Most of us, it seems, would do the latter if Oliver Tiplady's example is anything to go by.
The teenager fainted and banged his head while waiting for a tram on a platform packed with rush-hour commuters. But instead of rushing to the uniformed boy's help, dozens of people simply walked around him.
Now Oliver's mother has slammed those who ignored her son as "selfish".
Susan Tiplady, 53, a retired teacher, said: "This walk-on-by society has got to stop and think for once in their lives."
"How can people justify leaving a child, or anybody for that matter, on the floor like that? There would have been so many people that walked past him at 8.15am.
"How could they all have ignored him? They must have lacked any basic humanity and had no compassion towards a child. I imagine a lot of the people who walked past would have been mothers or fathers – how would they feel if it was their child left like that?
These days people are too insular and only care about their own business. I can possibly understand if it was a drunk hoodie but he's a 14-year-old boy in his school uniform. Oliver has been left devastated.
Susan said her son regained consciousness about ten minutes after fainting at the Altrincham Metrolink Interchange in Greater Manchester last week.
"Oliver told me that he felt dizzy and the next thing he fell and banged his head on the concrete - but they all just walked past him as if nothing had happened," she added.
"He managed to get up and sit down before his friends turned up, but by then he was too embarrassed to tell them what had happened. It wasn't until he got to school that he told a teacher."
A spokesman for the Metrolink tram system said that there were emergency help buttons at all stops, adding: "If there are staff on hand then they will always be there to help."
Have you ever witnessed something like that happening?
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