A Moral Dilemma

Moth: “I gave you my life.

Flame: “I allowed you to kiss me.” ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan

There is always going to be suffering. It’s how you look at your suffering, how you deal with it, that will define you.

~ Mark Twain

We might sit in the privileged sector of the world looking aghast at the human cost of the pandemic. Is our life worth more than a single one of theirs? How can we and how do we deal with the harrowing realities of human tragedy unfolding across India?

Originally posted by

Blogger AussieEssays made the point that “many people today only imagine suffering as they have never truly experienced it and instead borrow the suffering of others to validate themselves. They punch holes in the air and scream in the wind as they follow a cause that simply doesn’t impact on their comfortable lives as they tell themselves that they have made a difference when they in reality have done little of any importance.

Does feeling temporarily shocked and appalled help anyone?

Does paying lip service assist us to process a tragedy on the scale of India’s Covid 19 pandemic and allow us to continue with our daily tasks at work; eating our cheese sandwich and speaking with friends or other mundane activities, so that our conscience runs clear and we might continue functioning productively?

John Fowles has some sobering words for us:

The human race is unimportant. It is the self that must not be betrayed.”

“I suppose one could say that Hitler didn’t betray his self.”

“You are right. He did not. But millions of Germans did betray their selves. That was the tragedy. Not that one man had the courage to be evil, but that millions had not the courage to be good.”

― John Fowles, The Magus

In the face of tragic circumstances be prepared to:

  • Allow feelings of grief and shock
  • Examine what can be learnt from the situation to better existence for all
  • Think about what each one of us can do with that information
  • Be proactive and follow through as your situation allows (ie. don’t be an armchair whiner)

I think Confucious has the final word:


“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps”~Confucius


47 thoughts on “A Moral Dilemma”

  1. There’s not a lot I can do about India. I offered to send money to friends there who I thought might be struggling, but they say they are okay for now. Instead I am giving to charities that support those in need.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I like hearing that you are doing what you can, Peggy. I know that the charities you chose to support would have the best of intentions. Good to hear that your friends are doing okay.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Well share.
    Literally, In this pandemic everyone is praying for everyBODY, not confined and specified class or country or people, as a human being we had prayed for everybody. And, I am from Pakistan, and we all had prayed for you and everyone who needs prayer.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Under the current circumstances the total measure of which we do not know and the length and end station we can but guess head surely has to dominate rather than the heart ! Shedding tears and. giving in to depressions does not help oneself, one’s immediate community or those suffering around the world. If one has the ability to be pro-active either by giving money or time to practical causes . . . naturally ! Saying ‘oh, how terrible’ does not help a single one alive and that includes the ‘self’. Looking after self and making sure one does not give one’s surrounding community any extra problems is hugely positive. I am not having any of the vaccines at the moment as I am both highly allergic to all previous ones tried but also because of my preferences based on medical knowledge and current studies. BUT I feel I have the obligation to keep away to a large degree from both others vulnerable and any causes/sources of infection I can discern. No problem with that ! I look at the current issues on a day-to-day basis deciding on what the most logical and practical stance is for me and my surrounds . . . . not so difficult really . . .

