Thursday, 21 July 2011

Hopeless or Hopeful. Answers on the Back of a Stamp Please.

Regular readers of my blog know that I don't often concern myself with the news, or important matters in general as a rule. Others do it better, and I seldom concern myself with matters of which I have little or no control. But unless you have no radio, television or newspaper contact in your life it is impossible, in the Western World at least to avoid the words 'phone hacking' at the moment. The world seems to be full of dishonest, creepy, unscrupulous, lying, greedy, moronic, unprincipled, arrogant powermad, incompetent individuals who seem to have no comprehension of what is right, wrong, sensible, honourable. What's more, many caught out feign surprise that their actions are thought the slightest bit reprehensible.

I can't be bothered to list individuals misdemeanours, by politicians, by police, by newspaper employees, from moguls at the top to seedy newspaper reporters at the lowest, and I mean lowest level. It just occurs to me that we need to take stock lest the downward trend continues and our children and grandchildren inherit a world without hope. For its a mad, bad world we live in. And the idiots have taken over the asylum, that's for sure.

Observations from this geriatric old blogger. (I said blogger!)

One, when I first went into teaching, many youngsters, on being 'caught out' would come out with the well worn phrase, 'It wasn't me, sir.' Now was it my imagination that, twenty years later, a misdemeanor would elicit the response, 'Prove it!' A subtle difference, but I suspect a reflection on life in general in 2011,

Two, Many in life seem genuinely surprised that their behaviour is regarded as the least bit reprehensible. My ageing generation is often ridiculed for adhering to standards long discarded.(Be respectful, care for and about others, be honest etc.) But it is equally obvious that age in itself is no guarantee of honesty, good living etc. Rupert Murdoch is ancient; Bernie Ecclestone is no spring chicken; Colonel Gaddafi clings to power and so on. Men in the autumn of their years but still power mad and of dubious principles.

And three, you could argue that religion is the answer, except that one has only to look around the world to see the vile things done in the name of religion.

You are probably as fed up of all this as I am. And if I get no readers, no comments to this post it will serve me right. But let me tell you why this post came about. Many of us, particularly my generation have always thought that 'common sense' is a part of life. 'Common sense' teaches us the way to go, what to do. (Instinct is not that far removed. But 'common sense' is slightly different.)

Common sense:

Native good judgement.

Beliefs or propositions that MOST people consider prudent and of sound judgement.

Sound judgement NOT based on specialised knowledge.

So 'common sense' tells you if you lie and cheat you will probably be found out. 'Common sense' tells you we need to act, live together in harmony if the world is to be a happier place. 'Common Sense' could be the new religion. (Thomas Paine wrote a brilliant and influential pamphlet entitled 'Common Sense'). Except that it relies on those in charge of us, those in power to think as MOST people think.

My mother in law sadly died in June. (see post dated 23rd June.) The council own the small bungalow in which she lived. Her children were given four weeks to return the property to its original state. This entails removing fitments used to make the place 'home' during Francoises residence. An elderly gentleman will be the new tenant. He will have no fitted carpets or curtains (or underlay). Why, because we have removed the immaculate fitted carpets and curtains Francoise had fitted AT THE COUNCILS ORDERS. Maybe, just maybe the elderly gentleman would not have liked Francoise's choice. But did anyone ask him? Would that not have been the COMMON SENSE thing to do! The world, this lovely world appears to be in a mess. Not surprising with those in power, from the top downwards, being such unthinking, blinkered, infantile buffoons.

Common Sense.

Natural ability to make GOOD judgements and to behave in a PRACTICAL and SENSIBLE way.

Tell me please, after recent traumatic times, is there any hope that things will get better. If so, what will determine the change?


Debbie said...

I agree good Sir! The lack of common sense is evident in my area too!
I think it also comes with another symptom, a bad case of entitlement. When you believe you are entitled to have what you want at the expense of others there is a complete lack of common sense.

Sergent said...

At some point, common sense was replaced by survival instinct, with everyone trying to take something from the next person. When they coined that ''dog eat dog world'', I guess they meant a world without common sense.

the fly in the web said...

I think we need to review Locke's theory of society pretty rapidly.

Shammickite said...

