Sometimes we have to choose whether to follow groups and leaders or to follow our principles.
On Sunday, October 8th, 2006, The Daily Yomiuri newspaper had two stories of murder. The first was about Melson Bacos, a 21-year-old U.S. Navy Petty Officer, who was sentenced to prison for helping seven U.S. Marines kidnap and murder Hashim Ibrahim Awad, a 52-year-old retired Iraqi police officer. When asked why he had gone along with the group, he said, “I wanted to be part of the team. I wanted to be loyal.”
The second story was about Marian Fisher, a 13-year-old girl who, along with some of her classmates, was murdered in a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania. As the killer prepared to shoot the children, she asked him to kill her first, probably in an attempt to save the other children.
Both Melson and Marian were loyal to their groups, but their choices were really different. Melson chose to follow his leader even though he knew it was wrong. Marian chose to follow her principles to the end. She sacrificed her life in an act of great personal integrity. (171 words)