I was on a cruise ship a few months ago when something happened that has niggled at my conscience for a while since then.
I was sitting in the library area, feet up, on a very comfortable chair, drawing and watching the seascape glide by. An older husband and wife sat a few yards away from me and a few yards away from them a group of exuberant students filled up the padded benches just to their left. Because of the way I was sitting I could see both the students and the couple very clearly.
After a while the students moved on. Soon after that, the husband of the couple casually stood up and strolled toward the padded benches, picked something up and just as casually returned to his seat. He had in his hand some kind of iphone or ipad. Then followed a conversation between them as to what to do with the ipad. The wife opted to either leave it there or turn it into the desk. The husband felt that whoever he gave it to would probably keep it for themselves. As the debate continued in subdued voices, I sat as though concentrating on my drawing. At some point the wife mentioned that I had probably seen and heard what had happened. The husband assured her not to worry about me, he was sure I hadn't seen or heard anything, (too old and too intent on my drawing). What neither of them knew was that I have excellent hearing, and as a teacher I am unusually alert to deliberately casual behavior -- someone's usually up to no good.
After about ten minutes they both got up and took the iphone with them. For as long as I was there no-one came back looking for their possession.
I have no idea what happened in the end, but I must admit that I am disappointed in myself that I didn't do or say something to prevent this from happening. Even worse, at the time it didn't even occur to me to intervene. I know I was absorbed in my drawing, but I also know the difference between right and wrong. Maybe I was just waiting to see they would do.
What do you think? To me, doing nothing is the same as being part of the problem, not part of the solution.
This incident was brought to mind by Berowne's post today where you can find another moral dilemma for you to solve.
My contribution to ABC Wednesday's letter T. Thanks Denise and Roger and all other helpers. For more contributions please click HERE