Everyday Hero
Given the very public nature of Facebook, many soon realised that Farren wasn’t just another everyday hero – he also has a day job as Creative Director at video game publisher Ubisoft.
For the unacquainted, some of the more popular games (that even non-gamers would have heard of) from Ubisoft include Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, Rainbow Six, and Watch Dogs.
What’s admirable is not just how Farren bravely confronted the aggressor, but how even after having vulgarities (and spit) hurled at him, maintained a clear-headed view of the situation – spreading a message that calls for understanding over naming-and-shaming, an unfortunate hallmark of many cases of citizen journalism.
Regardless of his job, Farren has set an example for many of us to follow the next time we’re confronted with a situation like this.