Your town has been hit by a natural disaster. Many area residents have been evacuated from their homes, and outside support quickly arrives. At various spots around town, residents can receive free assistance ranging from blankets and clothing to food and tickets to performances and recreational outings. All you need to do is to show identification proving that you're a resident of the disaster-stricken town.
You've got the right identification, but as it happens your home was spared, you lost relatively little in the disaster and your life is continuing much as before. Still, free stuff is free stuff and no one is asking any questions.
Well, no one except me: Do you go to get some of the relief that's being offered to everyone in town? Or do you decide that, because you weren't as hard hit as others were, you'll pass?
Post your thoughts here by clicking on "comments" or "post a comment" below. Please include your name, hometown, and state, province, or country. Readers' comments may appear in an upcoming column. Or e-mail your comments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also respond to the poll with this question that will appear on the right-hand side of the blog until polling is closed.
Jeffrey L. Seglin, author of The Right Thing: Conscience, Profit and Personal Responsibility in Today's Business (Smith Kerr, 2006), is an associate professor at Emerson College in Boston, where he teaches writing and ethics. He is also the administrator of The Right Thing, a Web log focused on ethical issues.
Do you have ethical questions that you need answered? Send them to email@example.com or to "The Right Thing," The New York Times Syndicate, 500 Seventh Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10018. Please remember to tell me who you are, where you're from, as well as where you read the column.
c.2009 The New York Times Syndicate (Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate)