What I Meant To Say

Yesterday, I was in a bad mood. To see a modest electoral turnout in Afghanistan, after all the blood, sweat, tears, and treasure that’s gone into that country is disheartening, but that was nothing compared to the revulsion I experience in seeing the hero’s welcome given to convicted terrorist , Abdel Baset Ali ag Megrahi, when he returned to Libya last night.

The latter issue is a difficult one because competing values are at stake:

Compassion: Yes, with this in mind, it makes sense to allow a prisoner to return home to die surrounded by the comfort of his family. (Critics will be quick to point out that  Mr. Megrahi didn’t offer much compassion to all of those who perished in or over Scotland.)
Justice: How can anyone who deliberately planned and executed the murder of hundreds of innocent people not be required to serve out his life sentence?
So how does one wrestle these two competing values to the ground? I offer two suggestions:

First, read Roger Martin’s “The Art of Integrative Thinking.” Learn to avoid the dangers of the binary. Force yourself to create and consider new models of solutions. (I wish I’d thought of this during our debate on boarding!)

Second, you can save yourself the $29.99 and simply call someone who is smarter than you are.  (Easy to do for those of us not yet invited to the Mensa picnics!) I did this, and my friend Pat nailed it when he said, “Keep him in jail but liberalize family visitation.” Right. That’s what I meant to say.


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