The Sad Passing of Common Sense


Yes, it is long overdue – and update from me!

With Christmas a fading memory, followed by my taking leave until Sunday, my return to work has been to a mountain of things to do…

I will update soon… but just to keep you going, have a read of this:

The Sad Passing of Common Sense

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn’t always fair, and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place.

Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children

He declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Panadol, sun lotion or a sticky plaster to a student; but, could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar can sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realise that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by three stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, Someone Else is to Blame, and I’m A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realised he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

Not original, nor mine, but quite thought provoking!

Hope you enjoyed reading it!

3 thoughts on “The Sad Passing of Common Sense

  1. Lance


    Common Sense’s

    The Sea

    The sea has no enemy; it is blind and deaf to us.
    It is the most dangerous thing in the world.
    If you are lazy, dishonest, or try to cheat her, she will kill you.
    There comes a moment at sea, when the fear goes,
    There seems no hope anymore, just submission
    L R Grindley 94

    The Madness of Safety.

    The current near-hysterical preoccupation with safety is at best a waste of resources and a crimp on the human spirit, and at worst an invitation to totalitarianism. Public education is desperately needed. By education do we mean, forget about safety, and return to the “Good old days”, or is it re-education that’s required.
    Financial rewards for safety have overtaken physical achievements. By trying to protect ourselves, we have created a monster, which will eventually either devour us, or completely rule our lives.
    With the best will or intentions, safety unfortunately has financial constraints and consequences. Such as, “A good safety record encouraging clients to employ”. Which of course has major financial consequences on that company and its employees? Or a limited budget for safety training, equipment, and resources. Every shipping company, whatever their size or specialization, has to put some sort of limit on their safety budget.
    So are we all obsessed by safety? Or is this just more ramblings by another soap box Master. I honestly believe that deep down all seamen (generic wordage), like to be safe. There are not many Gung Ho characters left in this profession. The sea is a dangerous place, and in incompetent hands, it can easily become Extremely Dangerous. I suppose the first question to answer the above question, is, “Have we recently made it safer to go to sea?” Reviewing statistical figures on ship loss, casualties, damage, over the last thirty years, in conjunction with the increase size of the world’s fleet, and within those figures the percentage increase of “Third World” tonnage and loss of “Traditional Shipping Countries Fleets” the answer is ????. Statistical figures compiled by different experts and super safety consultants can all be arranged to read what the client wants it to read. In very simplistic terms, if we’ve made it safer to go to sea, then it’s fair to say we’re not obsessed with safety, because it’s working. However if the answer is not a resounding yes, then are we obsessed? Or do we need to be further obsessed?
    Looking at the physical safety of the seafarer, again over the last thirty years, have we improved his lot? Unfortunately the answer is again vague. However if you consider the reduction in the amount of seamen at sea, compared with, the advancement in equipment, the reliability of that equipment, automation, the massive change in their job descriptions, and the general physical and mental improvement of crews. Then the physical damage (injuries) endured by seafarers has not really reduced.

    We can, and do change the rules to suit. What would have been a Lost Time Incident 10 years ago, is now considered to be a Restricted Treatment Case, a Medical Treatment Case, or it didn’t occur while the seafarer was on watch, or the wind is blowing from the north east and the price of bananas has fallen to £1.68p per kilo.
    So considering all the above, in conjunction with the additional paperwork, risk assessments, tool box talks, procedures, guidelines, root cause analysis’, permits to work, checklists, hazard observations, hazard recognition, safety coaches, times out for safety and continual ship surveys to assess the worthiness of the seamen, are we obsessed? I think so.

    How to Tame the Monster

    To return to some sort of normality, by this I mean a sensible level of safety, we must first re-educate the non seafarer, who unfortunately plays a major role in producing most of the bureaucratic crap that genuine seamen have to deal with. The “State of Fear” created by Governments which must retain some sort of hold over their general populations, prevents seafarers from becoming “normal”. Any ship is now considered a threat to the environment, either because of what it is carrying, the emissions it creates, or the potential environmental damage it could cause.
    Joe Public sees any Ship within our waters, as the next “Exxon Valdez, and their perception of the crew is normally not very flattering, with perhaps a drooling drunken dishevelled Captain in charge. The ship and her crew are not seen as “I can drive to work, put the kids on the bus, buy a new set of tights, fly to Barbados for my holidays, make a Banana sandwich and watch TV, thanks to those guys”. But rather, those are the “bad guys”, and there is very little we can do about it. If you ask children today where coffee comes from, the answer is normally Tesco’s. So trying to educate anyone about how the coffee got here and what it all involved is an unrewarding task. In addition to this, does a sixteen year old want to know, need to know, or really care, where her caffeine fix came from.
    Therefore is there any hope in re-educating the general population, no? Then I suppose we carry on, with the Monster growing and becoming less controllable all the time. Unless we stop now, take stock of what we are doing and seriously look at the overall implications of this obsession, it will definitely end up ruling our lives. If we are to remain individuals, and retain some level of freedom, it must be stopped.
    Consider the typical summer barbecue in the back garden with family and friends, being audited by the council, the fire brigade having to be informed 3 days before the event, disclaimer forms for burns and food poisoning submitted, along with four or five forms (depending upon, if it is to be during the day or night) submitted 2 days before the event, to the local officer of the health & safety executive for the designated area.
    Ridiculous you say, already happening in at least three boroughs in the south east part of Coronado, San Diego, California, is the answer.
    “But that’s America, we won’t put up with that here, were British”? Sorry, but at the moment, whatever the American’s do, we follow, we are like sheep. The American’s get attacked by terrorists, (if they really did attack them), and the whole world has to change! The rest of the world has been getting invaded, attacked, massacred, blown up, and generally pissed off by terrorists for the past 2000 years, with the loss of millions of lives. It happens once to Uncle Sam, and everything has to change. Remember he (Sam), is now the only big fish in the pond, so we all tend to do as he says, to our decrement.

