One of the first things I learned many, many years ago as a young adjuster is that stupidity is compensable. Anyone who has dealt with insurance claims knows of what I speak. As a Litigation Paralegal, I learned that ignorance of the law is no excuse. Mama taught us that we should do better when we know better. Too bad everyone doesn’t live by that principal.
Here’s the deal: at some point or another, someone is going to pay for your stupid actions. You may be the only one paying for it, but chances are, what you do will cost a lot of people, a lot of things. Vast damage is caused by stupidity. Think about what you do before you do it. The problem is, some people allow their anger, fear, bitterness or some other “mad” emotion dictate their actions and reactions. Then again, there are people who do really stupid stuff right off the bat, just because. Shoplifting is a prime example of one of those stupid acts that affects all of us. He or she steals, the rest of us pay for it through higher prices.
Ignorantia legis neminem excusat (that Latin for “ignorance of the law excuses no one”). That concept is usually only expressed in legal proceedings, but it needs to span the entirety of this thing called life. Ignorance is defined as a state of being uninformed (lack of knowledge). I think its pretty safe to say that the Alabama man who was recently pulled over by police in Cobb County, GA had no clue he was violating the law by eating his double cheeseburger after pulling out of the McDonald’s drive-thru. I would venture to guess that very few people are aware of that law. It doesn’t matter though, because that man is scheduled to be in court on February 3rd.
What I think is that some people like to pull the ignorant card in it’s true sense when they are actually acting on a high level of stupidity. In a definitive sense, ignorance is nothing to be ashamed of because you always have the opportunity to LEARN and do better. Staying in an ignorant state is a choice. We are surrounded by sources and resources. Therein lies Mama’s lesson that we should do better when we know better.