Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Moral Dilemma (Hypothetically Speaking, of course!)

OK, so .... I'm wanting to propose a purely hypothetical scenario to my kids today, and I'm curious what folks out there in BlogLand would think.

Imagine, if you will, a purely hypothetical religious community which has many of its members live in smaller groups in houses around the local area. Envision, along with that, that said smaller living groups have fewer cars than people, thus requiring some form of carpooling to occur.

Now, the very theoretical scenario I'm proposing involves two such community members who drive to school together every day. Community Member A usually drives, because Community Member B has this thing about driving (because then she has to walk from her nearby parking space) and Community Member B is sometimes not the most community-minded.

Suppose, on some undefined and imaginary day, that Community Member A comes upstairs to leave as she always does, only to find all the lights off and a car pulling out of the driveway. (Let the theoretical record show that CM-A arrived at the departure point at the regular time and was in no way late.)

Knowing that the alleged CM-B is not always the best at thinking of others and the general attitude (if there were ever a need for an attitude) that all seem to have towards her is "That's just how she is" and to let it go .... what would be the best possible approach to a non-reality-based situation such as the one proposed?
CM-A go over to the other parking lot to "wait" for CM-B to leave? Problem with this option is that CM-B might never leave the school.
CM-A send an e-mail to CM-B playing dumb and asking "I don't remember what we were doing this afternoon -- were you going to pick me up or am I supposed to meet you?" This option would require CM-B to make the logical jump to the realization that she shouldn't have the car.
CM-A take public transportation home (as she did this morning)? Easiest option, and perhaps CM-B might see her as she drives past. But also has possibility that CM-B will maintain cluelessosity.
CM-A make some smart-alecky comment at dinner?
CM-A suck it up, keep her mouth shut, and deal, and try not to feel too bitter about how much trouble CM-A would get in if CM-A had been the one who took the car?

Like I said, this is a purely hypothetical situation; any similarities to real community members or issues is completely coincidental and/or very-well disguised. :-)

If it were me, I think I'd probably end up with a combination of options 3 and 5, with option 4 occurring entirely within my cranial cavity. It's just easier that way. But, since this has no basis in reality whatsoever, it's interesting to think about nonetheless.

What do you think?


Blogger seeking_something said...

Communicate. Send the e-mail to determine how transportation is to work out. Then when they meet again, just between the two of them, discuss the situation. Sucking it up provides no opportunity for the other member to grow, and that would be uncharitable.

11/29/2005 10:30 AM  
Blogger Lorem ipsum said...

Are sisters allowed to have cell phones?

11/29/2005 3:29 PM  
Blogger Mark Mossa, SJ said...

I would recommend that CM-A speak to CM-B directly, saying something like, "I was expecting a ride from you today as usual, did you forget me? Or was there some other reason you had to leave without me? If so, why didn't you let me know?"

Though not always the easiest, I find in my hypothetical community situations that a direct one-on-one conversation is much more effective than sending an e-mail, putting a note on the bulletin board, or, especially, a smart-alecky remark at dinner.

Usually in community there's enough passive-agressiveness to go around, so, hypothetically, I think the direct approach is better.

But, of course, in real life everything is perfect in my community, as I'm sure it is in yours! :)

11/29/2005 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a little bit confused, but I heartily agree with Mark. CM-A needs to speak her truth (in love, of course). Remembering that phrase, "speak your truth," helped me when living in community with Sisters last year. I would hope CM-A & CM-B would deal with it directly and promptly in order to head off any further misunderstandings or resentments.

But then again, what do I know, I live with my mother. We're the queens of avoiding the elephant in the livingroom sometimes!

11/29/2005 5:11 PM  
Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

I take option 3 and 4 but say it with love.

11/29/2005 7:51 PM  
Blogger Claire Joy said...

I definitely agree with Mark, although my own ability to do that with neutrality would be sorely lacking.

11/29/2005 8:22 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I also agree with Mark recognizing fully that the direct approach may not change CM-B but nonetheless is the healthiest and fairest way to approach the matter for both's sakes.

11/29/2005 9:34 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I also agree with Mark and just think how much easier life would be if people took the direct approach.

11/30/2005 11:40 PM  
Blogger see-through faith said...

tough one .. but that said we are supposed to be in transformation and not stuck in old habits of not being community minded.

I'd follow Mark's advice making sure my attitude is right when I confronted in love. You do want this not to happen again after all so honesty in love is the only way to go.

12/01/2005 3:51 AM  

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