Friday, 5 April 2013

Snitch

Now, this is a real tough one as nobody wants to be known as a 'squealer', 'snitch' or 'grass' and everyone's heard of some of the deadly consequences associated with people who reveal secrets, especially within the criminal world. 

But let's take away the death aspect of it all - although you can never be sure that someone won't commit suicide or take a life!

What if you were confidentially given unequivocal information that would affect the life of a colleague, friend or family member? What if you revealing that information meant they could avoid severe consequences such as prison, personal injury or loss of livelihood? Remember, it's not just about helping a friend. By doing so you would also be betraying the person or organisation who gave you that information and jeapordising your own reputation. In other words, you can't play both sides. Would you squeal? 


Or on the other hand, take the opposite case. What kind of wrongdoing would push you so far as to pass information about a friend or loved one to the authorities?

What if they were cheating on their taxes or insurance?
What if they were defrauding innocent members of the public?
What if they were smuggling drugs or people into the country?
Would that make you squeal? If not what would it take?

What's the difference between revealing 'secret' information to a friend and revealing 'secret' information to the authorities? Either way, isn't it the same thing? Please enlighten me. 

Sometimes in life, taking sides becomes inevitable. One man's hero is another man's traitor.

I'd love to hear your views, comments and opinions.

85 comments:

  1. Oh my...what a quandary! When I gave up my past I vowed never to spread gossip but also vowed to be honest and true to myself. This post raises a lot of questions in my mind. If I was doing good, or for the greater good, would I tell the secret? I'll have to give it some thought! Great post as always :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Michelle and it is something to think about as you never know when it could happen to you.

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  2. Ohhhh RPD, this is a heavy one to contemplate. For some reason, I have always been elected as The Keeper Of The Secrets with family and friends. People tell me things....maybe because I know when to keep my mouth shut. But it has backfired on me NUMEROUS times. If others find out the secret, they get mad at me for not telling them. If I do tell them, then the person who confided in me gets mad at me. It's a "damned if you do and damned if you don't" situation. Probably one of the worst situations I found myself in was many years ago----I caught my sister's husband with another woman. I wanted to tell her but my mother told me to stay out if it. She convinced me to keep my mouth shut. Sure enough, it wasn't long before my sister found out and the marriage ended badly. When my sister found out that I knew months prior what was going on, she was very hurt and angry with me for awhile for not telling her about the affair. I was damned either way. I'm still keeping several secrets even now, but I try carefully to weigh the consequences on both sides before making a decision as to whether or not I should speak up. It's called walking a fine line between loyalty and and doing what is right....but I can't give you any answers here because I just don't think there IS a correct answer for this one.

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    1. Your comment sums it up really well Menopausal Mama. It's a very tough situation to find yourself in. Over the years I've been put in some awkward positions and have now learned to stop the person telling me 'more information' because I can see where the conversation is heading, and I warn them that if they continue I can't guarantee confidentiality (obviously depending on the facts) this usually works but can also cause upset.

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  3. I won't lie to you, this is a hard one. The kind of topic a lot of people would shy away from commenting on. It's like 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' - whatever answer you give, you'll have someone who'll hate you. But I guess that's the point isn't it, you twisted genius ;)

    As for me, I'd like to think that I have my principles and standards of right or wrong. I'd like to think that they don't shift too much, based upon bias because a person is 'close' to me. If I saw someone doing something that seriously harmed other people, yes, I'd grass. There I said it.

    If it was a faceless corporation or the government, I may be a bit more reluctant.

    If I could save someone serious grief and it cost me my reputation, I'd like to think I'd have the guts to do the right thing. I'd like to think so.

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    1. Love the name you called me 'twisted genius', it makes me sound mad and clever all at the same time, ha ha ha :)
      Yes it is a hard question to answer because who wants to be known as a snitch or who wants to shoulder the burden of not telling. Either way, you just might have a big price to pay. Thanks for your comment Navigator.

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  4. I will be clueless as always, probably wont rat out my friend for taxes or duping people.. But won't tolerate any 'big' crime. Big again becomes a matter of perspective.
    Not sure what I will do.

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    1. Fair say Sudarshan, at least you're honest about it. I was going to pick up on your point about 'big crime' but you answered the question for me :) It was good to hear from you.

