The recent hot-air balloon accident in Egypt caused me to think about the choices one has to make in such dangerous and horrifying circumstances. If you were placed in a position where you could save others at the risk of your own life, or abandon them so you might live another day, what would you choose? The pilot of the flight in Egypt chose his own life; Edward Ristaino who was caught up in that storm in Georgia last year, chose to save his passengers.
But is there a ‘right’ choice that can be made in such dire moments? Certainly the righteous can say that saving the others would be the noble thing to do. But the truth is – and this is what I feel is the most important in such a decision – that when you’re in a situation where someone will have to die regardless, either way there’ll be someone left behind. Whether it’s family, friends, colleagues, someone will be left behind to grieve and to hurt. So knowing that, what would you choose?
Frankly speaking, I would probably be selfish enough to choose my own life. I am, after all, not a noble person. If there was no one I loved with me at the time, I’d say that I’d choose to save myself. Not because I don’t want to die, but because I know how it feels to be the one left behind, whose whole world feels like it’s ending amidst that never-ending grief and pain. And so, I would rather be hated by the world than to have those I care about ever feel such agonising emotions.
And if there were people i loved in that situation with me? Then I’d probably choose to save them, in the hopes that they can live, and grieve, and move on – because I am also selfish enough to not want to experience that sort of pain again either.
So, if you can, think about it. If you were forced to make this decision, what would you choose and why? I’d love to hear how other people feel about this.