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A query on morals and loyalty

The human mind is a confusing thing. We are able to make divisions between one thing and not another. Why is this? Allow me to present the following scenario.

John had just gotten home from a long day at work. He hated his job as an furniture mover. No one ever appreciated what he did, and even worse his employer saw him as disposable. John knew he had a few options he could either continue working a job he hated; he could quit the job; or he could keep working there until he found a new job. John didn’t want to think about it so he went back to sleep.

Two weeks pass and John’s wife is telling him to just deal with his job like a man. John makes good money there and he has health insurance. This was especially important because John’s wife Barbara was unemployed. As you can imagine health insurance and steady income were a huge benefit. John couldn’t take the stress any more so he started to look for a new job. Little did John know though that while he was at work, his wife was out with another man.

Two more weeks pass and Barbara bothered John more and more about just staying where he was employed. John was miserable, he was trying to find another job on the side but with all of his time devoted to work he didn’t get a chance to really look.

One more week past, John was at work when he accidentally tripped and dropped a customer’s antique armoire. The armoire was smashed beyond repair. The owner called the moving company offices up and told them about John’s blunder. It was inexcusable they said and that John would be dealt with accordingly when he got to the office. John was at his wits end and couldn’t take it anymore. He apologized to his coworkers and started to walk home. As he walked away he could here the client yelling at him. Unbelievable could things get any worse for poor John? John got home to what can only be described as a heart wrenching experience for him. His wife was with another man in his own home, in his own bed.

Now here are two scenarios, both end poorly. The question here is where whose is the moral dilemma?

Both situations are in essence exactly the same. John is unhappy with his job and starts looking for a new one while still employed. Barbara is unhappy with her husband so she starts looking for a new mate while still married. Most people would say that John was damned from the beginning. Does John’s employer deserve to have John, a long time employee, leave work based on a grudge? Does John not still deserve Barbara’s loyalty and support because they are married?

Why is John leaving his job morally acceptable; While Barbara leaving John is reprehensible? Is the only differentiation between their problems the marriage vows? If John stayed and dealt with this last customer, he would have found out that the armoire was insured. In fact we also don’t know why John’s employer disliked him in the first place. I also forgot to mention that John was a notorious slacker, and was consistently late to work. I also forgot to mention that Barbara had been laid off because she too hated her job and spoke badly about all who worked there.

Some of you may say this is a case of karma. Everyone got what they deserved, an endless cycle of suffering. The real question still remains, and whether Barbara deserved to be fired or whether John deserved whatever he got doesn’t matter. Why is one view point acceptable and the other not acceptable? The only answer I have for this is based solely upon our social upbringing. The truth is, John’s job was actually a metaphor for his wife, and John was a metaphor for Barbara’s job. Should blame be given to Barbara or John for what they did or should it be deferred based on the scenario?

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