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  5. This is a difficult question. If I could weigh the amount of harm I'd be causing one way or the other it would influence my decision.
    Loyalty to someone I'm close to is an important factor,like my mother or wife.
    Self preservation is another.
    Is not saying anything as bad as lying? Maybe.
    I'm not sure what I would do!

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    1. It is very difficult knowing what to do, if at all anything. As for lying, this could be a bit tricky because I would say, it only becomes a lie if you are specifically questioned on the issue and you don't tell the truth. But, if you refuse to respond or discuss it, then it's not a lie. Hope this makes sense. Thanks John.

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  6. I dont know wat i ll do in this situation but I so agree with this line "one man's hero is another man's traitor."!

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    1. Thanks for your comment Shainee and nice to meet you. Sometimes we can never know what we would do in any situation until it actually happens. Hope you'll return to share your views again.

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  7. I feel it is not my business to interfere. The only time I would step in is if someone's life is in danger. I think we all make choices and people should be left to deal with their own choices and accept the consequences, without interference from others.

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  8. Ooh, that's a tough one Rum-Punch. I can't say what I would do for sure, until I was thrown into such a situation. Now you've got my mind a-pondering. :)

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    1. Thanks Lily, let's hope that this situation never happens :)

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  9. Wow! What tough questions! I really don't know what I would do. When it comes to my kids, I am fiercely protective, and I don't know if I would squeal on them for anything. Not sure if that is considered 'right' or 'wrong', but that's me.

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    1. Thanks Black Sheep Mom. There's always a dilemma when it comes to children but sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.
      Just to let you know, any child born from the blood of RPD who dares commit a crime better take their own sorry backside to the police station quick sharp before I find out. It would be safer for them there :(

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  10. Oh no.. what a tough question... Guess it depends on the situation. If it would affect my loved ones in a negative way then maybe i should reveal the info to the right authorities. Otherwise, I'll remain silent. I still don't know. I've never been to a similar situation.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Ric. Like I said to Lily, I hope you never get to find yourself in this position.

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  11. I would have to weigh it out individually... these are difficult choices to say the least. I hope I would do the right thing :)

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    1. Thanks Launna. Difficult choices with consequences on either side.

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  12. It really depends on far too many variables for me, if someone is a real jerk, I might do so just for revenge, but normally I would keep my mouth shut.

    Smuggling people hmmm....if the people were willing to be smuggled in, and they were providing some sort of a service then no, but if it was kidnapping etc, then defiantly yes.

    If the drug was pot then no, but something like meth or heroine, then yes.

    I think I would turn them in for defrauding the public.

    I guess I really just don't like seeing people get hurt is all, it pisses me off, and I wish for all of those types to go to jail.

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    1. Interesting point about the smuggling because you would have to be absolutely sure that they weren't kidnapped in the first place, I'm thinking of prostitutes or even people that sell us DVDs on the streets. They may even tell you that they are acting on their own accord but how can you be sure that they are telling the truth?

      What's interesting about your comment, and I thank you for giving so much detail, is the fact that you're not for or against snitching per-se but you have standards/rules around it. Thanks PBScott.

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  13. The big wonderful thing about me, is that I reached adulthood but my body seems not to realize the fact.

    So, friends and foes, think I am too immature yet to receive serious confidences with the great outcome I never know anything that may be classified in your post.

    Anyway, I like to think, in the event of being involved in a serious matter, I would do the right thing... Only, I am not sure I will know which one is it!

    Nice way to shake the hook, ain't it, RPD? :))

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    1. You always make me smile with your comments. I'm not sure you can rule out the possibility of you potentially stumbling across something whether you like it or not. I'm sure that if the situation presents itself, you will find a philosophical tool to help you make the right decision. Thanks Od Liam.

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  14. Ooh - a sticky question, indeed! I would say that the guidelines of several professions - my own in education included - might be a good aim. If information is in your possession indicating danger to another in your care, or impending harm to someone, it is the law to report such information to the proper authority. For the 'grey' areas in life - go with your own conscience. It could be foolish, even dangerous, to assume and generalize when different situations call for different measures. I had to think about this one for a bit before answering - it got me thinking... which is, of course, one of your aims, right? :)

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    1. Melody, yes, my aim is to get people thinking. Thinking, discussing, debating, anything to stimulate and get us communicating.
      Because the law is not only obeyed by people, it is also made and administered by human beings, so we should all be equipped to participate in an informed way. Thanks Melody.

