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Tuesday 24 October 2017
Letters to the Editor

Rise of indifference to good judgment

THE EDITOR: It is useless to give some people a level of intelligence they are not likely to possess, as with a slash-and-burn farmer, or a child beater, or a reckless driver, inter alia, for such individuals may not have acquired the level of awareness or that moral sense which tells them of the consequences of their actions or gives them that sense of remorse over wrongdoing.

Note the reference “acquired” intelligence for that level of awareness, inclusive of a sense of right or wrong, will have come from a good home and schooling, good peer counselling and mentorship et al, the mind being shaped through knowledge and critical thinking with a moral base to exercise good judgment and make intelligent choices.

In the absence of the above, and with the antithesis of such positives running riot, as with home neglect, under-prioritised schooling and negative mentorship, what can we expect from the “unschooled” farmer re slash-and-burn, or the child beater abusing a child, or the reckless driver killing someone on the road?

Yet this differential in the levels of intelligence is part of any social fabric, as much as the inevitable rich/poor syndrome is, but one always hopes that there would be a continuing balance between both these opposites.

I have a worry, though, about my sweet TT, for there is much to suggest that such balance is tilting in favour of the negative, which I define as the indifference to good judgment arising out of rational thinking and the moral and ethical sense that should underpin such judgment in how we function as a people, as illustrated in the examples which follow.

In the first instance, the young woman in the “at the end of the day, don’t we all want good wood?” advertisement, from her facial expression, seems obviously embarrassed by the Trini innuendo implicit in the double entendre about wanting “good wood” but maybe she needed the money, or liked the misplaced sense of glamour, or had to follow orders because of her job.

But for me the problem is not with her. It is with those who thought they could use an impressionable young woman to draw attention to the product with such brash sexual innuendo. Our penchant for a little harmless bacchanal is typically Trini but shouldn’t we exercise good judgment and know where to draw the line in terms of basic decency?

In the other instance, an equal lack of good judgment is apparent in the way the point about road safety in the ad by the policewoman is conveyed through the chilling audio of a man being literally obliterated in front of our very eyes by a speeding oil tanker, the dull thud of body on metal clearly audible.

One may argue that the message cannot be missed from the graphics of the ad, but couldn’t this point have been made without such a horrendous assault on our senses?

Like the farmer and the child beater and the reckless driver, the ones responsible for creating these two ads betray a lack of awareness of the kind of critical assessment required before any undertaking to ensure a choice which is rational and sensible and well grounded in the values of “rightness” we all cherish. It is a problem all too common to a point where it has become almost cultural.

DR ERROL BENJAMIN

docbenj742@outlook.com

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