A Question Of Ethics

Imagine you are eight years old.  Your parents tell you that you have to clean up your bedroom.  It’s not that you don’t want to exactly, it’s just that you don’t have the manpower, the tools or the skills to do the job.  So you ask your friend who lives down the street to come and help you.  After all, he is a little richer, goes to a better school, has a bigger room and greater experience of domestic chores.  Before he arrives, another of his friends arrives.  A boy you don’t really know, nor like much by reputation.  Before you can say a word he is cleaning, and scrubbing and polishing.  Finally your friend from down the street arrives to help.  You take him to one side and tell them that his friend is making you feel quite uncomfortable.  You are worried that his friend isn’t very popular in your neighbourhood.  You tell him that the longer his friend stays with you, even though he might be well intended in trying to clean up, the more chance of your neighbours becoming angry, and your parents becoming angry and that the problem may escalate.  Your friend from down the street manages to persuade the boy to leave.  He goes quietly.  You see him to the door and as you go back to your room you see him in the street.  He is just standing there watching from afar.  When you return to your friend you find your friend from down the street cleaning like crazy.  He is throwing some things away which you want to keep but you know that in return for his help you have to accept that there is going to be collateral damage.  It may have felt like months, but actually hours go by and slowly you realise that the end is in sight.  You are now certain that you can finish this on your own.  You turn to your friend, you tell him ‘thank you very much for your help.  I will always appreciate what you have done.’.  He doesn’t move.  You gesture with a nod to try to show him what you mean.  He doesn’t move.  Your friend from down the street Anders Fogh Rasmussen just ignores you as if you don’t exist, and continues with the cleaning.

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