Today let’s talk about a legal term called willful blindness. For a legal definition I’ll use our old friend Wikipedia:
Willful blindness (sometimes called ignorance of law, willful ignorance or contrived ignorance or Nelsonian knowledge) is a term used in law to when an individual seeks to avoid civil or criminal liability for a wrongful act by intentionally putting himself in a position where he will be unaware of facts that would render him liable.
I’ll be doing an article about this in the next few days if I get my act together (always a big if of course), but I thought I would touch on it today as a warm up.
Instead of the term “willful blindness” let’s use “not getting involved” if you prefer, or “turning a blind eye” or any other term that works for you. In a legal sense it means ignoring a wrongdoing and putting oneself in a position so that one can claim ignorance of that wrongdoing.
In a moral sense, it is just plain wrong.
About a year after I first met Bev we were out walking one day, and we eventually ended up in a grocery store. While we were there we noticed a mother yelling at her little daughter. The little girl couldn’t have been more than five years old, and mom was obviously not happy with her. Finally after embarrassing this child in public the mother grabbed her arm and yanked the child, at which point Bev went into action. She walked up to the woman and told her not to do that again or she would call the police.
God I love Bev!
The point being that Bev could have ignored this wrongdoing, just like most of the people in the store chose to do, and she would have been a perfect example of willful blindness.
Or she could choose to step up to the plate and call out injustice and act against it, which she did.
I think of some of the whistleblowers in society and how they have stood up to established powers and said that no, what you are doing is wrong, and I am not going to allow it to go on….do you understand how much courage it takes to do that? How many of us would be willing to take on a huge organization and risk the consequences? Or would we just turn our heads and claim willful blindness?
Have a great day my friend!
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly”