What to do?

At the end of the chapter 8 of the book Growing up Untouchables in India, Vasant Moon talks about his concern about his action and the decision he made to stop the marriage of a teenage girl to a 45-year-old man. He managed to threaten the 45-year-old man to change his mind about marrying a teenage girl. However, later he is questioned about stopping the marriage. For many days since then, Moon thinks about the complexity of social issues and the girl’s future, and wonders if his decision has been a right one.

Facing dilemmas in decision making seems more important when the decision we make will affect other people’s lives. I used to ask myself how leaders, people in authority, or anyone who is in a position to make decisions about other people’s lives can cope with the pressure of making important or life-lasting decisions, while I had hard time making simple decisions that only affected my own life. I knew it needed a lot of courage to make crucial decisions, but what was more difficult was to face the consequences of making decisions, especially if it is wrong.

I learned the answer of my question from two serials: All Saints and 24. All Saints was an Australian serial about nurses and doctors who worked in a government hospital with the same name. Some of the nurses were dispatched for rescue team missions. In several cases, doctors or nurses faced a situation when that they were not determined what was the right thing to do. The life of the patient was in their hands, and they had to make a final decision how to save their lives. They did, but if they lost the patient or caused more damage, they tried not to blame themselves and accepted the fact that they were human beings and liable to make mistakes.

In 24, Jack Bauer and his team worked for Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) and detected and stopped terrorist attacks on America’s soil. One of the important characteristics of Jack was his strong determination. He didn’t show any doubt while making decisions so that his team would believe in him and follow him. He taught his colleagues to make their mind thinking about the priorities; for them it was national security. In most of their missions, each second’s worth was very high, and they shouldn’t waste it by pausing and pondering what to do next. Sometimes, they made mistakes, and people were killed. However, many times they saved people’s lives too. If they thought only about the negative parts they would go crazy, and end up in an asylum. But Jack and his team would continue to serve their people.

The important thing was that they all had a good intention, used all their skills and human knowledge, and did the best they could.

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2 Responses to What to do?

  1. vythai says:

    Dear Masooma,
    Your blog entry is so thoughtful and I appreciate that you exploited the moral of the story through your readings. Really, making decisions is important and difficult, but accepting the bad results is much miserable and discouraging. Therefore, we always need to ponder and consider many aspects before we decide anything, don’t we? As you said, we need to do the best as we could to figure out the dilemmas. And you also mentioned the importance of good intention. I just wonder what you think if a person has a bad intention but he help a lot of people in the world. For example, there is a billionaire wanting to be famous, so he gives a lot of money for charity for the poor, the homeless, and a lot people in his life. And the people he helps can change their lives to be much better. Does his action need to be blamed? What if a very good scientist wants to help others, but the more he helps, the more people face trouble. And how about if he is not sure how good he is, but inside his heart, there is always a calling that he wants to contribute something to others and society?

  2. meihuilan says:

    Dear Masooma,
    I really enjoy reading this blog entry, especially the part that you connected your thoughts with TV serials. Similar to you, I like watching 24 very much because I always inspired by every decision that Jack Bauer makes under a very difficult circumstance. I agree with you that those who make decisions that affect other people’s lives have to face many dilemmas. For example, sometimes the members of CTU have to sacrifice a few people’s lives to save more people’s lives. Although their decisions seem immoral sometimes, they have no other choices, and they have to think about the benefit of the majority rather than the common moral sense. As what you said, the people like Bauer need certain skills as well as the courage to accept the results of their decisions. I guess this kind of skills and courage are also essential for us, as we all want to be great woman leaders who may make decisions for their communities in the future.

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