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Circumstances and decisions on vaccines seem to change rapidly atm, Eha. It is difficult for those who are allergic and there are many who are in that situation. Even if we are all vaccinated, we still have to take care, don’t we? As it doesn’t cover all of us, and those who have the Astro Zeneca vaccine will need a booster.
      Thinking of the next person always is a good standby way to live atm. Social distancing and hand hygiene the utmost importance.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. If our planned method fails, taking a different angle or approach, taking on board feedback from others, thinking laterally or starting over with fresh eyes might mean the goals can remain. In trying these different ‘action steps,’ we might learn what doesn’t, and what might, work. In turn, this can often give rise to alternate solutions, but previously obvious.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post, Amanda. I think we face moral dilemma’s everyday. My heart breaks for those affected and all I can personally do is not contribute to the cause of the outrage. I did not want a vaccine. I don’t get flu’s or pneumonia so I figured I would be immune to this as well. But I’m not alone in this. This is not the flu and I do not want to be a silent carrier that harms another so I got my vaccines. I still wear a mask and keep my distance. My job is to do the best I can to harm no one else. Half this country thinks it’s their inalienable right to ignore other’s needs. This is about all of us. South Africa is having trouble getting the vaccine too. This is the situation in many corrupted government countries. History repeating itself. Many pay the price for that and yet, we never learn. Keep pushing buttons.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I wasn’t sure what your point was going to be when I first started reading your post, but your hook was compelling enough to keep me reading and am glad I did because I don’t think anyone has ever presented a philosophical argument to me in such in impactful way. You took the time to draw me in, lay the framework, and then deliver the message using multiple, relevant examples to support your claim which you summed so elegantly using the words of Confucius. But just to be clear, though this post is an easy read and relatively brief, the methodology you have employed here is nothing short of brilliant, and I’m amazed and how much insight you’ve provided me with such little energy necessary on my part as a reader! This is no simple task. On the contrary, people write whole academic essay to make similar arguments only not to such affect. Mind officially blown. Thanks for sharing. 💜🔥🙌🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Tronn, Now I am blown away that my humble jottings have resonated so well with you!
      I actually felt the post was not really in depth enough, but didn’t want to bog down the reader with heavy stuff, even though the topic needs it. In the end, practical tips with pithy examples were what I chose to go with. I aim to spread awareness, so it is good to know this ‘Sunday reflection,’ succeeded. However, the quotes are the real stars and where the wisdom lies.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hear you, Forestwood! And while I give the authors of the quotes you utilized their fullest recognition, I aim to suggest that the way in which you selected the quotes to frame your argument… or shall we say point (there are probably more than a few ways we could label what you’ve done here) is a feat in and of itself! I don’t take back anything I said. It helped me come to a deeper understanding of the practical wisdom you offered here. Well done. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Hi Amanda, I’m Gerry. Looking forward to reading and learning more from you as I go. 😊 In some ways, and from what I can gather, we’re all in this together (which is a pretty cool thing in and of itself). Cheers!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Indeed, in the blogosphere, we are all in this together, at least the active writers are. No matter what kind of blog you might have, there is a community out there if you wish to engage with it. Have fun!

              Liked by 1 person

    1. You guys didn’t have an easy time of it, Laurie. I feel like we have had it easiest. But again, there is a new outbreak of the scary Delta variant, as there will be slip ups in quarantine from time to time. This time I think we should be worried here in Australia. 900 fifo workers left a mine in the north and dispersed around Australia – potentially carrying and incubating infections.


      1. Oh, gosh! Hope that things are under control soon. You can bet that many of us in the U.S. are looking with trepidation at the variants. Fingers, toes, and everything else crossed that the vaccines—and possibly a booster—will make a big difference. Not looking forward to a winter of isolation again.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Powerful stuff Amanda. The news from India has indeed been terrible but I would say so has following much of the news here in the UK last winter. Our hospitals were almost overwhelmed and there were daily reports of devastated bereaved families. We have also had a lot of people suffering the economic cost with many falling below the poverty line because they have lost their jobs. That is something I CAN help with, as the charity my husband co-founded, which I now support and work with, is helping ensure food from restaurants, caterers, markets etc is being passed on to our partner charities who use it to feed people living in food poverty. I only do a little but it’s good to feel I’m making a contribution!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sarah – I love hearing that your husband founded a food recycling waste not NFP. We have a similar one here started by Ronnie Kahn, called Oz Harvest. Some people were doing this kind of thing but legislation stalled them from taking it wider. Ronnie lobbied and got the legislation around food supplies changed so that this could be done Australia wide. So well done to you and to her for positive contributions. You are a fine example of putting words where your mouth is.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Sober & weighty ruminations for a rainy morning in Singapore.
    I have always loved the Moth-Flame conversation, and this is the time to consider what we are made of. Actions, behaviour, that is how others will know.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It sounds like you have come across this quote, before, Ju-Lyn. It was a quote I have thought about a lot. It isthat kind of quote- it makes a person think deeply about intention and motivation.
      That is how others will know…Well said.


  8. This is the second blog post I’ve read today wherein the message was don’t be a whiner. I like that idea, being a person who’d rather find a solution than obsess on a problem. Small steps forward and all that.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. As an Indian, I’d thank you for writing about this. We as a country are doing a lot better now, but things like these are very common here. Bodies floating in what we consider to be the most sacred river, lack of facilities in the rural areas, etc.. When we dive deep, it all boils down to the corrupt system here. A very small fraction of our country’s people are tax payers (only about 1%!) and even amongst that, some money always goes in corruption rather than using it for public good. Whatever was stated in the video is capable of being attended to, but they just won’t do it. It’s, however, heartwarming to see the common public coming forward to help and make a change. Things are getting better because people have become more aware.
    Once again, thanks for this post! 😊 Loved every quote there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is excellent to have someone who lives with this in their backyard ( metaphorically speaking), comment and speak truthfully about the situation. I appreciate your input and find it sad to hear that corruption prevents progress forward. Spreading awareness is something we can do and hopefully pressure those who are corrupt! I would love you to keep me up to date with news there. It is hard to hear independent news in the west now. We have so many filters and nefarious interests that control the media.

      Liked by 1 person

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