You are on page 1of 2

The Parable of the Sadhu

Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright


cruelty. These were the words that came to mind while I was reading the
article. Growing up in a Christian household, values such as integrity and
selflessness were integral to our development as individuals, thats why I
found the authors stand on the situation quite troubling. But given the light
of the circumstances they were in, it was somehow completely
understandable.

As I read and re-read the article, I saw the authors indifference to the
sadhus situation was not primarily because he was heartless, it was because
that was what the culture of the group propagated. It was started by the New
Zealanders and the others followed suit. The fact that the New Zealanders
had the audacity to be angry because of the inconvenience the sadhu
caused, the group had a lower moral standard for caring for a stranger.
Thats why the author didnt see or didnt feel any moral wrong done by him
until he was confronted by Stephen.

Helping the sadhu only when it did not inconvenience the traveler became
the standard of care for the group, making it morally upright to do what they
have done. Thats why when Stephen saw the need to help the sadhu
further, no one would help him. For the group it was unnecessary because in
their eyes they have already done enough. This was a perfect example of the
breakdown between corporate ethic and individual ethic.

This article somehow resembles Jesus story of the Good Samaritan in the
Bible, and it is to my understanding that it was this story that Stephen was
referring to in one of their debates. Although I agree with Stephens moral
standards, I disagree with his statement saying that Jesus was only relevant
to a more individualistic stage of society. For even then, there already exists
groups and societies large enough for it to have a divide between corporate
and individual ethics. The Pharisees were the ruling class of Israel, it might
be a stretch, but the complexity of their organization can be likened to that
of a modern corporation.

Under Kants moral theory, the rightness or wrongness of actions does not
depend on their consequences but on whether they fulfill duty, and it is to
my belief that the group had a moral obligation to help that sadhu. Although
the group did not share Stephens beliefs, if Stephen had taken a stand
against all odds, he would have taken greater care of the sadhu and others
might have followed suit.

Through this story, we could really see the impact of corporate ethic to
individual decision making, but strength of individual beliefs and morals also
can impact corporate just as largely. If an employee sees an ethical breach in
the corporation that the body does not see, he/she has the obligation to
point it out and stand for what he/she thinks is right.