Global Q&A: ‘What’s the biggest moral dilemma you have ever faced?’

February 1, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015

Values such as honesty, trust, and compassion are important considerations for most people facing difficult moral decisions and their different possible outcomes. This is what Epoch Times reporters from Colombia to New Zealand found when they asked locals:

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Carmen Véliz, Lima, Peru (The Epoch Times)

Lima, Peru

Carmen Véliz, 43, Secretary

I grew up in a very conservative home with no friends. I started working very young, and I loved the first person I met who was interested in me. We went out and I got pregnant; and then I found out that he was married with two children. This brought me a big problem with my family, in my work, and in society. I was 17 years old. The dilemma was whether to continue with this person or not. Now I have three children, but my partner is still married. I know that I can change this situation, and with the help of God I will follow the right path.

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Leonard Kita, Mbeya, Tanzania (The Epoch Times)

Mbeya, Tanzania

Leonard Kita, 42, Teacher

It’s about how can I divide my love between my mother and my wife. Sometimes, it can be a big problem. Sometimes my wife thinks I care too much about my mother; sometimes my mother thinks I don’t care for her because of my wife. I feel like I’m not responsible enough to my mother, and that I fail to provide her with moral support.


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Sarah Lichty, Manhattan, New York, USA (The Epoch Times)

Manhattan, New York, USA

Sarah Lichty, 28, Dancer and Engineer

I feel like in New York you see a lot of homeless people who could be homeless for a number of reasons—mental disabilities, unfortunate circumstances—but they could also be taking advantage of me or anybody. So morally, with the state of our country’s economy, you want to do your best to help, but you also don’t want to be taken advantage of, or feed any sort of crime. I do my best to assess situation by situation. The best solution that I’ve come up with is to donate food.

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Dave Weller, Hamilton, New Zealand (The Epoch Times)

Hamilton, New Zealand

Dave Weller, 63, Hairdresser

My wife left me for another man, and when that relationship broke down she wanted to come back home. My children wanted her to come back, but for me, a marriage is built on trust, and when that trust is lost, what is there left in a marriage?



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Jorge Vargas, Santiago, Chile (The Epoch Times)

Santiago, Chile

Jorge Vargas, 25, Kinesiology Student

The biggest dilemma that I have had to endure happened three years ago with a patient who was 7 years old. Her mother was an alcoholic drug addict, who took her little daughter for treatment (in fact, she abandoned her there) to the hospital where I was doing my practice of kinesiology. This little girl had spastic diplegia and AIDS. My big dilemma was whether or not to tell the little girl that she had AIDS. I discussed with my partner physician, but the medical code is clear and we could not disclose the patient’s illness.

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Lucila Carpio Quijano, San Roque (Cadiz), Spain (The Epoch Times)

San Roque (Cadiz), Spain

Lucila Carpio Quijano, 52, Chef

Well, I had been working as a chef with a family for a long time when I received a very attractive offer to go to work with another family. It was a very tempting option since my salary would have been much higher so I asked for more time to think about it thoroughly. Finally, I decided to dismiss the offer because I was very happy with the way I had been cared for by the first family. They had always been really kind and friendly, so I decided to take that into account, and although earning less money, I decided to stay where I was. 

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Darren Knight, Brisbane, Australia (The Epoch Times)

Brisbane, Australia

Darren Knight, 40, Independent Vocational Trainer

A lot of the moral issues that I deal with are perhaps pushing kids to stay at school when realistically school is not the right place for them. A lot of the high school kids these days are hellbent on earning some money, which is fair enough. I understand that, but there’s obviously a link to that employment. You’ve got to first be attractive to an employer before you can actually get that job. I guess the biggest moral dilemma as someone who teaches high school kids is perhaps telling them to stay at school when school isn’t the right place for them.

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Héctor Darío Correa García, Medellín, Colombia (The Epoch Times)

Medellín, Colombia

Héctor Darío Correa García, 46, Chief Computer Support

In 1995 our company had a printer with problems and I could not repair it. I noticed that the serial number of the printer was not in our inventory. A few days later, a co-worker brought me a personal printer to repair. When I reviewed the internal serial number, I found that it belonged to our company. Putting two and two together, I concluded that my friend somehow switched our good printer with the bad printer. After much analysis, I decided to tell the boss, because if I didn’t inform him of what had happened, I would be an accomplice, and sooner or later those things would be known. 

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Ulla Lindborg, Bälaryd, Sweden (The Epoch Times)

Bälaryd, Sweden

Ulla Lindborg, 72, Farmer

Usually once a year my husband and I return to where I previously lived in the middle of Sweden—a distance of more than 400 km (about 248 miles). One day we were visiting a cafe, when there were lots of people there. I saw a little boy, who with his mother’s permission was taking a soda from the refrigerator. They did not pay for the soda. I was very busy thinking of what to do. In the end, I didn’t do anything, and I even left my cardigan behind, which I never saw again.

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Noorin Ansari, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (The Epoch Times)

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Noorin Ansari, 26, Business Development

My biggest dilemma has been a work related issue, which is quite common in any industry. However, dealing with this issue may be quite tricky. The dilemma that stands before me is how do I deal with a colleague who has been a friend, who has now become my boss, and is defying a great rapport in the process of being a completely different identity.

 Look for the Global Q&A column every week. Epoch Times correspondents interview people around the world to learn about their lives and perspectives on local and global realities. Next week’s global question: “Do you feel following world news events impacts your life?”