Sunday, January 24, 2010

Damned Philosophy!

Every now and then I catch myself in an ethical dilemma. Normally, it’s nothing much bigger than a simple, “Do I point out the fact that guy has food on his face, or let it go because I don’t want to embarrass him—although it’s embarrassing enough just because it’s freaking sloppy joe day in the café and he looks like a savage beast.”

That, for the record, has never happened, and I’m actually not sure it even constitutes the title of “ethical dilemma.” But the point is that every now and then you find yourself in a position where you have to make a choice that has harsh consequences either way. Just like the situation I’m in now.

I have the blessing of knowing a guy who knows a guy who can save me quite a bit of money on this project I’m working on. I have a truck that needs a new muffler, along with some other work. Money is tight (where isn’t it, right?) and so it’s great to think I have an alternative to the sleazy, over-priced mechanics at the local shop. (Not saying they are all sleazy, or even that ours are, but if you had one conversation with my father, you’d be convinced the sky is falling, ya follow?) Anyway, I have a great alternative to auto-mechanics because, as mentioned, I know a guy who knows a guy, and then some. The only problem is: if I pay the guy who is known by the guy, there is a good chance my money will be will be used for something I don’t approve of. I’m not talking football tickets, or a rap concert either. I’m talking about some bad stuff which I really don’t want associated with my blog. So, the ethical dilemma ensues: do I turn my head and save a pretty penny, or do I stand on a very expensive principal and go with the mark-up mechanics? I just don’t know.

About a year ago, I could have cared less about what people did with their own money, and sometimes I still could care less. I also tend to believe you should take the high road no matter how treacherous, just because it is the right thing to do. But, here, I am stumped. I am afraid that if I stand on principal it will break the trust this person has with my family—quite possibly the only connection said individual has with the real world. Potentially driving him/her to do something stupid. Then the “hammer” in me says, “Screw that, (s)he makes his/her own choices, and if that’s what they do, so be it. It wouldn’t be your fault.” If this is the case, I should just hire this individual. But, a year was a long time ago, and a lot has changed since then.

This person has been through a lot, which isn’t an excuse, but it is still a consideration. So would an all-out confrontation of her/his problems be wise? The Hammer says it don’t matter, but the moral conscience says, “Tread gently on thin ice.” I’m pretty sure science says, “Smash the damn ice until there is no place else to go but back to land.” If those metaphors don’t make sense, I apologize. They fit in my head with everything I know about the matter.

After all, this person is here now because no one had the <3 to stand up and straighten them up beforehand. (Inside joke on the <3, but I think you can figure it out.) I can do nothing, and nothing can happen. I can do nothing and something can happen. I can do something and something can happen, AND I can do something and nothing can happen. I just don’t know what I should do… except stop watching lifetime. Those feel good, stand up for change movies do NOT help.

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