What’s the right thing to do? What’s the wrong thing to do? Quite often, we have a clear understanding to differentiate the two. Simply speaking, in doing the right thing, we help improve the life of beings, humans or animals, who are at the receiving end of our favor. Vice versa, in doing the wrong thing, we cause the life of others to deteriorate, as a consequence of which, most of us will be forever haunted morally and psychologically by our inconsiderate actions.
When the right and the wrong is like a black and white, clearly divided drawing, it is easy for us to come up with a judgment through the prism of our personal experiences. What if in a case, where one’s action was well-intended and right in nature, under an unpredictable circumstance, this good-natured action engenders more harm than it was intended to, how can we then come up with a fair judgment in regards to rightness and wrongness?
Last week, a twenty-five year old, Québécois woman was charged for dangerous driving and personal negligence, causing death of a father and his daughter; a tragedy, which had taken place four years ago. When this Québécois woman was twenty-one years old, she stopped her car on a busy highway to allow a family of wild ducks to cross. Her action was resulted in a father and his sixteen-year-old daughter, both of whom were on a motorbike behind her to hit her car, to be ejected from the vehicle upon collision and to die at the scene.
What a tragic story! What an unpredictable tragic story. Upon hearing the story on the news, I was left speechless, shaking my head, and not knowing how to come up with a fair judgment. Surely I understand that the action of this Québécois woman on a busy highway was dangerous. She should have checked the situation behind her through her rear window before making the judgment call to slow down her vehicle. Sadly and ironically speaking, her negligence to what was going on behind her was due to her attentiveness to what’s happening in front of her, on the outside of her windshield. Now she is charged. She has caused two people to lose their precious lives. She is responsible for the breakup of a family, a wound that the mother of the sixteen year old girl, the wife of the motorbike driver will never be able to heal completely. She is now a criminal, a taint that she won’t be able to remove from her personal history and professional records. Not having any ill intention, her criminal reputation all comes as a consequence of her initial well intention to save a family of wild animals. It all comes from her attentiveness to not hurt, or harm, but save a family of wild ducks.
Life throws all of us curve balls once in a while, unexpectedly. The curve ball thrown at this woman was humongous. We are all supposed to learn something from mistakes. Things happen for a reason. What is this Québécois woman supposed to learn from this life-changing event? Never to save animals on a highway? Drive more cautiously and attentively on highway? What’s the reason for this horrible event to happen?
We, human beings, aren’t that powerful after all. We think that we are in charge of life, quite the contrary, we are just actors in this giant, mysterious tapestry.