The issue of ethical dilemma is something human beings cannot let alone. It is evident that it remains part of their life. Someone finds himself in such a dilemma. Most of the time it is proper to make the right decision when in such a situation. Personally, I believe the right decision always lies with your conscience. When in an ethical dilemma, making the right decision goes a long way in measuring someone’s ability to be responsible in future (Carter, C. & Clegg, S, pp 125).
Sometime last week I was faced with an ethical dilemma which made me choose between friendship and truth.
I was at home watching movies with one of my schoolmates. Then a kitten jumped through the window and in to the house. I did not mind as am used to seeing it in our home most of the time. It belonged to the next door neighbor. My friend got so excited and even held it in his palm. He kept on telling me how cute it was. He went to the extent of saying he will leave with it, I thought he was joking. In the evening, I decided to see him off.
He begged me to allow him go home with the kitten and bring it back tomorrow. I did not want to allow him do this, as I knew the first place our neighbor could come looking for her kitten was our home. We argued for a long time, and at last I allowed him to leave with it just to please him because he was my friend. As we were walking down the road the kitten jumped off my friend’s palm straight into a truck’s path. It was knocked down and died on the spot. My friend begged me not to tell the owner what had happened. He even made me swear, and because he was my pal I accepted everything just not to hurt him.
When I went home that evening, I found my neighbor at my place. I was asked whether I had seen the kitten. I did not know what to say. If I told the truth, I was going to lose my friend.
If i told a lie, I would save my friendship but I could not stand the guilt of lie to my parents. I also believed my neighbor needed to know what happened to her kitten. After a lot of thinking, i decided to tell the truth. It is noteworthy that I acted in the right manner, as I could not tell a lie just to protect my friend. He acted unethically, and I should not do the same by protecting him. I find it so uncomfortable, when I have to swear not to do something then I end up not honoring my oath.
In this situation, I could not hide the truth when I knew clearly what consequences I was going to face. I knew I could still talk to my friend and tell him why I chose to stick to the truth. I could not allow my friend to manipulate me in to tainting my ethical integrity (Trevino, L & Nelson, K, pp 7). I believe when someone is in an ethical predicament he is supposed to make a decision that will stand the taste of time. Making decisions just to suit that particular time, and external factors may not work appropriately.
When one makes such a decision he must be affected to some extent. If I could have protected my friend, I could always feel the guilty whenever in the presence of my neighbor. I also could have branded my self a dishonest person (Trevino, L & Nelson, K, pp 9).
& Clegg, Stewart. Business ethics as practice: representation, reflexivity and performance. Heltenham.
UK. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2007 125 Trevino, Linda & Nelson, Katherine. Managing Business Ethics. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2010 7-10