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  15. I guess we do make these decisions as we move through life Rum. We must.

    The ultimate responsibility for our decision making rests with ourselves. We cannot use the `just following orders' excuse.

    If a corporation or an individual are clearly on the wrong track, especially re: possible harm to others, then we must take a stand. If it means betraying a previous agreement, so be it.

    As you say Rum, `One man's hero is another man's traitor.'

    Cheers, ic


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    1. Ian, I sense from your response that when it comes to siding with the 'little' guy or the big corporation you have no qualms. A man with guts I say. Thanks for your comment and hope to see you again :)

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  16. I couldn't be driven to squeal or rat anyone out for any reason (other than homicide). What people do other than that is simply none of my business or anyone else's as far as I am concerned. Murder, of course, is the only exception to my moralistic view of snitching.

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    1. Wanda, thank you for being so clear in your response, as I realise this is far from an easy topic. Quick question as I'm curious. Let's say a loved one of yours was a victim of a crime and the culprit has got away with it because someone who had vital information withheld it, based on 'it was none of their business'. Would you see that person as having made the moralistic decision?
      As always, you don't have to answer, I'm just asking because Lanthie also made a similar comment above.

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  17. If it was someone who was putting others in danger, I think I would have to come forward. Ideally, I would be able to talk to them privately and convince them to stop before it got that far. These are very compelling questions, and I hope to never be in that situation.

    Julie

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    1. So, just to make sure I've understood you correctly, you would come forward to prevent something happening but how about if it was after the fact, to ensure that justice was done? As always, I'm curious, but no need to answer.
      I too hope that many people don't find themselves in this situation. Thanks Julie.

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  18. Thanks for this post, it was very interesting. :)

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  19. I love your perplexing question that you have posed. Probably, if it were criminal or if someone was going to be hurt in some way, I would come forward.

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    1. So nice to see you here Julie and thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

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  20. What a dilemna! Well...this is not very easy to answer...
    Let's see.

    All depends of perspectives. Everyone has secrets, some more "darker" than others. As a Spiritual Conseleur, I know very much "dark secrets", but fortunally, I really don't mind with them. I am no one to judge others. Sometimes they make me think and reflect on what people do or act. Other times they make me think why people support and live like that, still taking so much burdens, sometimes.

    Its their lives, and people should deal with their own problems at the very end, even if I or other person can help them out. As you already know, the first step in being helped must come from inside our heart.

    Now, there are some "secrets" that can cause harm to others. In that way, we should be able to be fair with everyone. If someone is hurting other person and we know, of course we should talk to police or other autorithies. If someone is being abused, in all meanings, we should help too.

    People should be aware of the limits their own freedom have. Where ends their freedom and starts other ones.

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    1. Nice to hear from you again Kuma. It does seem that many people are willing to step in if they feel someone is being harmed or abused but wouldn't the world be a better place if more people were willing to put a stop to things like fraud, smuggling and suchlike by 'snitching'? Who knows! Thanks for stopping by.

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  21. Wow, RPD, you've come up with a real prize-winning set of questions here! The first scenario is a no-brainer...if I had information that would prevent someone from severe consequences, such as being falsely accused or imprisoned or suffering loss of health or livelihood, I'd give it up instantly. Other things like tax evasion or drug smuggling or transporting illegal aliens, I feel less strongly about. The government can and does handle stuff like that.

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    1. Thanks Helena and strong convictions. Even if governments deal with this, shouldn't we as individuals also have a duty to assist them whenever the need arises?

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  22. I have akways been a very loyal person so, to help a friend or loved one, my loyalties would lie with them and I would tell them. As far as telling on them, never. If I disagreed with their choices, I would talk to them but, if they refused to stop, I would not betray them. Great question!
    Shawn at Reading Practice

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    1. Thanks for your honesty Shawn. Would you feel guilty knowing that someone else may be about to get seriously hurt, injured etc because of your loyalty to a friend or loved one who wouldn't even listen to you?
      Just thinking, but I always say to everyone they don't need to reply unless they want to.

