HomeQ&AWith great people there is no difference between principle and the person: Nothing but the truth!

With great people there is no difference between principle and the person: Nothing but the truth!

7
votes

I have had the pleasure to watch "Nothing but the truth" and found this interesting sentence in the plot.

A woman defends her right not to reveal her sources of information. That is really an old story, often seen on TV or in movies. However, I found the ending of the film very dramatic. I am not disclosing it in case you want to see the film.

Well, this woman is sent to prison and this has terrible consequences. She gets imprisoned for over a year, loses her husband who convincingly claims she has "made a choice" by not revealing her source, loses custody of her child, gets beaten up...

At one moment, when the lawyer by chance comes across the husband with his girlfriend and he says: My wife made a choice, the lawyer says: Well, if you think your wife had a choice, then, maybe, you really should not be together.

He also says at one moment, that he does not defend her cause but her person but later he reconsiders :

With great people there is no difference between principle and the person

I am interested in your opinion, do you think you would have done the same? Risk your marriage, children, life.....for a principle?

I mean, we all admire Luther King and Gandhi who even got killed for their principles, but would we do the same?

4410 views
updated MAY 11, 2010
edited by 00494d19
posted by 00494d19
reveal, Luther King...hmmmm, good post. I'm thinking about it. - MattM, MAY 6, 2010
Luther King:) - luz_72, MAY 6, 2010
Gandhi :). - --Jen--, MAY 6, 2010
cmon, edit my posts!!! lol - 00494d19, MAY 6, 2010
Great question, Heidita. - h1deaway, MAY 6, 2010

10 Answers

3
votes

I think it would depend on the "principle" being discussed. There are many principles I believe in and adhere to. However, I would have to take into consideration the principle of "never abandoning my child under any circumstances" over the principle at hand.

As for the husband, it seems he was not on the same page as his wife. Now of course, I don't know what would have happened to the sources if they were revealed. Are they just going to get into trouble or will they be killed over this? Hopefully, my husband would understand if I decided to leave my child in his care and remain in jail for one year to prevent the death of another.

updated MAY 11, 2010
posted by Nicole-B
muy bonito amiga:) - 00494d19, MAY 11, 2010
3
votes

Everybody has different limits and different levels of passion. Maybe it is all a matter of being faced with that one situation that really matters to you. It is very well possible that we don't even know we are capable of making that choice until the moment we are faced with it.

Who knows whether Gandhi or King would have willingly gone out completely exposed with the certain knowledge that somebody was waiting for them with a gun. In other words, knowing that they would be shot on that very day. That is very different from being willing to live with the risk of being shot for your beliefs.

In a sense I, and many people who live in a violent city like Caracas, Venezuela, have (had in my case) to make that choice on a daily basis. You know that you live in a very violent, lawless city. You know that sitting out in an open place, at night, with a group of friends to have a couple of beers is risky and that the chances that you will be robbed, or even shot, are fairly high. Still, you go ahead and do it every now and then because - what is the alternative? Is being locked up in the relative safety of your house, never going out, never seeing your friends any better than risking a gun shot for not having enough money to please your assailant of the night? Some people thinks so. I don't. Luckily, I was never harmed while I lived in Caracas. Many of my friends have not been so lucky. And yet, every day they have to live with the decision: do I go out into that urban jungle, or do I stay here to wither away and slowly die of boredom and lack of interaction?

I live in a different country now, and so my choices are different. There are some places that are known to be dangerous or violent. I don't have to go there. I have other options. So I don't.

updated MAY 6, 2010
posted by Gekkosan
2
votes

I am interested in your opinion, do you think you would have done the same? Risk your marriage, children, life.....for a principle?

There is a huge difference between sticking your neck out to make a buck and sticking your neck out to make the world a better place. This is one of those cases where ‘pick your battles’ really applies.

Would I risk my family to keep a job or to protect someone who is willing to let me go to jail in order to protect them? No.

Would I risk my life and family to demonstrate the government’s violations of my constitutional rights? Absolutely. If I did not, what kind of example would that be for my children, and worse, what kind of world would they have to live in if I didn’t?

updated AGO 10, 2011
posted by h1deaway
great answer, hide - 00494d19, MAY 6, 2010
Great question! - h1deaway, MAY 6, 2010
2
votes

Good question.

I don't know what I'd do until I'm put in a particular situation. It's all speculation until it happens to you.

I usually stick pretty close to my morals, but I also try to keep an open mind as to other opinions, feelings, etc..

updated MAY 6, 2010
posted by --Mariana--
2
votes

There are times in life when we would be more noble by not "crossing the line" - if we all did it the world would be a better place. I doubt most of us have the courage to be like that. I saw the film you refer to.

updated MAY 6, 2010
posted by ian-hill
1
vote

I probably wouldn't follow through with any principle to that extreme. One of my best qualities, and perhaps a flaw too, is the ability to see the other side of the coin, and in being able to do so, I'm never quite certain that my opinion is the best - or even the right - one. I think to be able to follow through with a principle so far that you lose your husband, children and even your life, one needs to be able to be whole-heartedly devoted to the principle, with absolutely no doubt that one is doing the right thing - something I am incapable of. Of course, I have opinions, frequently strong ones, but I just never wholehearted believe there's no other correct answer. Voltaire once said 'Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.'

The world needs people like Gandhi and Luther King and all the other people who have fought so hard for the rights of people and things. However people like me also have their place smile. We must also remember that there was also people like Hitler who wholeheartedly believed that Jews deserved to die - he also stuck to his beliefs to his suicide, and he had his followers and believers. To his believers he was probably a great person with great principles, and therefore I must disagree with the statement:

With great people there is no difference between principle and the person

because what makes a great principle and a great person differs from person to person.

updated MAY 6, 2010
edited by --Jen--
posted by --Jen--
1
vote

I haven't seen the movie, so I'm only guessing...of course the principle is the person and vice versa...but maybe the other person, the one that she was so eagerly protecting, should have been a person of principle too, therefore come out and reveal his/her own identity, once he/she realised the things went out of control...or is this the actual end, like in any "happy end" movie?...smile

updated MAY 6, 2010
posted by luz_72
0
votes

I am interested in your opinion, do you think you would have done the same? Risk your marriage, children, life.....for a principle?

No I would not, unless I was trying to get out of the marriage anyways... smile

I would not risk the most precious things I have, my wife or kids (if I had them) just to be put in a history book. Depending on how you look at it, I am too selfish for that.

updated MAY 6, 2010
posted by cheeseisyummy
0
votes

Being so single-minded that you get killed for sticking to your guns is not the prerogative of only those people with whose principles we agree. It is very important to distinguish between "having principles" and "having priorities".

If I say that Hitler, too, died for his principles that doesn't mean that I admired his principles. When I say that Gandhi died for his principles, I am happy to agree that I think his principles were excellent or even better but I don't necessarily admire the way in which he forced his principles on others nor the way in which he exaggerated his actions to the point where he was killed. Nelson Mandela, I believe, showed a much better balance.

Note: Even non-violence generates a force which compels people to do things they'd really rather not.

updated MAY 6, 2010
posted by geofc
very interesting jeff:) - 00494d19, MAY 6, 2010
0
votes

I definitely agree with Nicole's..."never abandoning my child under any circumstances".

I would have to believe that by divulging her source she would have jeopardized the safety of her children. Under these circumstances she is a very impressive woman!

Tendría que creer que divulgando su fuente ella habría comprometido la seguridad de sus niños. ¡Bajo estas circunstancias ella es una mujer muy impresionante!

updated MAY 6, 2010
posted by MattM
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