Accidental Hero

Part of the Human Comedy series
Inspired by true stories
Insurance

L was a single mother of three. Her husband left her without paying for child support. One day, she was fired from her job. In desperation, the financially distressed mother devised a plan to give her kids a better future. She bought a $2 million life insurance policy and staged her death to make it look like an accidental death. She left behind a letter explaining why she had to kill herself. The letter was published in a local newspaper as an anecdote of the plight of single mothers. Citing the letter as evidence, the insurance company denied payouts to her beneficiaries.

Accidental Hero

In protest of a repressive regime, a courageous old monk burned himself alive. Several people followed his example in separate incidents. The self-immolation turned public opinion against the elected president and brought his regime to the brink of collapse. The activists saw this as an effective tactic and started to recruit people for that goal. They found a monk who agreed to carry out the self-immolation. Unfortunately, the young man got cold feet and backed out at the last minute. This put the activists in a bind, because preparations had been set and media invitations had already been sent. They had no choice but to drug the young monk and bring him to the site. There, they assisted him by dousing him with gasoline and setting him ablaze. His death sent shock waves around the world and helped to inspire a major coup that killed the president. 

Confucius Peace Prize

When China established the Confucius Peace Prize to counter the decision by the Norwegian Nobel Committee (appointed by the Norwegian Parliament) to award activist Liu Xiaobo the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, I found it to be laughable and intellectually insulting. Then I realize the Nobel Peace Prize is just as ridiculous. I have nothing against Liu Xiaobo because he wholly deserves the recognition, but I find it unjust that some political appointees from Norway (a country of less than 5 million people) are allowed to play favorites. This is the most undemocratic I have ever heard. If there was a United Nations, there should also be a Nobel Committee with full representation. And no permanent members with veto power please.