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  23. I'm bound to say that you've posed an unanswerable question here Rum. Certainly, I could give an answer, but it would be a hypothetical answer, because I'd really be guessing what my response would be in a real-life situation.

    I do know that I've betrayed a friend's confidence only once, to get that friend a promotion, which he got, but he still blamed me for disclosing confidential information. So now I would expect to keep schtum in all situations, and that would probably include not speaking up to avoid unpleasant consequences for a friend, although I cannot see such a scenario arising.

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    1. That's always the difficult part Dennis. You tried to do something good but despite things working out well you still got the blame for disclosing info. I fully understand why some people just keep it 'shut' after going through experiences like that. Disheartening to say the least. Thanks for you comment.

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  24. Gosh, this one's a toughie -- one of those questions that depends entirely on the specific situation. Until I'm in it I can't fathom to guess, though I value the well-being of my family and good friends more than anything.

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    1. Sometimes what we say right now is not what we actually do when confronted with a situation. Thanks Janene.

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  25. One thing in life I can't abide and that is abuse of any kind. Or neglect of another human being. Or if someone was in danger then i would act on it regardless of consequences as in my heart of hearts that would be the right thing to do. A couple of years ago i had to put an SUI (Serious Untoward Incident) against my work colleagues because of something that had happened to a patient. So I suppose you could say I was a whistleblower, but I had no choice. Obviously I wasn't flavour of the month with them but patients come first no matter what. I take my role as a nurse very seriously. And this patient did suffer as a consequence, but is okay now.

    When it comes to secrets within the family, thats a hard choice to make. Because you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. I can't lie, never have been able to as I get very flustered and tongue tied. So if someone asks me a direct question I would have to be truthful so with my family its best if i don't know anything. I am like an ostrich keeping my head in the ground!! Not that my family are bad but sometimes there have been situations which have been a bit dicey.Especially when alcohol is involved.

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    1. Wolfangel43, I applaud you for doing the right thing. There are major issues within the hospital environment and many hospital staff fear losing their jobs or fear the repercussions should they 'whistleblow'. Whilst people are in fear, patients are suffering, dying and being ill-treated. So good on you for putting things right.

      As for the family situation, it can be hard. When alcohol is in play, anything can happen. Thank you so much for commenting by sharing your experiences.

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  26. I would never betray any friend or individual to any authority whatever. The reverse, however, is not the case. I once had to lie to the police to protect a close friend who was wanted for a crime. I did so without any compunction, and then let my friend know the police were after him. Blood is indeed thicker than water, as the old saying goes.

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    1. Wow NP and without any compunction. I had to look up this word as never heard of it before. It means a feeling of remorse, guilt or regret.
      So these were absent when you made your decision.

      As a thought, what if you knew your relatives were blatantly doing wrong and purposely using you to cover up their tracks due to your loyalty, would you still protect them?

      'Blood is thicker than water' they say, and I believed this many moons ago but not anymore. Can't or won't mess my own life up to protect someone who didn't even count the cost whilst they were having a good time mucking around.
      Always good to hear from you Nothingprofound.

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  27. In the end, every time this 'kind of thing' comes up in my life, I always weigh the pros and cons. Will me divulging the information make life worse or better for those that really matter in my life? That's how I've always looked at it.

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    1. Dan, It's good to see that in making the decision you think of those others in your life, and not just what might benefit or be the easiest route for you personally.

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  28. When I was a kid I never understood the difference between "tattling" and "telling". My mother told me to ask myself some basic questions: if the person I was telling on was hurting themselves, you or someone else. If telling will stop someone from getting hurt. As an adult I know that it is not always so easy, but those questions come in handy. For the most part people know I don't want to know your business. I don't want to know if you cheat on your taxes. I don't want to know if you cheat on your partner. Do not call on me to back up stories of where you were last night. But yeah, if I think someone is being hurt by your actions I will rat you out. And I will not feel guilt about it either. As for the other stuff, that is your business. While I may warn you cheating on your taxes may get you in a lot of trouble, and cheating on your partner... well it is never going to end well. But I leave you to your own conscience.

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    1. From the answer you've given here, it's as if you've had a couple of years to think this one through! From my point of view, based on what you've written, I'd say your mother did an excellent job. She didn't just tell you what to do but lay down some guidelines for you to make your own, independent and mature decisions. Great advice Jamie.

