Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Moral Dilemma


To me moral choices are more than questions between right and wrong, but choices between the forces of the mind and heart. They are those choices one must make when reason points you in one direction and emotions in another. Such is a situation I now find myself.

As a Peace Corps Volunteer my job is to assist the village in various ways and to live with the locals. I receive a small salary to cover my own living expenses, which can be viewed as considerable by villagers. It is customary to donate either goods or money to one’s host family as a sign of appreciation for their assistance. Most volunteers live with relatively wealthy families and their contribution is more a gift than a necessity. The family I am with is broke, nada.

My moral dilemma is not about providing or the amount of assistance, for I have been doing this from the beginning, but about the choices the family makes with the money they continually “borrow”. These are not lazy people looking for handouts. They are very hard working with ambitions and dreams to which we can all relate. I ask myself, “Who am I to judge whether the money I give them goes to the church or school tuitions rather than buy necessities? Are not church and school necessities to them?”

As I sit contemplating whether I should ride my bike to the bank, I know that regardless of the choice either my mind or heart will be slighted. Of course, what may happen is I try to appease both mind and heart by giving less than my heart feels, but more than my mind reasons.


MNBen said...

Teach a man to fish.....

Anonymous said...

I think the government should pay some stipend to the families who are sponsoring the peace corps.