Monday, March 1, 2010

Ethical Question of the Day, or Why People Drive Me Crazy

We were talking over dinner last night with a friend who had recently ditched a friend of hers who had revealed a bad trait (let's just say it was something racist). The friend had apologized for what he'd said, but because our friend chose at that point to not accept the apology (he'd said something nasty to two of her friends), the friend got angry at her for being the intolerant one. It's funny to me how sometimes our perfectly reasonable choices can be judged negatively by others because the choice doesn't suit them. This woman was protecting her own sense of self and sanity and choosing to not invite a certain kind of energy into her life. The fact that he'd blurted out what he said indicates a nastiness in his nature, one that he didn't really apologize for or say he'd try to change. He merely apologized for joking in poor taste. But it's hard to forgive someone when they really don't accept their full responsibility in a matter. You have to own what you do and say before people can move past it.


Here's another situation (hypothetical, so please don't think I'm pointing fingers at anybody). Let's say Jenny and Joey have been dallying around online for several months, but Jenny is already in a relationship, a fact that Joey knows. Eventually Jenny cuts the dalliance off when realizing the situation is getting serious.

So Joey commences a new online relationship with a second person, Mary.

Jenny tries to be supportive because it's the "right thing" to do, but eventually Jenny can't stand it and wants to reconcile with Joey, who is only too happy to do so.

Mary is sent packing but not told the real reason why.

Jenny and Joey commence an affair that lasts roughly about half a year.

Jenny comes to her senses and realizes that what she's doing is wrong. So she breaks things off with Joey, seeks counseling, and repairs the relationship with her partner.

Joey gets back together with Mary but still does not tell her the real reason he broke things off with her before. Jenny asks Joey if he's been honest about what happened. Joey says no, because he doesn't want Mary to be mad at Jenny. Jenny shrugs that off and figures it's not her business.

Then Mary innocently asks Jenny to be her friend.

Jenny can't do it. It would involve pretending to Mary that nothing ever happened. Jenny doesn't want to entangle herself anymore in webs of deception. But now Mary's feelings are hurt because she doesn't know why Jenny won't be her friend. It's not personal, but of course she cannot know that.

Everybody in this situation is or has been an utter asshole at some point except for poor Mary, who has been left in the dark because people keep making decisions for her about what she ought and ought not to know.

What should:
Jenny do?
Joey do?
Mary do?

What's required for this situation to be corrected? Can or should it even be corrected? (Saying they all should just go to hell, don't pass go, don't collect $200 is not an acceptable answer.) Discuss amongst yourselves. I'll go get the java and pastries for our coffee klatch.


Chelle said...

Accept responsibility for your actions people! Don't over analyze the past, don't force your issues on others and play nicely with each other. If you can't do that then just crawl back under your rock and leave everyone else alone.

Just my two cents.

Chelle the Wise One

Joyce said...

Lol, Chelle! Hey, you know I've owned MY colossal pile o' crap!