The word ‘ignorance’ has been prevalent in recent days to describe the lack of appreciation of the consequences of our actions. Be it the treatment of the true meaning of Easter by The National Trust and Tesco’s; or the failure to apply basic human decency to a passenger by United Airlines, there will always be an outcome, intended or otherwise if we show or apply ignorance in what we do or the decisions we make.
As my wife and I stood, by pure coincidence, in the Plaza Mayor in Madrid last week, the inevitability of what was unfolding was clear to all, apart it appeared from a group of football fans, whose good humoured chants and songs, had deteriorated into the lighting and throwing of flares.
The fact that the square itself was filled with young families and children was seemingly ignored and the arrival of the armed police units and what followed was the result of that ignorance. At that point we left.
And yet, two days later the application of ignorance became even more worrying.
Having decided on a restaurant to eat in we were shown to a window seat looking out towards a museum opposite. The museum was surrounded by a wrought iron fence against which, and directly across from the restaurant, was leant a suitcase.
Nobody was stood close to the suitcase and in view of all that has occurred recently we drew it to the attention of the restaurant manager. He admitted that it had been left there some time earlier but expressed no concern whatsoever.
My wife was keen to leave, however, at that moment two police officers arrived to investigate. What then transpired still astounds me; did they carefully study the suitcase, scan for any sign that it might be dangerous; no one of them picked it up and opened it!
At what point did he consider the consequences of his actions; was he completely ignorant to all that has gone before in cities around the world.
Yes you can be wise after the event, but so much better to be wise before it.