The Decision

We have to make decisions, which are what we face, everyday. We may make some good judgment and the outcome may come out good. But sometimes we may make bad decision that may affect the others whether directly or indirectly. This is an interesting story about a decision that is very critical and involves lives.

A group of children was playing near two railway tracks, one still operational while the other is not. Only one child played on the disused track, the rest on the operational track.

A train came, and you were just beside the track interchange. You could make the train change its course to the disused track and saved most of the kids. However, that would also mean the lone child playing by the disused track would be sacrificed. On the other hand, would you rather let the train go its way?

Most people might choose to divert the course of the train, and sacrifice only one child. To save the most of the children at the expense of only one child was rational decision most people would make, morally and emotionally. However, have you ever thought that the child choosing to play on the disused 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 every day. In the office, community, in politics and especially in a democratic society, the minority is often sacrificed for the interest of the majority, no matter how foolish or ignorant the majority are, and how foresighted and knowledgeable the minority are. Moreover, in the case he was sacrificed, no one would shed a tear for him.

The proper decision is not try to change the course of the train because 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 were diverted, the 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 passengers on board at stake! 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 one. Remember that what is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right. Everybody makes mistakes; that is why they put erasers on pencils!


Author: Audi Faliq Ibrahim

Executive at Yayasan Basmi Kemiskinan. Alumni of International Islamic University Malaysia. An old soul and #INTJ.

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