Today I had to make a proverbial note to self – do not get attacked at Wal-Mart. Getting attacked anywhere would be terrible. But it may be that Wal-Mart is the worst place for an attack to happen. It’s their policy.
In Hartland Township, Michigan, a Wal-Mart worker says he was fired after trying to help a woman who was getting attacked in the parking lot. Kristopher Oswald was on break at 2:30 am when he noticed a man grabbing a woman. When he went to help her, the man attacked Oswald. Soon two other men joined the attack before everything was broken up by sheriff’s deputies.
What do you think bout Oswald’s actions? Was he heroic for helping this woman? Did he do the right thing?
According to a Wal-Mart spokeswoman, his actions violated company policy though they understood his intention.
What should a person do when he is caught between keeping his job by obeying company policy and helping a woman fend off her attacker? Which is the more noble action?
We would be hard-pressed to find a person who would believe that the greater moral responsibility is to obey company policy. It is obvious that the right thing to do is help the woman.
But how is it that everyone instinctively knows the right thing to do?
If natural selection were true, the right thing to do would be to obey company policy. In the survival of the fittest, the best thing would be to turn a blind eye to the attack and do what helps you survive another day: keep your job. Yet we know that this is in fact the wrong thing to do. There is no way Oswald’s actions could have been the result of natural selection.
Instead, his actions flow from being created in the image of God. He lost his job because it was morally right to help the woman. He, along with everyone else, knows right from wrong without having to be told. It is written on our hearts. We instinctively know the moral law because the God who created us is the moral law-giver.
This does not mean that we will always do that which is right to do. Biblically, we lack an ability to do anything right on our own ability. This is simply to say that you do not have to learn to help the person in need; it is already written on your heart for you to know.
What are your thoughts?