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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?

  1. Will you show solidarity with your friend X by giving Y the cold-shoulder? ‘How dare Y do this to my friend!’
  2. 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