Confessions of a researchaholic

August 3, 2013

Doing the good thing versus doing the right thing

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:57 am
Tags: , ,

My grandfather, during his school professor days, once spent a lot of efforts bringing up a not very talented student into success beyond anyone’s expectation. My father liked to tell this story as how much passion and skill my grandfather has in people development. I agree on that part. However, I also think my father’s argument – and my grandfather’s action – is irrational: with the same amount of time and efforts, my grandfather could have helped several more talented students succeed, who collectively would have made the world an even better place. (Read: opportunity cost.)

There is a difference between doing the good thing and doing the right thing. And there is a choice between becoming a good person or a great person.

PS: I never had a chance to settle this debate with my grandfather; I started mentoring students just around the time he passed away.

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