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  29. Tough questions, Rum-Punch Drunk, and thought-provoking. My first reaction to whether I’d pass along information about wrongdoing by a friend or loved one to authorities would be to say no. Loyalty to that friend or loved one would come first. But thinking about it further...what if it involved a heinous crime or a situation causing harm to others? Then I may have to make a decision I wouldn’t normally make; I'd have to speak up.

    On the other questions: Even if I knew someone was cheating on their taxes or insurance, I’d consider it none of my business. Not my place to report. However, if someone was defrauding innocent members of the public or smuggling drugs, anything that would cause harm to others, then I’d have to speak up. Speaking up would be the right thing to do. Yes, sometimes in life, taking sides is inevitable.

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    1. I'm glad to see that you're prepared to break with your Sicilian heritage of omertà! I hope you don't mind my little joke. Us cockneys can get a bit cheeky, you know :)
      On a serious note, the view you express seems to be shared by a lot of people. Getting one over on big businesses may be frowned on by many, but not to the point where they are prepared to inform. Hurting everyday people, on the other hand, is far less tolerated.Thanks JerseyLil.

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    2. LOL, RPD! Don’t mind your little joke at all. I am part-English (and part-Irish) on my father’s side, so I guess I’ve got a bit of the cockney in my heritage too. :)

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  30. Holy Smokes!!! You just never can make it easy... So many sides to this. So many great answers from all your friends & readers.

    In reading everyone's comments, I would say that I agree with several that say, more or less, it's tough to truly answer unless you are actually in that situation at that moment... It's easy to say "I would do this or I would do that." But given a real situation, it's tough. One's heart would ache for the "right thing to do."

    There is such a fine line between "It's none of my business" and "I need to step in and do something." It would be gut-wrenching, at the very least.

    Loss of life is the "no-brainer." It's everything else that would cause one to think very long and hard.

    Dude, you never fail to "knock it out of the park."

    Have a great week, Slu

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    1. Ha haaa! Hey, Slu. You know me. I like to chew on things that make me think and hopefully others too.

      I agree with you in acknowledging the emotional element of these decisions. It's not just the calculating head that's involved, but the gut-wrenching heart too.

      That last comment makes me sound like some kind of Babe Ruth of blogging. Too funny! Thanks Slu for sharing your views, I'll be over this weekend for sure. Make sure you got the wine in :) and those smooth tunes.

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  31. Another good one, RPD. I have had many people confide in me some heavy stuff during my days as a church pastor, as you might expect. I believe I have had a good track record in keeping the trust of those who came to me. But here is where I draw the line, and try to make sure that I am not left in a moral dilemma. If someone shares something with me confidentially that potentially constitutes ill-treatment or unjustness toward someone else, I throw the Bible at the person (of course, not literally).

    By that I mean I press the person to see the evil inherent in what he or she is asking me to keep to myself, thereby making me a silent partner in crime. I make it clear to the person that if he is not willing to right the wrong, I cannot promise to keep silent. Rather, I would feel compelled to give deep thought about how to go forward, and when I get a peace about what to do, I have to do what I feel is right. At least the person confiding in me knows what my intentions are.

    Unfortunately for the person who has confided me, I can't respond the way I stated above until the person has divulged what he wants to share and I in turn make my assessment. But I can't allow someone to dump on me and walk away, leaving me holding the bag.

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    1. Glad to hear you don't bible thump people literally! I can see how your situation as a Pastor is particularly difficult, as people may see a 'confessional' element in your role and perhaps assume that you are bound to confidentiality, when you are not.

      I guess the best thing you can do is try to be clear that, while you are approachable and discreet, that there are certain secrets you feel ethically and duty-bound that you cannot keep.

      It sounds like you handle a very tough situation with responsibility and integrity Frank. Good to hear your views as always.

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  32. Tough questions. I'd have to say initially I won't snitch, but I would give that person opportunity to turn them self in or change their ways. I'd probably warn them that if they didn't, I would...then eventually I'd snitch. Yep. If it meant preventing harm to some innocent person...I'd do it.

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    1. Welcome Hope and thanks for your honesty. At least you gave them the option to stop what they were doing, otherwise there would be consequences if they continued. Thanks for your comments and hope to hear from you again.

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  33. Wow, I don't really now what to say. I'd like to say that I wouldn't snitch because at the end of the day -- someone else's business ain't mine. The only I'd snitch is if the death factor came--like me snitching would save a family member's life and in that case - I'd always protect my family. Having said that - I do believe that people always say what they WILL and WILL NOT do but once the situation actually arises, that isn't always what they END UP doing. Great topic!

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    1. Shaharoh, so true. Talk is cheap but when push comes to shove... Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog and hope to see you again.

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  34. I suspected this posting would create a lot of reaction. My human has visited your posting on several occasions and couldn't formulate an answer to such a moral dilemma.

    So, he leaves it up to me. Typical! I don't believe my human would grass up somebody if they thought they could help resolve the situation by have a discreet conversation with that person. Perhaps convince them to come clean. If it came to a loved one, it would depend on just how bad a thing they have done. I know, not a definitive answer. I don't think you can truly answer your questions until one is actually in such a predicament.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny

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    1. Woof woof! (From one doggie to another)
      Penny, thanks for stopping by and send my regards to Gary. I'm going off point now but it reminds me of how I use to always say that I didn't understand why some people got hit by cars when they had ample time to move out of the way. They saw the car coming at speed and if they ran quickly, they would not have got hit. To my own shame, when a car came at me with speed I was so shocked and didn't move an inch, I was frozen in the middle of the road. All that I had said to everyone prior to this was NOT what I actually did when it was my turn.
      Thanks for commenting Penny. Tell Gary that I said, you are doing a good job whilst he takes a break :)
      Woof!

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  35. No one wants to be a snitch or squeal on someone, but if it would help to save a loved one's life then by all means do it if you could live with the consequences. I guess it's hard to say what one would do until really faced with making that decision. Also, if what another person does is none of my business and doesn't affect me then who am I to blow the whistle on them?

    Phil
    www.blog.theregularguynyc.com

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    1. I've been thinking about what many people have said Phil ie: It usually boils down to saving a loved one etc.
      But, what if you found out that if you had snitched on something that you originally deemed none of your business, but later found out that it cost your loved one their life how would you deal with it? For example, that classic scene in the first Spiderman film, I seem to remember him letting a thief go because it 'wasn't his problem', only for that same guy to kill his step-dad... or something like that!
      Just a thought that's running through my mind at the moment.

      Oh, I love the post you did about pooping, ha ha ha.

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  36. I have played both sides on this one. It all depends on were your loyalties lie... Too yourself, or someone you care about. When I was seventeen I had a chance to be a "snitch" and it probably would have made my life a lot different if I had. Me and several of my friends got into some things we should not have. We got caught... sort of. When questioned by the police, my friends all gave signed confessions and agreed to turn state's evidence. I did not. They all went home. I did not. I went to prison and now have a number attached to my name that has greatly impacted the last twenty-five years of my life.

    To tell or not to tell, is a hard decision to make sometimes, where to draw the lines of morality, loyalty, or self preservation.

    If I saw my niece smoking crack, I would not hesitate to carefully inform her mother of what I had seen. If I saw her smoking a joint I'd probably be more likely to turn a blind eye, as to not cause a strain on our relation.

    If I saw my nephew hitting and picking on the handicap kid down the street, I'd whoop his ass myself just before I told his mother why. But if I saw him stomp some other kid for picking on that same handicap kid, I'd give him a pat on the back and let him know no one was going to hear about it from me.

    I've lived in the projects (the ghetto), heard gunshots in my apartment building, seen people filing in and out of the drug dealers place, I've seen people deface, destroy, and steal others property... And never been tempted to call the police. They aren't likely to come anyway.

    But put me in a small town environment... Let me see the guy selling drugs to the school kids as they walk past his house trying to go home... I'd call the cops in a heartbeat, if I didn't take matters into my own hands.

    Everyone "snitches" in some form or another sometime, even if they don't think it is "snitching"... someone else does. Especially the one who got snitched on. But it all boils down to an individuals morals and loyalties and how important it is to that person to preserve them.

    Great post my friend, one that I can relate too in more ways than I can write about here. Thanks for stimulating the thoughts! See you around...

