In an emotional episode of the social experiment show “What Would You Do?”, strangers express their condolences and love for an elderly man who has lost his best friend. The ABC Studios show investigates the various reactions of individuals when confronted with staged situations involving moral or ethical issues using hidden cameras. In this episode, the team conducts the experiment at the Miss America Diner in Jersey City, New Jersey.
An elderly actor, Stu, seats at a table in the middle of the diner and strikes up a conversation with the waitress who is also an actress, about a fictional friend, Bob with whom he had been friends since 1969. Kara, the waitress, asked Stu if Bob was coming with him and was told that his best friend was not coming because he had recently died and that he was eating alone that day. The waitress expresses her condolences, and Stu is visibly moved, with tears in his eyes.
All the while, people in the other booths overhear this sad story of Stu and his friend Bob. Their heartwarming reactions, which were full of love and kindness, added to the video’s wholesomeness and demonstrated that there are men and women out there who are loving, considerate, and supportive of others, especially when they are going through a difficult time. Several people who overheard the sad story approached him and express their heartfelt sympathies.
A lady advised Stu to avoid going to places that reminded him of Bob so that the pain of losing his friend would not be too much for him. While one lady invited Stu to join their senior group and make new friends, she also said that he does not have to be alone and sad when there are so many other people who would love to get to know him and be friends with him. Another woman approaches him and gives him a hug.
She sits down with him and shares her own story about how the loss of her dog affected her, but then she began to notice the things around her and learned to appreciate them and find comfort in nature’s company. “You only get one shot at this world, so make the best of it and do what you can,” she told Stu. “And then, when you leave, you leave such wonderful memories for those you leave behind.”
People’s genuine love and concern for Stu set a beautiful example of loving your neighbor as yourself, especially when they are going through a difficult time. It also gives hope that, despite the negativity in the media about society deteriorating and people losing their sense of community, the world will never run out of good people and that we can always make the world a better place, beginning with kindness to our fellow beings.