    Learning to Live with the Monster

    “You can’t beat the system, stupid to try, but you can lift moral with the occasional small victory”. (Norman Stanley Fletcher). But what am I saying by stating this? Do we need to buck the system? Why not just shut up, knuckle down, and get on with things the way they are? Because we are human, crave knowledge, and need to make mistakes to learn (its called life). We need to explore, challenge, and push things to their limits. If we stop doing this, as a species, we no longer develop, become stagnant, and die.
    If we try to stay as we are, safe, cocooned, protected, and insulated from dangers, we will remain as children, or in our own particular case, become childlike in our outlook and perception of life. “Nanny State” more like “Granny Great Britain”. With continual overseeing, guidelines, and the constant reminder of what is good for us and what is bad, the State is gradually controlling more and more of our lives, (Totalitarianism)
    Do we combat, or learn to live with this terror? (G Orwell “Animal farm”) Unless there is a major revolution tomorrow, for the time being, we learn to live with it. It’s either that or emigrate to some small corner of the world, where you can still be an individual and retain some freedom. We are literally on the steps of a State controlled society, and if we cannot see it, using the history of other countries, then more fool us.
    Critics, will say, “If you don’t like it, bugger off to your Island in the Sun and leave us alone.” History however shows how State controlled countries develop! The majority of those countries citizens did not want it, but remained the silent majority, (that’s another certainty in life). So it’s left in the hands of soap box orators, trouble makers, or revolutionaries.
    Who will be the first person in a position of authority, recognition, or prominence, to publicly say “Hang on a minute; this has gone far enough, unless we get a rein on this, its going to turn into a right crock of shit”. Nobody?
    Then we need to learn (I need to learn) to live with it. Fill out the forms, do the checks, follow the guidelines, and generally tow the line. However we ( I ) can still occasionally give the system a little nudge now and again, just to let it (the monster) know that some of us are still out there, trying to cut a chunk out of it now and again.

    A Challenge.

    Try this new Idea, in an attempt to reduce the forms, toolbox talks, permits, risk assessments, etc.
    The Common Sense Approach.

    Or called Common Sense’s

    Basically try a bit of common sense now and again, instead of just filling forms because somebody says you have to, stop writing, lob the pen across the deck, stand still, breath deeply, try to relax, use the natural sense’s we were given, rather than forced thoughts. The job may take on a different light, new ideas may appear, and things may appear differently.
    Without having to really think, every job has a natural feel and texture, normally a competent person will “get a feel for something” before anything else happens, a gut feeling that this or that is dangerous, or we shouldn’t be doing this will surface. Go with that feeling, and the safety side of things will fall into place naturally, you don’t need a list of things to complete a job safely. What you need is common sense; it also prevents you from continuing down a road of sequential lists, guidelines, assessments, forms and excessive paperwork, which is stopping the job from being completed.

    These things normally work quite well, and with a little practice can be used
    in conjunction with this thing

    Apparently if they are used together, with a bit of
    practice, the results are quite dramatic, together they can be
    used to spot, look for, and identify dangers, instead of filling
    out a form, or ticking off a checklist.

    This thing is a really “handy” tool to have. Rumours being
    circulated amongst certain revolutionary sections indicate
    that it can be used for other things, rather than just writing.
    On top of all that, most people have got two of them.

    Without producing new forms to fill out, without maintaining copious quantities of records, and perhaps saving part of a tree in some small corner of an Amazonian Rain Forest, we should adopt a “Common Sense” attitude to our work, rather than brain dead form filling. Companies don’t need masses of paperwork to become accountable, rather look at the experience within the workforce, and use that untapped resource as a safety tool.
    Somebody has to make a stand before it’s too late, we all need to get a grip on life, and live it.

    Teach the Children that the ground beneath them, is the ashes of their grandfathers
    Teach them to respect the land.
    Tell them that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin.
    Teach the children that the earth is our mother.
    What ever befalls the earth befalls the sons of earth.
    The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth.
    Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons of earth.
    Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it.
    Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

    L R Grindley Master Mariner

    ã LRG Gruntfkcuer Productions, 1991 – 2014. All rights reserved. No part of this Document may be
    produced or copied without prior permission in writing from L R Grindley.

    • Seachaplain

      Hi Lance,
      A helpful contribution from a Seafarers perspective!
      Almost a book, but worth the effort! :o)
      Haste ye back to Aberdeen my friend!
      H ><>

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