Imagine you’re a psychic. In fact, you are the most accurate, best empathic psychic in the world. You know, by proximity, how your actions will affect anyone you meet down the line of their lives. You see all the ripples, and have the rare opportunities to edit your own actions accordingly.
The hang up is, you are also the most compassionate, caring, pacifistic person as well. The very idea that you hurt anyone or cause any discomfort down the line absolutely breaks your heart. Digest this for a while. How does this dual gift play with society? What do you DO with your life, being this person?
Your immediate answer is probably go be a doctor, or a law enforcement officer, go make a difference. If so, consider this:
You’re ten blocks away from what will very shortly be a bad car accident. Someone is going to die. You can prevent this if you go to this intersection and do nothing but cross the street at exactly the right time.
So you run. It’s the right thing to do, right? Now, as you close in on the intersection, your talent tells you more information about the people involved. You begin to get profiles, a sense of who and what the people are, what they’re going to accomplish in their lives depending on the outcome. If you fail to respond, only one person will die, and the eight people in the three cars about to collide will have their worlds changed forever.
If you respond, and cross the street, no one dies. All eight of the people in this pile-up will go on to be productive, contributive people – all but one. The man who is going to die goes on to finish his degree, get himself into a position of authority… And molest children for thirty years before he’s caught.
What do you do now, a block away from the accident, knowing you’re going to witness either a horrendous wreck that ruins innumerable lives, or cross a street and ruin innumerable other lives?
Life is full of just this kind of choice, and you don’t have to be psychic to see them – thankfully many of them aren’t so dire. However, the question I’m raising here is one of personal censorship. Authenticity is a great ideal, but it has its limits. Everything from insisting to not edit your speech because you don’t want to sell out, do deciding whether or not to buy that less-than-moral corporation and pad your pockets for the rest of your life.
What would you do, if you knew the consequences of your possible self-censorship so thoroughly?