2Why Good People Will Obey Bad Orders

It is for each of us freely to choose whom we shall serve, and find in that obedience our freedom.

—Mary Richards

On May 11, 1996, eight climbers died on the upper section of Mt. Everest after being caught in a terrible storm. Many factors contributed to the tragedy that day; one of them was that the climbing guides had failed to stick to their turnaround times, an error that left people too high on the mountain too late in the day. When you climb a mountain like Everest, you leave high camp at around midnight, and make your way through the dark along the summit ridge, hoping to get to the summit by mid- to late morning. Expedition guides set hard turn-around times. A turnaround time is simply the latest ...

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