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Clemency From The Lion’s Jaws
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Approaching a subject you do not understand is like approaching a lion sleeping in the grass, whilst approaching a subject as someone who does understand, or with someone who understands, is also like approaching a lion sleeping in the grass – but with a significantly higher chance of survival.

Now understanding tends to come from experience; that is actual engagement with and practice of a subject. And actual engagement with and practice of a subject leaves one with an understanding, even if rudimentary; therefore those who have  engaged and practiced are better placed than those who have not.  Intuition alone tells us that those who have never wired a plug for instance, are far more likely to cause an electrical fire than an experienced and practiced electrician. Yet it is common for us as a society to allow those who have not engaged and practiced in a specific subject to take the lead in approaching that subject.

Take for example those who have never been homeless taking charge of the homelessness issue. This is akin to approaching a lion in the grass with no experience of approaching a lion in the grass. Necessity might of course require an inexperienced approach; however necessity is rarely the driver for contemporary activity. Rather I suggest, it is false necessity or open wantonness that drives our activities today.

That is perhaps why we have an itch in us as regards our approaches to things these days. Our consciences, for lack of a better description, sense that we are unnecessarily approaching certain subjects (homelessness not included) or that we are approaching subjects we want to approach- Subjects that have no needs-basis in them; we are in other words; seeking more than we need – often the cause of this unnecessary approaching of certain subjects - unnecessary approaching of lions sleeping in the grass. And we wonder why we get mauled.

I am not suggesting we never approach subjects we do not understand. There is a necessity-basis in approaching subjects such as homelessness, rape, terrorism etc. I am merely suggesting that if necessity urges us forward towards these subjects; these grass-lying lions, that we do so with actual experience in us or beside us.

Why am I writing all this? I am writing it because I freely admit to having, in the past, approached subjects that I am either inexperienced in or meagrely experienced in. Not because I was driven by necessity but because I wanted to voice my opinion. Fine, but I have learned that opinions are common – but experienced opinions are not – and I am concerned that inexperience is now taking the lead in many necessity driven subjects -and that makes me fearful of being mauled.

I guess I am simply offering a plea for clemency; clemency from the lion’s jaws.


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