Have you ever seen someone do something so outrageous, you wondered if they had any common sense?
Maybe when you see someone dressed in unconventional outfits at conventional occasions.
Maybe when you see someone speak out irregularly at forums in which speeches are regulated for facilitation purposes.
Or maybe when you see someone do unorthodox things at orthodox places.
But what if you find out that they are of another culture? Would you still doubt their common sense, or would you show some understanding for their unfamiliarity with what is normally thought as right or wrong to you? Or would you say that their ignorance for cultural context is the very sign that they lack common sense, no matter where they are from?
Earlier this month in my homeland, we had multiple incidences nation-wide of having oily liquid being sprayed on at famous sites. Many of them are designated as important cultural assets, and included historical structures at temples and shrines… few of which were of the temple I visit periodically to attend tea services to collect what I call “pieces of peace”!
Who would do such a thing, so disrespectful of our people, our culture, and our Gods?! Well, on April 13th, the police announced that they have filed a request for a domestic warrant to arrest two tourists from one of our neighbouring countries, and are considering requesting for Interpol notice because they have already left our land.
Some reactions of my people to this announcement were “of course, it couldn’t have been one (or two, in this case) of us!” and “people of that country, they have no common sense!” But I found my people to be nonsensical – the outrageous acts may well have been committed by any one of us, and we may well be doubted for having any common sense ourselves by making such profoundly ungrounded generalization!
As for my reaction, the first thought that came to my mind after hearing the news of my favourite site becoming a scene of the crime was “thank God the tea room was safe, being located deep within the premises where it cannot be found easily!” I suppose I am in no position to criticize my people… no one with common sense would think that there is goodness in less evil!
As I make this post on April 28, 2017, no suspects of insufficient common sense has been put behind bars. But I have locked up my nonsense and requested for a chance for redemption with a small donation to the temple, in the hopes that it will be used to wash away the oily liquid, as well as my sinfully senseless thoughts. And maybe also whatever reasons there were for the two tourists to act the way they did, and for my people to have reacted the way they did.
Then, maybe we can start anew to look for some generalized common sense that we can all agree on, no matter where we are from.
That would not be considered too outrageous, would it?