This week I faced a crisis in conscience.
I was asked if any of the staff had ever made any sexually inappropriate comments to me.
My mind flew to one individual. I associate "sexually inappropriate" with rude and crude. He is anything but. He is funny, quick-witted, always cheerful, in a good mood, and willing to help.
But his tongue gets the better of him sometimes. I have, in fact, told him on more than one occasion, "That kind of remark could get you into trouble."
I guess it did. Someone else reported it, and the staff was asking others for corroboration of her story. (I assume it's the same individual. They don't say, but he's no longer here so I put two and two together.)
At first I said, "No." I justified my answer partly because I can't remember the last time he said something like that or when he said it.
But overnight I wrestled with the question. I had lied, because I like this person, and because he's good at his job.
And just the same as I shouldn't report someone only because I don't like them, I shouldn't let my affection stop me from reporting wrong behavior.
Worse than that, I realized, my silence was the same as enabling an alcoholic to drink.
And perhaps worst of all, my silence hurt my fellow resident (identity also unknown.) Being a known troublemaker (I suspect I also know the identity, but not quite as certain) doesn't mean her rights should be violated.
I did what I felt was right and, as a result, lost one of the highlights of my days.