"What a jerk," thought Mike as he headed steadily westward along the mine's tunnel, stomping angrily in the rising floodwaters.
Mike felt insulted. He had been traveling westward at a good clip, in the company of a sizable crew of his fellow miners. They were covered with various patches of dust, and the light from their helmets created an ever-shifting pattern of shadows on the tunnel wall.
The cause of Mike's hurt feelings was the message on a shirt of a single minor headed eastbound. "Go East," screamed the shirt in bright yellow letters on a black background, "Westward Escape Route Not Open."
What was worse, on the back of the shirt - this time in neon orange - the shirt announced that the Eastern Escape Route was the way designed by the engineer of the mine, and that the Western Escape Route was simply wishful thinking that had gained group appeal.
"Who does this guy think he is?" thought Mike. "His shirt screams out hatred for me and my friends." Even as Mike thought this, though, he realized that it wasn't quite fair: the shirt was about a position, not a person.
"Well," continued Mike's thoughts, "if not hatred for me, hatred for everything I and my group of miners stand for: all of our hopes of escape and all of the effort we have put into making sure each other continue successfully on our Western path."
What aggravated Mike even more was that the miner hadn't been content to let Mike's group pass in peace and quiet. Instead, the lone miner had shouted out that he had found a source of knowledge - a map - that showed the one true path of escape. The miner had insisted that all the other paths, including the Western path led only to doom and drowning.
Mike tried to point out the size of his group, but the man just kept pointing to the map. Mike had even tried pointing out how the map supported the Western path, but the man had insisted that he knew better, and that in fact - when properly read - the map indicated that the Eastern path was better - in fact was the only way.
Eventually, the lone miner continued on his way through the rising floodwaters to the East, while the group of miners with Mike at their lead continued to the West. "Stupid Anti-Westerner," Mike complained to his colleagues, and they all assented, joking about the fact that the lone miner cut a sad sight trudging in such a lonely manner and trusting in some map.
One may have already guessed how things turned out. There was but one survivor that day: the man who followed the map provided by the engineer of the mine. It was by this revelation of the design of the mine that the man was able to get to safety. It was not hatred of his fellow miners, but love of them, that motivated that miner's shirt and his message to them. But alas, they called him names, questioned his motives, and refused to listen. In the end, they perished.
(inspiration for this allegory)