No one likes sacrificing things, but let’s face it; everyone makes sacrifices all the time.
Even perhaps the most fundamental concept in economics is based on sacrifice: “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”. But of course, as interesting as economics is, that’s not what I’m here to talk about. Instead, I direct your attention to the very difficult question posed by this week’s AO: would you sacrifice your spouse for your child, or vice versa? Ok, I’ll admit that’s a pretty ridiculous question, but at least it fit in arguably better than the random and jarringly out of place bishie-ntr-ness that was last episode (as an aside, the development with Fleur still felt a little forced though).
So did President Blanc make the right choice? More importantly, what would you have done? It’s difficult to judge such a decision since there isn’t much in the way of a “standard” with which to critique it. Even so, I will endeavor to deconstruct the situation by focusing on two main factors that would seem to be the most obvious and relevant; logic and emotion. Let’s start by analyzing things “logically”. Between your spouse and your child, which one has more to live for? Well hold on, just what does this have to do with anything? I’ll elaborate in a bit, but first, I would argue that the child wins this one.
Assuming a couple typically has their first child in their late twenties to early thirties, your spouse would theoretically have already lived almost three-sevenths of his/her life. Your child, on the other hand (based on Fleur’s age), would have barely lived perhaps three-fourtheenths of his/her life. That’s only a meager difference of about 20% of the average life-expectancy (about 70 years), but an improvement is still an improvement. That is to say, your child would theoretically go on to live longer than your spouse, so you’ve gained more “life” in choosing your child (cue one-up sfx). Of course, things don’t quite work that way, but I’m sure you don’t really have the time to make a more complex model when put in such a situation.
One obvious argument against choosing the child in this case, though, is: “can’t you just have more children if you save your spouse?” There are two main problems with this assertion. First, if you even have a semblance of a conscience, you probably wouldn’t be able to look your children in the eye knowing you’ve already sacrificed one of them. Second, the whole argument is invalid in the first place since your child can go on to have his/her own children. As a matter of fact, this may even be better for the human race in evolutionary terms since your child having children with someone else would create more genetic diversity than you just having more children with your spouse.
With that aside let’s analyze the situation “emotionally”. This should be fairly obvious, but no self-respecting parent would choose to sacrifice their child to save themself. That said, if you had chosen to save your spouse, I’m willing to bet he/she would go on to hate your guts for making such a decision. This isn’t really about doing the “right” thing; that’s way too vague. Instead, it’s about love. While I’m sure there’s a certain amount of love required between a couple for them to have a child (at least, I would hope that to be the case), there’s really nothing greater than the love a parent has for his/her child(ren).
Ah, but won’t the child also end up hating you for saving him/her instead? After all, the depiction of Fleur in this week’s episode is a very good example of this. Well, that may be true, but children will be children. As much as I enjoy shipping Fleur and Ao, I still find Fleur to be quite plainly annoying at times. Her whole tantrum against her father is both silly and extremely selfish. It’s not as if he chose her over her mother on a whim (I sure hope not), and she doesn’t even consider that he may be the one hurt the most by having to make such a terrifying decision. Heck, she should even be a little grateful that he was able to let his wife go so easily for his daughter.
So where do we stand? I’d say it looks like the child wins over the spouse. When put in such a situation, you really don’t have much time (or mental capacity, for that matter) to think things through in greater detail. I think most would just make the choice based on emotion, but perhaps the calmest of persons may be able to throw some logic in. There’s really no room to consider much more than these two very basic factors. Does this then make President Blanc “correct” in choosing Fleur? Perhaps. But as evident from this episode, he is actually a very intelligent person, so I’m confident he knew what he was doing when he made the decision.