February 21, 2002

The Arithmetic of wrongs

How much do you ignore smaller wrongs in trying to set right a greater wrong? This is something that has been intriguing me a lot of late.

At times I find myself defending or glossing over things that I might normally not approve of, so that I can oppose a greater wrong represented by the person who is fighting the smaller ones.

Okay, this is confusing. Let me see if I can put it in a simpler way.

• A has a small bone to pick with C
• B too has a small bone to pick with C
• A knows he/she agrees with B on the issue
• B has a huge bone to pick with C
• A too has a huge bone to pick with C
• A disagrees with B on this larger issue they both seem to have with C
• Adopting a defensive position, A chooses to gloss over the smaller issue because the bigger bone is what matters and maybe it also helps him to win the argument in his favour as far as the larger issue is concerned.

Here is the catch.

What if all these little wrongs, that one tends to ignore, keep accumulating and become a much bigger wrong some day?

What if they come back to haunt you as a bigger wrong/problem than the ones you have been fighting?

Where do you stand then?

[Update: There was a major error in the example, did not notice it till today :-( ]