Where is wisdom and common sense?

Opinion: Arlene Jones

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By Arlene Jones


I don't know exactly when common sense died. It was once an attribute that came with age and was predominantly the forte of the older generation. Common sense and wisdom were like a happily married couple. They went hand-in-hand. When you saw one, you saw the other.

I don't know which died first. A century and a half ago, a 16-year-old would go off to be a soldier and learn to become a man. A young girl at the age of 13 could do everything that was needed to run a household. Silliness and the Peter Pan syndrome (not wanting to grow up) was not in vogue. Age 21 was adulthood, and by the time the average male made it to 50, maturity was in full effect. For women, maturity came with having children. But the more society has modernized, the more it seems that common sense and wisdom have gotten lost in the process.

Take, for example, the death of Chloe Wiegand. She is the 18-month-old toddler who was held up to the open window of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. Every news report told us about the baby falling out the window. They also portrayed it as having occurred in a children's play area. But if you watch the leaked video of the actual event, there's a bar. And it's filled with adults. It is only when you read the details that one learns the "open" window wasn't at floor level where Chloe could have easily reached it. In order for that baby to fall out, somebody had to facilitate her access to the open window, which was beyond a wooden rail.

I have been following this case as much as I can. To listen to the attorney for the family explain it, Royal Caribbean is at fault because they needed to have a decal or sticker saying, "window open." My question hasn't changed since the moment I heard about the story and the explanation that the little girl liked to bam on glass. Where is the common sense and wisdom from adults that would make them recognize a child beating on glass is never a good idea?  There's nothing that says the glass could not break. All one needs is the right set of unfortunate circumstances for it to occur.

The step-grandfather's excuses have ranged from losing his grip to being colorblind and not being able to tell that the window was open. I would advise anyone to find the interview the grandfather did with CBS News. If the baby couldn't reach the glass at floor level, someone would have to lift her up, put her over a railing, and basically have her stand on the narrow windowsill that he professes he couldn't even reach to touch the glass to bam? Because even if the window had been closed, what was she to balance on?

Common sense and wisdom were definitely missing. Time will tell us what a jury thinks. 

I hope it's a jury filled with wisdom and common sense.

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