Friday, 10 February 2012

What’s Right Isn’t Always Popular…

I was going through an online course developed by my organisation on decision making and found this story very interesting on making decision. I'm giving it as it is I found somewhere in the internet.

A few children were playing on two railway tracks, one still in use while the other disused. Only one child played on the track not in use, the rest on the operational track. The train is coming, and you are just beside the track interchange. You can make the train change its course to the disused track and save 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? Also remember that you don't have time to inform either the children playing there or the locomotive pilot to stop the train. You have to choose from the only above two option.

Before going further please take a pause, make your answer ready.

Let us see the decision you took is right or not.

If you have taken the decision to divert the train to unused track, to save most of the children at the expense of only one child you have definitely taken a popular decision as most of others take.

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? Why should he had to be sacrificed because of his ignorant friends who chose to play where the danger was? 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 ignorant kids.

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

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