While I was a supervisor at a summer camp, it was my responsibility to see that the staff members upheld their duties to the program. I had assured my employer that I would keep him informed about anything that might affect the camp's welfare. Then a friend asked that I promise not to divulge something he felt he needed to tell me. I agreed. My friend's report, however, concerned two summer workers who were not fulfilling their obligations and were using illegal drugs.
What was to be done? It appeared that two conflicting promises had been made: one to my employer, another to my friend. Could I fulfill my duty as both a conscientious supervisor and a true friend? Wouldn't it be necessary to betray the confidence of one?
Sometimes, despite our very best efforts, we find ourselves faced with what is popularly termed a moral dilemma, the need to choose between equally unsatisfactory alternatives. And in the process of choosing, one must, it appears, compromise certain moral values.