follow-up to the hypothetical question

I wrote last week about the hypothetical question Heather at Dooce posed to her readers. Her site is swarmed with readers from the online community who want to participate and offer up opinions. With the level of blogger fame she has achieved, that should be expected. She is bombarded constantly with supporters, members of the online community who want to offer thoughtful and engaged responses and participate in discussions, but also with plenty of assvice and malice. Again, to be expected. Her post of the hypothetical question drew almost 1200 comments in response.

Mine drew one. My very thoughtful aunt participated in the discussion and made an excellent point. In corresponding with her via email afterward, I agreed with her on most of her response and said that I think it's infinitely more complicated than it seems, or than I made it, and that I thought it was in all likelihood actually meant to be an analogy for something (the bailout, politics, etc). I decided to tackle the question at straight face value because of my past experiences.

Honestly, I fully expected the number of comments on my post to be zero. Only a handful of people who don't know me in real life read this site (as far as I know) and I knew that everyone would stay away from this question out of disagreement with me and/or a desire not to get involved so as not to offend me or hurt my feelings about my brother.

Truthfully, if I were to be put in that situation as it stands in the hypothetical question, chances are I'd donate. Only after pain and suffering in the decision-making process, but most likely that's the point at which I'd arrive.

Yesterday, Heather posted her follow-up to the question. Surprisingly, it was not an analogy. It was a real question, a situation she has been in. A situation we have all been faced with, but maybe haven't looked at it quite this way. Read what she wrote and you may realize that the hypothetical question isn't quite as hypothetical as it seemed. If you care to read my response on her site, mine is comment no. 83.

I think about G every day. I deal with the sadness and the hurt and the questions and the pain every day. Whether anyone else talks about it or doesn't talk about it can't change that.



Katherine said...

FYI, I didn't comment not for the reasons you mentioned, but because I just couldn't figure out what I would do... that is a tough one! Hope you guys are doing well, miss you lots :)

Anonymous said...

I followed Dooce's trail of Cheerios and found your site...I wonder about the people that worry that the money they give to the homeless will be used for the "wrong" things. How do we know what's right and wrong for someone else? All we can do is live our lives and let other people live theirs. We make our choices, we make theirs. I leave the rights and wrongs up to a higher authority (the higher authority of one's own choosing I mean).

Elena said...

I'm also really not sure what I'd do. On one hand, I really value the idea that people should be completely free to make their own decisions without being judged for them, but on the other, I have a desire to protect this hypothetical (or not so hypothetical) drug user. I'd probably decide to help the family in favor of withholding money from the drug user. It's quite a tough question.

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