We do our best (mostly)

LETTER

Is it possible that 60 percent of the people who responded to the Herald poll about the famous overheard racial remark at a council meal break, being “a storm in a teacup”, is a grand indicator of widespread “racism”?

“Two councillors watching their tongues now should be emulated by the many who express racial prejudice at times. Some is explicit, much is casual.”

We are a flawed species, we do our best (mostly). Why stop at race? We don’t show up all that well at ageism, youthism, religious intolerance and any number of other points of difference. It is not a utopian world designed by someone who writes feel-good articles, for monthly periodicals. Look at the history of our species, short and long, local and international. We are, in my experience, a weird combination of amazingly ingenious/clever and thick as two planks. We are mammals in the process of evolution and civilisation. We are creatures of emotion. We all rush to judgement from time to time.

Sure, we need to do better. I don’t dispute that, but I do dispute that a few courses and a bit of part-time education is going to put the world to rights.

Personally, I have to check myself constantly about making rash judgements, or in fact making judgements at all. I have spent a lot of time trying to do better, in the way I live my life, but it has been mostly a vain endeavour.

Why? Because I am a frail human with “feet of clay”.

We need to cut one another “some slack”. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be a problem.

Any sportsman knows you don’t perform well if you watch yourself all the time.

One last point, it is easy to give offence, but sometimes it is just as easy to take it.

Ron Taylor

Is it possible that 60 percent of the people who responded to the Herald poll about the famous overheard racial remark at a council meal break, being “a storm in a teacup”, is a grand indicator of widespread “racism”?

“Two councillors watching their tongues now should be emulated by the many who express racial prejudice at times. Some is explicit, much is casual.”

We are a flawed species, we do our best (mostly). Why stop at race? We don’t show up all that well at ageism, youthism, religious intolerance and any number of other points of difference. It is not a utopian world designed by someone who writes feel-good articles, for monthly periodicals. Look at the history of our species, short and long, local and international. We are, in my experience, a weird combination of amazingly ingenious/clever and thick as two planks. We are mammals in the process of evolution and civilisation. We are creatures of emotion. We all rush to judgement from time to time.

Sure, we need to do better. I don’t dispute that, but I do dispute that a few courses and a bit of part-time education is going to put the world to rights.

Personally, I have to check myself constantly about making rash judgements, or in fact making judgements at all. I have spent a lot of time trying to do better, in the way I live my life, but it has been mostly a vain endeavour.

Why? Because I am a frail human with “feet of clay”.

We need to cut one another “some slack”. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be a problem.

Any sportsman knows you don’t perform well if you watch yourself all the time.

One last point, it is easy to give offence, but sometimes it is just as easy to take it.

Ron Taylor

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

John Fricker - 18 days ago
Interesting but a bit too apologetic for me.
Humans discriminate in all sorts of ways in their daily lives, this discrimination has been hijacked by minority groups and turned into prejudice to the detriment of free speech. The tail is now most definitely wagging the dog.
I buy Domino's pizza over Pizza Hut, although they are both equally disgusting, drive a Toyota car over all the others, use the 2 degree phone network, like golf and bowls a lot more than cycling and running, find kind, decent people far more attractive than their abrasive counterparts. The list goes on. My choices/discrimination do not make me a bad person. Controversial? Perhaps.
Life is competitive and sometimes difficult, we are all trying to do the best we can for ourselves and our loved ones. We all have likes and dislikes. Political Correctness has created an absolute nightmare in our social interactions.
Fortunately a majority of folk understand the rigours of every day life, make allowances for others and just get on with it.
I can't think why you felt the need to resurrect this ridiculous incident, councillors of all persuasions made absolute fools of themselves when it was "news", this sleeping dog would have been best left to lie.
At the end of the day if you believe in something you have to stand up for it whatever the consequences. Feet of clay? Not a good look.

Bob Hughes - 17 days ago
Good stuff, honest and inclusive, thanks Ron.
However, I find John?s comment closed-minded and as hypocritical.
He says he finds ?kind, decent people far more attractive than their abrasive counterparts?; minority groups have labelled discrimination as prejudice, ?to the detriment of free speech?.
And he fools himself if he thinks he is part of a majority who understand daily life and make allowances for others.
John at least agrees that if we believe in something we have to stand up for it. Right.
Just as well Mr Fricker is not actually one of the majority, even though there are a lot of blind eyes and deaf ears around already.
The incident that led to this wave of interest and action is in itself proof we need more unity and togetherness among our peoples.
Slandering minority groups, and calling them names as John does, achieves the opposite effect ? it creates divisions and stalls progress.
We all need to get it into our heads and hearts, we are all in this together and need to respect each others? views to make headway through tough times ahead.
There is only one race and we are now in a race to save ourselves, the human race. We are all in this together.