You’re a mute. One day as you’re minding you’re business, you see a run-away trolley with five people aboard hurtling down a track leading to a cliff. You can see their tiny faces squeezed up against the window. Eyes round, mouths open in silent screams, hands frantically waving, tears streaming....you can smell their fear.
Nooooooo!you say!(or rather you think, remember, youre a mute)
Surprise ,surprise! You’re standing next to a switch that will shunt the trolley onto another track where it will stop safely. Without your intervention these people will soon die, but today of all days, Nairobi City Council felt duty bound to send a one man mission with a packet of cement ,a jembe and a torch to go carry out necessary repairs on the track. This man was now standing on that other track totally engrossed in chimbaing some hole and thinking about how he was going to explain to his wife that he sold another one of their daughters. He had promised not to .And to top it off to a man from another tribe!! But in his defense, this one was rich and was'nt as smelly as the others, and he'd gone to the mganga for some juju-busting fluid that would definitley ward off any bad spirits that might come from the union.
This man will be killed if you throw the switch.
You have 5 seconds..... Watch the trolley go off the cliff or throw the switch?
You’re a street youth(i.e chokora) and a mute and you have'nt had a meal in yonks! Word on the street is that they're dishing out free food at a mission church in town. You get there as quick as you can, enter the line and eagerly lick youre chapped lips in anticipation of the few bits of ugali and sukuma that are about to come youre way.Your stomach cramps as you wait and this time you welcome it, knowing that for a few hours,your gastric juices will be replete. Just when you get to the top of the line a shout rings out!
'chakula imeisha, chakula imeisha, nendeni nyumbani'
In one minute, the mission workers have packed up all the sufurias, stuffed them into boxes, doused the area with dettol and doom and cleaned up all traces of food!(and when I say all I mean all!)The compound is left gleaming! They scurry off leaving you standing there mdomo wazi ,you're heart breaking cause for real, you can't even spot a crumb!Another stomach cramp is descending.
Five minutes or so later, you see the head officer of the mission pack ugali and sukuma into a plastic container, enough to have fed you for two weeks!He looks up and finds you staring, cracks a smile , winks, and then takes a big bite of ugali and squeezes himself into his car. He drives off and you're left there eating his dust.Literally! That sukuma could have been yours.....you see red!
So that evening , before darkness falls and as you're hunting for a place to sleep, you see a trolley hurtling to its doom .i.e towards a cliff.
Note:this time there’s no switch to shunt it to another track.
Instead you’re standing on a bridge over the track. A morbidly obese man is standing there too, a few yards away from you. You suddenly recognize him. It's the ugali stealing,mean winking, sukuma munching fool!the head officer of the mission!unamjua!
The laws of physics operating in that moment state that if you give him a push his body will fall on the track and stop the trolley. You’re too small and so can't stop the trolley on your own, so there’s no point in sacrificing yourself. Theres no other large masses laying about.What do you do? you have like 30seconds or so....
infact which situation would you rather be in?hehehe...
Adapted from carlson.