There is this dilemma I have encountered. If one of your friends (X) has been badly treated by someone (Y), a someone who continues being good to you though, what exactly would your reaction be?
- Will you show solidarity with your friend X by giving Y the cold-shoulder? ‘How dare Y do this to my friend!’
- Will you ignore how your friend X was treated, and continue being friends with Y? ‘After all Y has been and still is good, to me!’
When/If you choose the first then it is clear who among the two you support. You have made your choice. X means more to you, or you think X is right of the two or that X has been wronged. You are willing to side with X at the cost of antagonizing Y who has still not been mean to you…. not yet anyway.
The second option though is a lot more tricky.
You are sad that X has been unjustly treated, but you are not prepared to stand up for X because Y is equally dear to you and umm… Y has not stabbed you in the back as yet and/or you are confident that it will never happen with you. So why should you make an enemy of Y? You think that this is all between X and Y, nothing to do with you at all, you are determined to be nice to both.
But in such a situation, are you being fair to the X (and you know X has been wronged) by not sticking up for them? Is it okay that we keep quiet when we see someone being unjustly targeted just because the other person is your friend too?
I was part of a group where I saw someone being targeted by the admin. Since I didn’t know the whole story (and also because I thought it was none of my business), I didn’t pay attention to whether the admin was being fair or unfair. Later on something similar happened (again) with another of the members where I watched the whole drama unfolding in front of my eyes.
I asked myself whether I’d respect my self if I remained silent knowing fully how the admin was being unfair to the member. The answer was ‘no’. So, I wrote to the admin saying I didn’t agree with them or their actions against the member (who was eventually kicked out of the group) concerned and excused myself from the group.
I am not arguing for either the first point or the second. Frankly I myself was unsure which was the right course to follow. But one thing I am sure about now: If I know what transpired, I’d not be neutral. No sir, no. By being neutral, you would only be encouraging and strengthening the wrongdoers. I wouldn’t want that.
©Shail Mohan 2018
Food for thought – a difficult one too.
Yes, indeed. Can’t decide either way.
It’s quite a tricky and complex situation but I may choose to side with my friend. Again, the issue of morally right vs morally wrong comes to the fore or greatest good vs greatest evil. I think you did the right thing by bowing out and we always need to stand with a situation of fairnesss.
The problem is when both the parties are friends. Yes, when we know the right and wrongs of the situation it sort of helps. 🙂
Nidaa Chakkittammal said:
This 1 or 2 situation is a common factor in my life. And the answer has always been 1. Though to cold-shoulder Y or not, depends on the gravity of the situation.
There was this guy in my close-knit Bangalore gang (we have known him for 2 years). His parents forced him to marry someone after his breakup. 3 months after wedding, this girl came to us and said he had been abusing her and even showed us proofs. It was a shock for us that he turned out to be like this. And of course, we (except one girl) stood by the new wife. Now the case is going on and we are witnesses. This girl who supported him said – ‘the guy is my friend, he has always been good to me and I support him no matter what’.
So this incident lost me 2 friends. But is it really a loss? No way.
Personally, I hate painfully diplomatic people. I cannot stand approval-addict people who cannot take a stand on anything. Call me judgmental, but they irk me. I mean, it is one thing to be on the fence about things that dont harm someone’s well-being. I’d rather be friendless and alone than share space with such people.
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
I found myself nodding my head in agreement to your comment.
1) But is it really a loss? No way. (Nod, nod!)
2) I hate painfully diplomatic people. (Nod, nod, nod!)
3) And this is one of my favorites, “First they came for the Socialists….”
U, X and Y should get together for a cup of cha
And talk things over and in time, voila’
You’d have solved the problem like in algebra
For this brilliant idea alone you should shout me a hurrah.
I’ll shout a hurrah for your four-liner. Hurrah! Don’t talk to me about algebra, my head spins. 😛
This was exactly how I lost a dear friend (Y) last year. It was a very bitter ‘break up’. The bitterness made me realize it was I who saw her as a dear friend, she didn’t see me as one. She made it a point to make me look like the bad person to almost all of our mutual friends. X is still friends with Y, by the way. I am still the bad person for reprimanding Y.
Welcome to Shail’s Nest 🙂
I can so relate to what you are saying. I fear it happens more to people who are straightforward.