When things break down thoroughly, as described by Selco, decency becomes something that can only be applied when you know it’s safe to do so. As we read, attempts to do the ‘right thing’ according to how we may have been raised can possibly be the last thing we try to do.
Even without a collapse it can be too dangerous to do what we want to do to help another; it all depends on what is going on. It’s not incidental that every day paramedics wait until being given the All Clear by police before going in to save a life, and some people have died waiting for the police to secure the area. But paramedics want to go home at the end of the shift as much as anyone and must wait until it’s safe to approach.
The world doesn’t play fair, it plays dirty. It’s good to train one’s mind to be as aware of the environment you are in as possible; it could save your life.
Bugs Bunny: "I speak softly, but I carry a big stick."
Yosemite Sam: "Oh yeah? Well I speak LOUD! and I carry a BIGGER stick! and I use it, too!" BAM!