We admire principled people. They have discipline and demonstrate heroism when they stand up for what they believe in, no matter what the consequences. Pop culture recycles stories of protagonists who fight against impossible odds to preserve their ideals and protect the deserving.
What about you? Could you do the same under similar circumstances?
We'd like to think so, but research is against us. It seems that most people will do as they're told by an authority figure when their careers are on the line, let alone their lives.
A common refrain might be, "I didn't have a choice". But, then again, that's an excuse. We always have a choice. However, when the choice is self-annihilation, few would sacrifice themselves for an abstract concept like, "the greater good".
Perhaps, the human survival instinct is just too great. We are thankful when we don't face such difficult choices against impossible odds.
Nevertheless, these things happen - often when we least suspect them. And there are people who willingly put their necks on the line to protect others, despite their survival instincts.
If you were asked to sacrifice yourself for someone you loved, could you do it? What if it was for a stranger - would that change anything?
Ideally, values shouldn't be malleable. They're not supposed to be "principles of convenience", chopped and changed the moment they become too dear.
But, is it too much to ask of someone to uphold their principles when there's a gun to their head?
What do you think...?
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