Buttercross, July 24, 2015: Where’s common sense gone to?

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Common sense. What a simple couple of words, which we perhaps take for granted too often.

My dictionary gives several meanings for the phrase but two that stand out are “average understanding“ and “the opinion of the community.”

Many of us are in no doubt that, as time goes by, we appear to be losing the ability to apply common sense to our lives.

There are numerous examples which, quite frankly, are jaw-dropping. Unfortunately, in many cases it is our young people that suffer from questionable decisions taken by their elders and those we have allowed, as a community, to be put into positions of authority.

One item recently involved a young mother leaving a shop only to realise to her horror that her (very) young daughter had picked up some sweets from the display near the till. A tap on the miscreant’s leg as a reprimand, with the item then returned to a shop assistant, ought to have sensibly been the end of the matter.

But no, the “tap” was witnessed by a third party and was reported to the police. They arrived poste haste and, unbelievably, the incident was recorded as assault and shoplifting.

Two police records created and to what end? We all know our police are constantly being questioned over the reduction in their reported crime figure numbers, but such examples as these do nothing for their image, and their use of common sense has to be questioned.

There are bigger problems for them to deal with in our community. An even more distressing story also appeared in the press recently. It concerned the death of a comparatively young and vulnerable man who was left unmonitored at home for far too long a period. This allowed him to massively overeat, resulting in his early death.

Someone in authority surely must have been aware of what was likely to happen as he was over 60 stones in weight, getting ever heavier, and was totally bed bound. A daily delivery of pizzas was organised for, or by him, and were delivered to his bedside, with the delivery driver having his own door key.

Surely common sense being applied must have dictated that help was required before a tragedy occurred. It was not, and consequently and quite unnecessarily, a life was lost.