Many of my formet students will remember having to read, “Those Who Walked Away From Omelas”, for my Business Ethics class. It makes any compassionate individual feel saddened and remorseful but, unfortunately, few immediately see the lesson which this wonderful short story provides us with.
I am writing about this, at this time, because I feel many in our nation need to read this work, contemplate its meaning, and accept a potential readjustment in their ethical/moral compass.
In the story, which you need to read, the town of Omelas is, by all accounts, an Eden or Utopia. There is peace, plenty and no worries or problems. There is, however, only one requirement for this atmosphere to exist. In a room, in a cellar, a small child is locked up, starving, covered with sores suffering every form of unspeakable horror. The town people have to observe the child but not help him/her in order to maintain their fantastic existence.
Surprisingly, every now and then, a townsperson walks to the edge of town and begins the journey leaving Omelas. Abandoning the fantastic benefits of the city.
You see each of us have a moral compass that establishes our principles. We also have a code of ethics that are the actions we will perform or accept to support that moral compass. It is when these two are incompatible that we must chose our path.
“Those Who Walked Away From Omelas” , at different times, different ages, and no particular gender or ideology, had finally accepted that they could no longer support the treatment of the child even if it meant that the entire town was to be better off. They walked away.
Today our country is split into two ideologically disparate groups. For arguments sake the “Progressives” and the “Conservatives”. Both sides are adamant in their support for their views. I propose that as we view the ACA, IRS, VA, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, and Border disagreements. As we see government agencies refusing to obey the law, administration officials openly defying Congress, and Media representatives refusing to cover stories we all need to read this story.
Then we have to ask ourselves at what point are we willing to “Walk Away” from ethical conduct that violates our personal moral compass.
JUST A THOUGHT FROM “A GRUMPY OLD MAN”