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    1. Jon, what a harsh but true example of the seriousness of consequences which didn't only affect you at the time, but have carried on to affect you up to this day. I wonder if you have any resentments? And I wonder if those 'friends' ever wonder about the impact they had on you? Do you see any of them any more?

      You seem very cut and dry in what you would do or not do - perhaps this is because you have been in some precarious positions in life, and are therefore able to see both sides of the fence.

      Since I've known you through blogging you have shown yourself to be a person who has studied hard at the school of life. You have so many stories to tell from first hand experience and I'm always fascinated by what you have to say. Thank you so much Jon for sharing your personal life situations here.

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  37. This is a great set of questions Rum Punch Drunk,

    I believe where you have information that will save somebody, that information should be given freely, whatever the cost.

    In circumstances when you are aware of somebody doing something they shouldn't, and feel strongly enough to take them to task. I believe the best thing to do is to confront the individual concerned and to make them aware of your disapproval and your intent to pass on that information.

    This is a very hard course of action but it gives the individual the opportunity to address the problem before your disclosure causes too much harm.

    I realise that this approach is unlikely to win you friends, but if you are known to be fair and consistent then the culprit should not be surprised or feel that they have been unfairly treated.

    On those occasions where you are aware of wrongdoing but do not feel strongly enough to take them to task, you have the option of expressing your disapproval or ignoring the situation completely. The safer option, in my opinion, is probably to express your disapproval, as ignoring the situation can appear to be giving tacit approval, which in the long run stands more chance of coming back on you.

    Another great post from you, you certainly have a way of asking thought-provoking questions.

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    1. Yes, maturity means realising that the best thing to do in life is not always the thing that will ensure your popularity. But at least if you confront a person face to face and challenge them with disclosure, they can't say you went behind their back in a sneaky way.

      You also mentioned something that was very important to me - Keeping quiet in some situations. If we're to be completely real and honest, is tantamount to collusion. Sometimes saying nothing is actually doing something. Thanks for your comment John.

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  38. Another thought-provoking post of yours. (I really like your blog). I think each individual situation is unique, and we have to bear in mind if somebody's life is at risk when we make decisions.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Julia. Yes, the individual situation makes a huge difference, as a few people have pointed out. But I think if we consider our own personal boundaries and guidelines before the situation arises, it should help us make the right choice if ever something should come up.

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  39. Your question makes my head hurt. But you make a great point. What is that tipping point that sends you in one direction or the other? Maybe Spock has the answer. "When the needs of the many outweighs the needs of the few."

    I agree with the others. It depends upon the situation.

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    1. I've got some paracetamol here, if you need any :)
      Spock's an interesting reference as he was the guy who was supposed to operate on pure logic, wasn't he? The thing about us humans that seems to complicate matters so much, is that we often have so many other factors that come into play when we find ourselves in a situation. Feelings and emotions, loyalties, personal value judgments, instinct, intuition and values. If we were Vulcans, things would be so much simpler...

      But I take on board the serious aspect of your point. Weighing up the collective interest should be part of the process when it comes to making these kinds of decisions. Thanks Lauren.

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  40. Dear Rum Punch Drunk

    First of all an apology for your comments being held in cyber space, I've only just found them and now their 'released'

    Most of the time ignorance is bliss and sometimes people have revealed things to me that I would be better off not knowing.

    As for snitching,I don't know - it would all depend on the seriousness, I'm a fence sitting on this one.

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    1. No problem Michelle as some comments do go into the spam folder by mistake, so I just fish them out.

      At least if you think about it now, you just might be a little prepared if is should ever happen, but it is a difficult one. Thanks for popping over Michelle and hope you return again.

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  41. Hi PRD,
    easy question in this blog I see... but I see you are really very popular ! I am always for the truth...may the truth win... but the question is difficult and not easy to give the right answer...
    thanks for visiting my, very appreciated ! ciao from Italy..

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    1. Thanks Massimo. That's the thing isn't it? When it comes to principals like truth, when we go to apply them in specific situations things tend to get complicated. Good to hear from you and ciao for now.

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  42. I guess it depends on the circumstance.... Whooo, this is a tough one. As always enjoyed reading your post.

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    1. Yes it is tough to answer and be 100% sure all the time and so many have said that it depends on the situation at hand. Good to hear from you My Meddling Mind.

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