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Chipping In

Posted on: April 24th, 2012 by Larry

Someone once said, “A true hero does what needs to be done and needs no other reason.”

On a New York City subway car recently, a man did what needed doing. He stepped between a man and woman who had begun kicking and punching each other. He didn’t say anything. He didn’t even try. In fact, he ate potato chips while carrying out his particular form of heroism. Maybe it was just the sight of him calmly continuing to eat that helped defuse the situation. And thus was born, “Snackman.”

Another subway passenger caught it all on video, and it became an internet sensation.

Snackman’s real name is Charles Sonder. He’s a mild-mannered 24-year-old architect who chose to be an upstander rather than a bystander.

  • Obviously Snackman’s tactics were effective, but was it prudent to put himself in harm’s way?
  • If you were on that subway, what would you have done?
  • Did you ever get involved in a difficult situation like this? If so, did you find a creative way to get involved like Snackman?
  • What about the fellow who took the video? His case is reminiscent of a journalist in a war or other confrontation. At what point should a reporter or photographer stop being a witness and become personally involved?