I received this email today:
There are 2 railway tracks, one of which is has been shutdown. A group of children decide to play on the one which is operational and 1 kid chooses to play on the one which had been shutdown. You are standing next to a manned switch, when you see a Train coming by. The train is bound for the operational track. The train can not be stopped; and only you can change its course.
You have 2 choices:
- Let the train go and risk lives of the group of kids who chose to play on the operation track or;
- Switch the train to the non-operational track and risk the life of the that 1 kid
What will you do? Is that right? Who has the right to decide what is right?
Well, a few of my friends have said to me – Sacrifice that one kid in favor of the many more. When asked why? they say it sounds moral and emotional right.
Let me tell you what I will do? – I will not change the course of the train and let destiny play its part for the kids who are playing on the track on which the train is bound. Maybe they are aware that that track is operational and are aware; or maybe they are just being ignorant kids. Who knows why that track is not operational and I may be putting many more at risk by making that decision.
It will be a hard to be there at that moment and be caught up in that dilemma; but I feel that is the right thing to do. Who am I to change someone’s destiny? If I ever get the choice, I would want to be in a position where I can inform kids and anyone else about the risks like that. I prefer to provide my suggestions and then let people make their choices, rather than make choices for them.
As for me, as along as I have faith in my decisions, I am doing justice to myself. I do not have an obligation to make others understand the rationale behind my choices.
Long ago in a small, far away village, there was place known as the House of 1000 Mirrors. A small, happy little dog learned of this place and decided to visit. When he arrived, he bounced happily up the stairs to the doorway of the house. He looked through the doorway with his ears lifted high and his tail wagging as fast as it could. To his great surprise, he found himself staring at 1000 other happy little dogs with their tails wagging just as fast as his. He smiled a great smile, and was answered with 1000 great smiles just as warm and friendly. As he left the House, he thought to himself, “This is a wonderful place. I will come back and visit it often.”
In this same village, another little dog, who was not quite as happy as the first one, decided to visit the house. He slowly climbed the stairs and hung his head low as he looked into the door. When he saw the 1000 unfriendly looking dogs staring back at him, he growled at them and was horrified to see 1000 little dogs growling back at him. As he left, he thought to himself, “That is a horrible place, and I will never go back there again.”
All the faces in the world are mirrors. What kind of reflections do you see in the faces of the people you meet?
A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a large empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, rocks about 2″ in diameter. He then asked the students if the jar was full?
They agreed that it was.
So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. He then asked the students again if the jar
They agreed it was. The students laughed.
The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
“Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognise that this is your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car.
The sand is everything else, the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal. Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”