Why Being Captivated by the Guy Who Rescued the Girls in Cleveland Matters

The social media spotlight on Charles Ramsey's role in helping the kidnapped girls escape.

The news story out of Cleveland was unthinkably sinister—three girls kidnapped and held captive for 10 years. After reports of the rescue and joyful family reunions, the social media spotlight was focused on the good samaritan next-door neighbor who answered a cry for help. The public became captivated by Charles Ramsey.

It is telling that this part of the story is resonating with the public. While it may be true that Ramsey's talkative personality seems made for TV news, it is his action that deserves the attention. It is simply this: He heard someone ask for help and he was there to offer a hand. He didn't mind his own business and finish his Big Mac in peace. He didn't close his door or cross the street. In her "New Yorker" post on the story, Amy Davidson captures it beautifully in noting Ramsey's role in thinking "all that mattered was that a woman was trapped behind a door that wouldn't open, and to walk onto the porch."