Articles are available for reprint as long as the author is acknowledged: Domenick J. Maglio Ph.D.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014


By Domenick J. Maglio Phd., Traditional Realist

There are times when a person is an innocent victim of an unforeseen incident. A car erratically driven and killing a pedestrian just walking on the sidewalk is a tragic incident that is in no way the fault of the victim. Neither is lightning striking a person out of the blue. An airplane killing someone as it lands on a beach or a tree limb crushing a person are unpredictable events that are understandably devastating to their loved ones. When life appears cruelly unfair, most of us turn to God for solace because the unfortunate victim was not responsible in any way for what happened.

There are other times when people put themselves in dangerous positions that blow up in their face and that could have been avoided. Placing oneself in risky situations has potential consequences that should have been taught at an early age. This knowledge gives young adults the ability to anticipate patterns of behavior that would be harmful to them.

People who ignore the possible consequences of dangerous behaviors are partially to blame for the suffering they receive. When people do not acknowledge their poor judgment they often repeat their actions. Learning from one’s mistakes protects the individual by not going down the same path. They are able to think on their feet to minimize potentially aversive dangers.

There is a cellphone application that has been introduced, which uses data analysis to inform people what are high criminal risk neighborhoods. Many in our culture did not favorably receive this important and relevant information for a person’s safety. Many experts in the media and the NAACP viewed this as a racist item that should be banned from the public domain. In other words people should be kept ignorant of statistical data even though it would keep them out of harm’s way because it disproportionately shows African-American areas are bad.

In our current culture the message to our youth is whatever a person does should have no bearing on his being taken advantage of by another. A male going to a bar noted for its violence should ignore the reality that he is taking his life in his own hands. A young woman who is intoxicated and is dressing provocatively is unaware she is putting herself in jeopardy of being exploited. Actions and decisions that put one in a tenuous situation do matter because it increases the possibility of getting hurt.

Risky behavior often has consequences that we should consider before taking certain actions. It is the responsibility of the parents to teach their children about the reality of certain behaviors. “Stay far away from firemen when they are fighting a fire, they would not expect you to be there and would inadvertently knock you down.” “Don’t accept a ride or candy from a stranger.” These warnings about possible outcomes encourage a child to think before compulsively acting.

As the youngster matures his responsibility to observe the behavior of others should increase. This increased awareness of people will determine the advisability of befriending or avoiding a certain person. Reality is a great teacher to guide one’s decisions.

A person who knows permissive sex increases STDs and that heightens the probability of certain cancers and commits to this lifestyle is taking a gamble. The same naiveté goes for a person who divorces her spouse for a minor issue even though she knows that raising a child alone would result in lower socio-economic conditions with a higher probability of problem children. A person who commits a crime while under a mind-altering substance should be held accountable for his actions. It was his choice to put himself in a mindless state.

When individuals put themselves in potentially dangerous situations they are partially responsible for the horrendous outcome of the chain of events. People should be accountable for putting themselves in risky circumstances, as it was their decision.

As a society we can no longer hide behind the infantile politically correct thinking that we can never discuss the poor judgment of the victim. This missed opportunity to learn from a discussion of other’s poor judgment does everything to increase mindless behavior and nothing to prevent dangerous impulsive actions.

Good judgment begins with good parenting. Parents should point out to their child the potentially harmful consequences of risky behavior. This early training lays the foundation for the person’s ability to make mature decisions.

Our media should report all the relevant facts of these tragedies even though it might show the victim’s dubious decision making. This knowledge would be powerfully helpful to many other young people that would prevent unnecessary tragedies.

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