I am lucky enough to say that I have never been a part of a large scale conflict - I was born after the world wars, the vietnam war, have lived miles away from any bombing that has happened in my life, yet I strongly agree that it is difficult to remain a bystander in any situation of conflict.
Even with the scaled-down conflict that I have experienced, I personally CANNOT remain a bystander. The same goes for the rest of the population, some people have the urge to confront conflict head on, others have the urge to run away. The same can be said on a larger scale, world scale. Nations respond differently to conflict - In 1941, the Japanese decided to bomb pearl harbour, thinking that this would deter the United States from entering the war. The President of the U.S at the time, Franklin D. Roosevelt, had one of 2 choices, give into the Japanese or attack - Roosevelt chose to attack, eventually winning the war against the Axis. This is one of the largest examples of how people react to conflict, and how much it can have an impact on society: If Roosevelt decided to remain a bystander and not partake in the war, how would society be different today?
A small town in Northern Ireland, Omagh, saw one of the most controversial bombings of all time, appropriately named the “Omagh Bombing.” 22 people died when the RIRA (Real Irish Republican Army) parked a car bomb in a street in the town centre, their purpose was to cause havoc - one small step in a large scale operation to secure Northern Ireland’s freedom from the United Kingdom. The families of the victims could not remain bystanders, instead they formed an independent group “Omagh Support and Self Help group” to try and bring justice when everyone, even the police, knew who the culprits were, yet no arrests were made.