To how much collateral damage can we subject others in order to save ourselves?
That's this week's topic on Grappling with the Gray.
In the movie Passengers, a computer malfunction wakes up Chris Pratt out of hibernation too early, 90 years before his spaceship is going to reach its destination. He now faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life alone, with no one for company except the robot bartender.
Within a year, he has grown so depressed that he comes close to committing suicide. After pulling back from the brink, he is walking among the hibernating passengers when he spots Jennifer Lawrence, asleep in her pod. He looks her up online and discovers that she is a talented writer. He reads her books, listens to her interviews, and falls in love with her.
He becomes obsessed with the idea of waking her up so he’ll have someone for company to save his sanity. He tells himself that it’s wrong, but he can’t keep the idea from coming back to him again and again.
Would he be wrong to wake her up, causing her to lose her future in order to save him from madness and possibly death? If he did, would he be obligated to tell her the truth, or would it be better to allow her to think they were both victims of a system failure?
In general, is it ever acceptable to impose hardship on some to prevent disproportionate hardship on others, like stealing from the grocery store to feed starving children? If so, how do we calculate when we’re crossing the line?
Meet this week’s panelists:
Jennifer H. Elder, CSP, CPA is a CPA and Certified Speaking Professional who helps leaders future-proof their businesses by making smart decisions and staying ethical.
S. Scott Mason Mason, aka the Myth Slayer, is a speaker, podcast host, and coach working with executives and entrepreneurs to Magnetize & Monetize Professional Freedom by Dislodging Toxic Myths to Ignite the Charisma Within
Lisa K. McDonald is the founder of Career Polish, an Executive Career Coach and Master Mindset Coach who helps successful professionals reach their next phase of career-happy and life-healthy.