LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘Good judgment comes from experience’


I read a good quote recently, “Good judgment comes from experience. And experience? Well, that comes from bad judgment.” It accompanied a picture of Dean Martin raising a glass to toast something, maybe his own good fortunes.

If you watched or read any of the coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, invariably there is an interview with someone who decided not to evacuate ahead of the storm.

They’ll say, “I’ve never been so scared in my life,” and, “I thought I was going to die.” Not one survivor is glad they stayed, but they are happy they lived. But then, of course, there are the bodies of those who did not survive. Bad judgment? Yes, of course. But what do you think these folks will do next time? Do you think they gained some good judgment from their experience?

You don’t always need to have a bad experience, though, to have good judgment. There’s a movie out called “Free Solo.” It’s about a guy who climbs the 3,200 foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park without a rope. No safety net! I can’t imagine. Well, yes, in fact, I can imagine. I can imagine what would happen to me if I tried to do the same. Have the hearse ready and waiting, please, because I would surely fall to my death.

I don’t need to have had a bad rock climbing experience to exercise good judgment when it comes to such an activity. I just know trying it would end badly. So why do these people decide to stay in place when there is ample evidence of what it will be like when the storm arrives?

Even after mandatory evacuation orders they remain behind. Why? Why? Why? I’ve heard their reasons. But keeping Fido safe or protecting your property aren’t good enough reasons, especially when your property rips apart and floats away. How are you going to help Fido when you are fighting for your own life?

When the next hurricane hits, I know the story is going to be the same — unnecessary death amidst incomprehensible devastation.If only everyone would learn from the bad judgment of others. Please!

James Webster


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