Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Deficit--A Moral Conundrum

The Deficit—A moral conundrum

I have only two skills: An analytical mind and the ability to speak in metaphors. Here we go.

This is an example of a moral conundrum.

You arrive at work. You clock in. You go to your machine, put your Igloo® Brand cooler down by your machine, open it, and take out the key to your locker.

In the process of opening your cooler, a co-worker sees a delicious, imported chocolate bar sitting on top of your lunch.

You go to get your tools. You leave your cooler unattended.

Now, your company has a strict no-stealing policy. Caught stealing—you’re fired.

When you return from your locker, you see your supervisor, the manager, and a co-worker standing by your cooler. There is a problem.

Apparently, your co-worker stole your candy bar. The manager shows you the candy bar. A large piece is missing. The manager is angry. Your co-worker is upset. You supervisor looks to you for a way out.

Just then, the little Angel appears on one shoulder. He says, “Oh, be forgiving.”

Then, the little devil appears on your other shoulder. “Let him suffer the punishment, “he says.

“Be merciful. It was a good candy bar. Perhaps he couldn’t resist,” the Angel says.

“That’s the point,” the devil says. “It was a really good candy bar. The good chocolate. Don’t let him get away with that!”

“Oh, don’t be mean. It was a really, really good, imported, delicious Belgian chocolate, chocolate bar. The temptation was too great. Be forgiving, be merciful,” The Angel says.

“That’s the whole point, the devil says. It was a phenomenal, delicious, imported, expensive, Belgian chocolate candy bar. Don’t let him weasel out it. Have him fire!

Just then, as you are torn between mercy and justice, between forgiveness and punishment, thinking of that chocolate bar, you take the Angel into one hand and the devil into the other and you look at them—torn. Looking for an answer. Looking for a dignified way out.

You look at the Angel. You look at the devil. You look to the Angel for divine wisdom and guidance. You look to the devil to support your desire for vengeance. Then, it suddenly occurs to you. Both the little Angel and the little devil have their lips smeared with chocolate.

That is a moral conundrum.

Now look at the members of Congress; the members from both parties, and tell me they don’t have their lips smeared with chocolate.




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