En­sure you stay off the naughty list

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - Rural Weekly - LYN IRWIN-KELLY Jour­nal­ist, mum and farm widow

WE’VE been warn­ing chil­dren for gen­er­a­tions about the dan­gers of poor choices which lead to bad be­hav­iour.

Santa gen­er­ally takes on the role of en­forcer.

Who can for­get the warn­ing de­liv­ered in chirpy tones and the lyrics we all know:

“He’s mak­ing a list and check­ing it twice.

“He’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice,

“Santa Claus is com­ing to town.”

The child­hood pun­ish­ment for bad be­hav­iour is no presents or, more tra­di­tion­ally, a lump of coal in your Christ­mas stock­ing.

As an adult the bad be­hav­iour, and re­sul­tant pun­ish­ment, are much more se­vere.

It mat­ters not whether you’re a high-rank­ing cleric, a politi­cian, com­mu­nity leader, a banker, an abu­sive spouse, a dead­beat par­ent or just your ev­ery­day, gar­den va­ri­ety crim­i­nal – if you’ve done the wrong thing, it’s only a mat­ter of time un­til you’re named, shamed and blamed.

Even if you’re not the per­pe­tra­tor, if you’ve wit­nessed or had knowl­edge of such ac­tions and failed to act, you’ll also be named, shamed and blamed.

Duty of care is the buzz­word these days.

It’s no longer good enough to turn a blind eye or stay silent or pre­tend some­one else’s mis­deeds are noth­ing to do with you.

Your moral com­pass needs to be ac­tive all the time, par­tic­u­larly if you’ve been en­trusted with the care and well­be­ing of oth­ers.

And, in case that moral com­pass is mal­func­tion­ing, there’s the jail time and fi­nan­cial penal­ties to en­cour­age en­ti­ties and in­di­vid­u­als to do the right thing.

Re­gard­less of whether you’re in the city or the bush, many or­gan­i­sa­tions have gone to great lengths to demon­strate they take duty of care se­ri­ously. So se­ri­ously their pro­ce­dures and pro­to­cols may be deemed to be al­most ex­treme ... un­til some­one finds a loop­hole.

It’s not just in the me­dia where mis­deeds are ham­mered. Royal com­mis­sions and courts are full of peo­ple ac­cused of do­ing the wrong thing.

I guess Santa’s not the only one who knows when you’ve been bad or good.

❝gen­er­ally

Santa takes on the role of en­forcer.

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