The Importance Of Gullibility And Mindlessness

1110 Words 5 Pages
I’m not kidding.

Every morning I cycled a forty-minute journey to school and showered in the empty girls’ bathroom near our squash court. On that fateful September morning, after showering, I went out to fill in my water bottle. Something unusual happened the moment I came back. As I stepped into the bathroom, my peripheral vision detected an unknown figure scurried off from the locker area into one of the shower cubicles and slammed the door shut.

The next minute I noticed that my sport bra, which I left hanging by the locker along with my cycling outfits, was gone.

After several banging on the locked cubicle door and increasingly hostile questionings – all of which were met by stubborn silence – I squatted down to peer at the gap between
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They did not, unfortunately. What they did however, was giving me interminable lectures on the danger of gullibility and mindlessness.

“Are you out of your mind?” my history teacher yelled. “What did exactly go through your mind when you decided not to report on him? On what basis did you think your action was justified? The guy might be a psychopath. By not reporting him you’re endangering your female friends who might be using that bathroom in the future! Think about it!”

In my opinion, my action was based more on pragmatism rather than naivety. If Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development is of any validity, then I had probably based my decision on the fifth stage: the social contract orientation. The mainstream societal convention would expect me to report on the culprit straightaway and protect the future interest of my female counterparts – yet I saw these conventions as making no practical sense in the situation I was in. Societal conventions should be flexible enough to change in order to meet, as Kholberg put it, “the greatest good for the greatest number of people”. By trying to strike a deal with him, I was providing a win-win solution that would benefit us both and harm no
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It was based on the assumption that he, despite harboring perverse tendencies, still had it in his heart to respond to compassion and magnanimity with equal virtues. Mr Chua was right. I trusted the boy ingenuously. It did surprise me actually, that somehow, somewhere deep inside my heart, I still possess that pure, unadulterated quality of childlike innocence, the capacity to trust people unquestioningly, and to assume the best of human nature.

I used to wonder why most people lose their innocence as they age. I wondered why people start to suspect each other, assume the worst from each other, and guard their personal interest with such fierce tenacity. What could possibly have happened between the intervening years of childhood innocence and adult cynicism? This seemingly silly incident taught me that the answer was simple :

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