The Trumpeter Taken Prisoner

A Trumpeter during a battle ventured too near the enemy and was captured by them. They were about to proceed to put him to death when he begged them to hear his plea for mercy. ¡§I do not fight,¡¨ said he, ¡§and indeed carry no weapon; I only blow this trumpet, and surely that cannot harm you; then why should you kill me?¡¨

¡§You may not fight yourself,¡¨ said the others, ¡§but you encourage and guide your men to the fight.¡¨

Words may be deeds.


What does everyone think.  I think that too often people think that by standing by passively, not speaking up for anyone or anything, that they are doing the right thing, the better thing.  Then no one can get angry at them for being on one side or another.  But I am of the opinion that not saying something can be just as significant as saying something.   Kind of like active and passive euthanasia… if you throw someone into a pool and drown them, or if you stand by while someone is kicking and thrashing, then drown, … is one any less morally reprehensible than the other?  An intention to kill surely is horrible, but a lack of intention to save is no better.  To say that the person who stood by and watched had no part in the death is bull. 

4 thoughts on “

  1. That’s a good story to illustrate the importance of leadership and motivation.  You also bring up an interesting debate about moral responsibility.  It’s more accurate though, I think, to consider all of us thrashing around in the same pool.  You might say that God is the one on the deck of the pool, watching, and wearing a shirt that reads “Life Guard” (or maybe it says “I didn’t do it”).  Or, you could say that God is the water we are swimming in, the stuff that is all around us on which we float.  Which ever way you say it, it’s already far from the mark.  Like you said, sometimes not saying something is just as significant as saying something.


  2. Sorry the pool example felt a little too extreme for illustration purposes of choosing sides… are life’s situations often so extreme?  You may think the person not taking action is wrong, but maybe that person had better reasons that you didn’t know of…  Instead of jumping to “Ooo you didn’t do anything you bad person you”” maybe that person had a good reason for not taking action you weren’t aware of… What if the person on the deck can’t swim?  You can’t save others when you can’t save yourself… I’m not sayin you’re wrong (I agree with your overall argument) but just don’t make it a habit to judge so quickly, as there are often more sides to the story, you will end up fixing your mindset too narrow!
    Back to the original story, the trumpeter probably knew he had it coming for him, and was trying to save his ass like 99% of us would instead of going “For King and country, kill me as the proud and noble trumpeter!”  Better yet, if you were the trumpeter, what would you have done?  We are human before we are saints…
    Trumpeter got himself to where he was by picking sides in the first place…


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