Is Doing Nothing the Same as Doing Something?

landscape photography of snow pathway between trees during winter
Photo by Simon Matzinger on

Sometimes I write short stories. Did I tell you that?

Well, here’s my latest:

A wife in an unhappy marriage gets caught in a freak snowstorm with her husband and sees the opportunity to end her “suffering.”

You can read it at After Dinner Conversations, a great new collection of short fiction and podcast episodes. Each story deals with an ethical or philosophical idea.

My story is about whether or not doing nothing to save someone from calamity is the same as contributing directly to that calamity. Let me know what you think.

Click here to read “Survival Kit.”

12 thoughts on “Is Doing Nothing the Same as Doing Something?

  1. Frank LaManna

    I didn’t read your post, but in response to the title “Is doing Nothing The Same as doing something?”
    The answer is no. When you do something you’re involvement in the matter is a response, and that response produces an outcome that’s the beginning of something entirely in itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Murderer. OK he was a jerk, and a stupid one at that. She wasn’t really any better. She didn’t stand up for herself when her in-laws came uninvited (?????????!!!) to her wedding, let alone when the bird shit thing started. Ditched on her wedding night? Kissing some college girl? “I’ll do better”? I’m not sure which one’s the bigger loser, the one participating in this orgy of bad behavior or the one watching it unfold day after day. Now her kids have no father, which might be all right for her, I guess, but I don’t think they were consulted.
    She would probably get away with it, as a reasonable doubt would exist, but it’s her fault.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mwah-ha-ha-ha! He sure paid the price for pissing her off! Sometimes, intentionally doing nothing is the only weapon a weak and disempowered person is capable of welding. Making a conscious decision to do nothing to stop a stoppable event is still a deed, though. I didn’t find any of the characters in the story likeable (apart from the children, maybe) – was that how you meant it to come across?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I liked the story because it explodes some ancient storytelling myths, such as the sympathetic, relatable protagonist. I couldn’t relate and I didn’t care about her self-made misery,, but holy cow, did you see that train wreck?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I really like your writing. I enjoyed the story – it was well done! Just the 1 typo I mentionoed in my previous comment. The story made me want to keep reading, and it made me feel stuff, which is how you know it’s good, in my opinion. I think her allowing him to die that way was maybe not what a character like her would really do, considering how inactive she’d been all through the story and marriage. But maybe she just finally had enough. I still think doing that to her childrens’ father is probably not what she’d do, but you never know how people are going to act, do you? We are constantly surprised by the things people end up doing. I would say this would be just another thing she will later regret (like the marriage).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your comments and for your eagle eyes! I agree that she’ll probably regret this too. She’s so passive that she can’t seem to see her own responsibility for how she got to where is is.


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