I agree with the previous comments. Common sense seems to be lacking in so many areas.
Just a very small example: the council installed a lovely new playground in the park complete with swings, climbing gym, all sorts of ropes, poles, ladders etc and a double slide made of a very dark cloured plastic. But the slide was installed facing south, and therefore gets too hot for children to use on a hot summer day (temps here this week are 35C). So now the council has to put up warning signs about the hot slide. Perhaps they could have turned the whole kit'n'kaboodle round in the first place so the slide was on the shady side ??? No common sense at all.

Star said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Star said...

That post was removed by the author (me) because it turned out to be WAY too long for the back of a stamp. BRIEFLY this time: I, too, feel like 'a stranger in a strange land.' I see so much self-focused egoistic behavior and so little thought--let alone concern--for others, which takes so many forms. I have to say, I blame the parents, who not only fail in their own parenting, but also defend their little devils against teachers trying to stem the tide. Thanks, as usual, for your delightful and thoughtful posts.

Teresa Ashby said...

Completely agree with you!

Valerie said...

A slogan painted by hooligans on the park wall....'even hackers hack'. How true. It was ever thus but mobile phones made is so much easier. I find it very sad that your mother-in-laws house was treated so badly by the council. I hate to think what the future holds for us.

Unknown said...

The standards are still out there regarding honesty and integrity. You only have to look at the meagerly reported selfless actions of the young (and others) in doing the right thing towards others. Problem with that is, news about honesty and integrity rarely sell newspapers.

As for dishonesty and commonsense, It's never ceased to amaze me how the actions of an individual or small group of individuals can have such a profound effect on others. Who would have thought that the shooting of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by the 19 year old Gavrilo Princip would have led to a chain of events whereby over nine million military personnel and over 6 million civilians lost their lives in the first world war. I ask myself, where was the commonsense to prevent that slaughter? The voice of reason was raised by some from all nationalities, but their voices were ignored (sound familiar?).

I can assure you Ken that honesty and commonsense is still alive and well as much as it ever was, including within the younger generation. It just doesn't make the news.

Nice blog by the way!

Charlotte Mooney said...

Do not despair Ken.
Most people are good; it's just the rotten apples who get all the publicity.
To give you an example of human kindness & honesty: my daughter, on holiday back-packing around Europe, absentmindedly left her bag, containing all her money, cards & her phone, under a stool in a bar in Florence.
She cancelled her cards as soon as she realised the bag was missing, but 2 hours later it was returned to her, all intact, by the lovely person who found it.

John Teal said...

We have become an age of greed, until people start thinking of others before themselves things will not change.
Several journalists have hacked phones, one or more Editors have approved stories, but THOUSANDS of Joe Public have paid to read the junk they write. Then Joe public says what has happened is wrong. Well if they didn't buy the papers they wouldn't have got written. Supply and Demand we get, what people want.. Its easy to stop, as a collective we just have to say NO MORE celebrity waffle we won't buy it, no more demand end of supply.

Sue J said...

I'm with you Ken. I hate how four-letter words have become common parlance too. When I was growing up you would never hear a man swear in mixed company. Now the women are often worse than the men. I don't think they have any idea how cheap it makes them look.
It seems to be all me, me, me, these days. Child care workers are not allowed to tell children 'No'. What sort of kids are we bringing up? You are going to meet a lot of 'No' in life so they should be prepared from the get go.
I am very disturbed by the amount of aggression in young people too. My teenage years were in the 60s. Peace and love being foremost.

cheshire wife said...

Brilliant post! The answer is to turn back the clock probably by about 50 years, but that ain't going to happen.

Maggie May said...

That seemed a very unfortunate case of total lack of common sense.
Some of these bureaucratic rules & regulations could be better run by 5 yr olds.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Just catching up with you Ken, and feeling that while we may have had the worst of Mother Nature lately, here in NZ we are still buffered a bit from the excesses of human ego that impact highly populated parts of the world. A remarkable immediate effect after our February earthquake, was how mass common sense prevailed when the infrastructure broke down. Common Sense as a new religion? Yes, I'd join that one. Having just spent the most uplifting week with a bunch of teenagers (which I have blogged about), I know that there is decency and hope a-plenty amongst our youngsters.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

All your comments cheer me up. The world might be run by idiots, you all suggest good sense is still in abundance.
And remember, you represent the USA, Kenya, Canada, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Australia and the good old UK.
By the way, Star, are you in Italy or have I read it Wrong as usual!

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