Tapestry of Faith: Virtue Ethics: An Ethical Development Program for High School Youth

Leader Resource 1: Courage Dilemmas

Part of Virtue Ethics

Dilemma 1

Eboo Patel, founder of the Interfaith Youth Core, tells a story about a time he wishes he had acted with more courage. In high school, his friend, who was Jewish, suffered a period of persecution. Bullies drew swastikas around the school and verbally harassed the friend and other Jewish students. The school administration did nothing. Patel noticed, but looked away, avoiding contact with his friend during this period. Years later, his friend confronted Patel and told him how abandoned he had felt at that time.

What could Patel have done to stand by his friend during this difficult time? What was Patel afraid would happen, if he acted with courage?

Dilemma 2

You find your younger sibling watching Internet pornography. You know that your parents would be upset and punish your sibling if they find out. Your sibling asks you not to tell. What are your options? Is one option more courageous than others?