Understanding the True Risks of Saying “Yes”

BY THIS POINT YOU MAY BE QUESTIONING, and perhaps should be questioning, the analogy I have chosen between guide dogs and human beings. When a guide dog exercises Intelligent Disobedience, it is in the face of an immediate threat—stepping in front of a car, falling into a sinkhole, getting entangled with a downed electric wire. Aren’t responses to immediate threats simpler than responses to longer term potential dangers or to morally complex situations?

If the highest ranking person in your school or organization was about to step in front of a moving car, you wouldn’t hesitate to yell “Be careful!” or even to yank him back by the arm. The official you saved from injury or worse is also ...

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