Thursday, August 09, 2007

Dare to be different for good!

A lot of time we hear people say "Majority win" Let's take a look at some quotes left by wise men and see what they says.

“The minority is sometimes right; the majority always wrong.” - George Bernard Shaw

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." - Mark Twain

“The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.” - Ralph W. Sockman

Take a look at this story:

Which one will you choose? What is your decision?
A group of children were playing near two railway tracks, one still in use while the other disused. Only one child played on the disused track, the rest on the operational track. The 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. Or would you rather let the train go its way?

Let's take a pause to think what kind of decision we could make.

..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....

Choice that majority make
Most people might choose to divert the course of the train, and sacrifice only one child. You might think the same way, I guess. Exactly, I thought the same way initially because to save most of the children at the expense of only one child was rational decision most people would make, morally and emotionally. But, 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.

Sacrifice the minority?
This kind of dilemma happens around us everyday. 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 farsighted and knowledgeable the minority are. The child who chose not to play with the rest on the operational track was sidelined. And in the case he was sacrificed, no one would shed a tear for him.

Reasons to be different
The author of this story said he would not try to change the course of the train because he believed that the kids playing on the operational track should have known very well that track was still in use, and that they should have run away if they heard the train's sirens.

If the train was diverted, that 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! And 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.
(Source: Internet; Author Unknown)

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's right isn't always popular... and what's popular isn't always right."

“All progress occurs because people dare to be different.” - Harry Millner

“If everybody's thinking alike, somebody isn't thinking.” - General George S. Patton

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. - Romans 12:17

What do you think?

Photo 1 by notorious d.a.v. taken from this source
Photo 2 by Al Howat taken from this source

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WaterLearner said...

Hi Sam,

I agree. Many times in life, we are in situations that traps us to make very tough decision. It's like a knife that cuts both ends.

My humble view is to make every decision with a clear conscience with as little selfish desires as possible.

Right or Wrong very much depends on where we are looking from. Plus our definition of right or wrong very much defers from each and everyone of us.



La Chanson de Phoenix said...

I was actually finding myself thinking along the lines of that story author, that the children who were playing on the used track would hear the horn and move out of the way. I did not see a need to change anything. But this really got me thinking too about some of the decisions I have made in a hurry. Wow. Thank you.

And you're welcome for the award! You are one of the most deserving chaps I know!

Honman said...

Great Post. Making a decision is not easy as we need to look at things at different asngle. Majority might be right and minority might be right too. Different people look at things in different angle. I had a post at that may let you think differently.

Jennifer said...

Hi Sam,

Very nice!

I had heard the story before but without the second part... more of the dilemma.

I like the additional insights and you've got me thinking! :-)

I totally agree that the majority are not right, nor are they the creative, inspired, or those who will bring change and healing.

It is easy to follow and go along with the group.. .not so easy to listen to one's heart!

Thank you very much for this Sam,

AND... I love the music! ;-)

Blessings to you my friend,


Sam Chan said...

Hi Karen,

Thanks for sharing your insight and wisdom! Indeed, we should make every decision with a clear conscience with as little selfish desires as possible, then we won't go wrong that much!

Blessings to you, Karen.

Sam Chan said...

Hi Sue,

I'm glad this little story made sense to you and got you put on your thinking cap. I sincerely hope all the posts are beneficial.

Thanks for your kind support and encouragement! It means a lot!

Blessings to you, Sue!

Sam Chan said...

Hi Honman,

You are right! To make better decision especially tough decision, we need to look at different angle.

Thanks for your valuable thoughts and sharing your post that gave me further insight about decision making.

My Best Wishes to you.

Sam Chan said...

Hi Jennifer,
That's right! It is easy to follow and go along with the group... not so easy to listen to one's heart!

Thanks for adding your insight and wisdom. Great to know that you love the music!

My Warmest Wishes to you my friend.

mr fong said...

Weeeeee your stories always carries that twist.I feel twisted now :) Thanks fer the post.

Sam Chan said...

You are welcome Mr Fong.

I am really glad to know that stories in my blog are able to give you some twist. That should be good for your thoughts. However, I think it is no good to twist someone's arm :)

Have a nice weekend
Best Wishes to you, Winston!