Monday, April 30, 2007

Make this decision

Imagine this: a group of children are playing near two railway tracks, one still in use and the other unused. Only one child is playing on the unused track, the rest on the operational track. A train comes and you are just beside the track changer. You can make the train change its course to the unused track and save most of the kids. However that would also mean the lone child playing on the unused track would be killed. Will you let the train go on its way or switch its tracks?

Please pause for a minute and take a decision.

Many of us might choose to divert the course of the train and sacrifice only one child because to save most of the children at the expense of only one child is a rational decision that most people would make morally and emotionally. But have you ever thought the child choosing to play on the unused track had in fact made the right decision to play at a safe place?

Nevertheless, he had to be sacrificed because of his ignorant friends who chose to play where the danger was. This kind of dilemma happens around us everyday. In the office, in the community, in politics and especially in a democratic society, the minority (here the word does not mean the contempory political word-'minority') is often sacrificed for the interest of the majority, no matter how ignorant the majority is, and how far-sighted and knowledgeable the minority is. The child who chose not to play with the rest on the operational track was sidelined. And in case he was sacrificed, no one would shed tear for him.

The kids playing on the operational track should have known very well that the track was still in use, and that they should have run away if they heard the train's sirens. If the train was diverted, that lone child would definitely die because he never thought the train could come over to that track! Moreover that track was not in use probably because it was not safe. If the train was diverted to the track, we could put the lives of all the passengers on board at stake! And in your attempt to save a few kids by sacrificing one child, you might end up sacrificing hundreds of people to save these few kids. While we are all aware that life is full of tough decisions that need to be made, we may not realize that hasty decisions may not always be the right ones.

REMEMBER: "What's right isn't popular..... And what's popular isn't always right"