Where is wisdom and common sense?

Opinion: Arlene Jones

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Print

By Arlene Jones

Columnist

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.

Love the News?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Austin Weekly News and AustinWeeklyNews.com. We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

No Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Austin Weekly News 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Austin and Garfield Park.


            
AdvertiseClassified
MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad

Latest Comments