Ignoring warning signs
For most Kiwis, it’s important to be staunch and soldier on in hard times, without complaint. Yet that characteristic conceals a less admirable trait – our deliberate refusal to recognise facts that clearly indicate something is wrong and demand action. Tragically, such blindness to deficiencies in their work places, led to the deaths of those who died deep underground at Pike River and beneath collapsed buildings in Christchurch. Wilful blindness is a human phenomenon. Simply there is a limit to what our brains can absorb, so they filter the information we take in. While such editing tends to exclude information that unsettles our fragile egos and most vital beliefs, it is not always disastrous and on a personal level may help maintain optimism and momentum. But collectively, wilful blindness can be catastrophic as illustrated by those bankers and governments who chose to ignore the warning signs of a looming financial crisis. Similarly, scant notice is taken of those warning of the dangers inherent in a growing class of marginalised citizens; unemployed, lacking any sense of security and despairing of their future. The Salvation Army’s recent State of the Nation Report, The Growing Divide, offers a significant conclusion we might prefer to ignore but do so at our peril, ‘‘Presently we . . . lack the wit and insight to appreciate the links between the social environment we create and the social outcomes we reap.’’ Deputy Prime Minister, Bill English’s solution, ‘‘fixing the problem one child and one family at a time’’, is ludicrous but neither has any other political party yet shown the courage or foresight to propose the bold redistribution of means vital to this country’s future.
Girls with rods: The way to aman’s heart.