Collections of Dilip Prakash


Posted on: June 3, 2008

The story given below is quite interesting and really gives us an insight into DECISION MAKING.

Which one will you choose?

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…………….

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.

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  majorities  are,  and  how  farsighted and knowledgeable the minority is.

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.

The  friend  who forwarded me the 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.

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


“Remember  that  what’s  right  isn’t always popular…. and what’s popular isn’t always right.”


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