Parable of the Sadhu

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Ethical Decisions

Tough decisions are scary to most people. Therefore, we have guidelines or theories to help us make these decisions. The most effective managers are ideally those that simply don’t crack under pressure and are “action-oriented people.” Sometimes, people do not dedicate any of their time to the decision in front of them, and make decisions based on their situation. This is one of the many issues that arise in The Parable of the Sadhu. Buzz McCoy went on an adventurous six-month sabbatical program with his friend, Stephen, and when they were hiking in Nepal, they came across a serious ethical dilemma. As him, Stephen, and a few other hikers were hiking up the treacherous Himalayan mountains, they came across a sadhu. Stephen had been showing symptoms of altitude sickness and they had decided to rest for a bit, when one of their fellow hikers found this man. The sadhu was barely clothed, and was consequently suffering from hypothermia.

The man who found the sickly sadhu grew irritated, as he wanted to continue on because he “[did] what he [could do].” He left soon afterward, leaving the sadhu in the hands of Buzz, Stephen and a few other hikers. We are all less likely to take charge of a situation if there are people around us. We simply assume that someone else will take full responsibility and get our wheels turning. They had all given him clothing and tried to warm him up a bit, but none had stepped up and taken full responsibility. Buzz then also gave in, as he grew afraid of the “heights to come,” and “without a great deal of thought,” continued on. Looking back on this moment, Buzz regrets how he handled the situation. In all actuality, he never handled it at all; he never even gave it a thought. With all the adrenaline and the possible ecstasy that awaited his arrival at the peak, he never thought of the consequences of this decision.

Buzz states, “I felt and continue to feel guilt about the sadhu.” If he had thought it through, he...
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