Do What is Right Not What is In The Rules
Sometimes we get into dilemma, where the laws and the ethics are not in right place. In such situations should we do what is right, or should we just follow the laws.
Simon Sinek gave a beautiful example of it in his address at How To Academy. He told the story of Titanic. When it was made, it was the largest ship humanity had ever seen. It was atleast 4 times larger than any of the ships before.
At that time, the laws were such, that the no. of life boats a ship needed to carry were decided on the bases of size of ship. The largest ship at the time, the laws were made, was 4 times smaller than titanic. Any ship larger than that ship had to carry same no. of life boats.
As a result when Titanic, came it carried 4 times more people, but still had the same no. of boats as previous ship. Titanic was doing nothing illegal. Everything was in bounds of law.
But was it right. Should Titanic have the same number of boats as the other smaller ships had. No. Titanic did what was right not what is in rules. Had Titanic followed the right, it would have saved many more lives, when it crashed
The basic motive is to understand that the rules and the laws don’t decide what is right. The right decides what the rules are. As a result the rules slowly caught up.
There are many practical examples of why doing right and following ethics is important. Rules don’t Define Right. The Right Defines the rules.
I saw another example in India. This example became popular after the Bollywood Movie Uri.
A Female Air Force Pilot, was amongst many others on the rescue of many people stuck in floods. Being instructed to be quick and understanding the need to bring people back and give them relief material, she did her duty with full heart and soul.
After long hours of relentless duty, as the weather was not suitable, all pilots were asked to ground there planes. At roughly the same time period, she got to know a girl and her old grand mother, are stuck on top of a roof and if action not taken, they may not survive.
Even though, the orders were to reach the base and pause the rescue operations, she went to rescue them. She was confident in herself. And her conscience didn’t allow her to let the 2 stay as it is. She helped them and was successful to rescue them with her plane.
The whole thing was against the rules but it was definitely right. She got a inner peace of rescuing 2 innocent lives. But the robotic higher authorities, didn’t except breaking up rules and not following guidelines. As a result she was transferred. And remained away from her duties.
We need to understand that rules do not decide the right. At the end of the action our nation had beniflted. They could have finished the whole thing there. But people who prioritized rules didn’t do right with her.