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JM | Jun 25, 2022

Audrey Hinchcliffe | NUMB AND DUMB: The New Normal!

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Audrey Hinchcliffe, CEO and founder of Manpower and Maintenance Services Ltd (MMS) Group.

Could it be we are in survival mode, numb not to feel; dumb not wanting to know. So lying is good – normalise it; stealing is better, ignore it. Waste of time to go to court.

Lying did not begin with Donald Trump or Boris Johnson, they only make it look like Sunday church with committed followers to repeat the lies until it becomes the truth. Don’t believe your lying eyes or perhaps it is a mirage; from the little white lie to the big lie.

The latter becomes normalised for politics, money, fame and power. The ‘shame tree’ died a long time ago. As for cursing – the proverbial bad words chargeable in a court of law – let it rip as not even television bothers to blank it out anymore.

As for selective memory loss – I don’t or can’t recall, after all, why incriminate myself when it is my memory that has failed me.

This is the time in which we live – numb and dumb is the new normal, or survival of the fittest.

From childhood days gone by, when caught in a little white lie, the fear of shame and dishonour was so strong that it became a deterrent.

At home, parents instilled in us that the consequences of lying would be real trouble for you. Worse if you were caught in a lie at school and your teacher reported it to your parents. Talk about double trouble, double punishment.

As for cursing a bad word, a mouthwash of soap and water (or the threat of jeyes fluid) was a distinct deterrent. Worse a report to the village district constable or the parish policeman, the shame of going to court and payment of a fine made you zip your lip and hug up the hurt inflicted on you by simple words in a quarrel with a neighbour. Let there be no violence! Was a command.

On a higher level, to copy from the work of your classmate was a shame, moving to plagiarise someone else’s speech or written word from a book or magazine is a mortal sin punishable by edicts in college and school policies.

The internet’s dark web and social media have normalised plagiarism. Policies be damned – freedom of speech rules. Numb and dumb have replaced common decency and the will to act in the name of what is right.

A good reference point is the January 6 sitting of the committee of the House of Representatives – in Congress in the United States of America. Whatever happened prior to or after that day, as troubling as it seems, is a clear example of being numb and dumb.

A mob of supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump fight with members of law enforcement at a door they broke open as they storm the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Leah Millis/File)

Lying and cursing at will splashes across the news media and distasteful as they are, TV ratings have soared. Talks about useless information overload.

As for the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson who forgot attending a party in his own space during covid lockdown a case of be careful what you eat or drink at a party, it may blur or erase your memory. So, lying is good, but “thou shall not be caught.”

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain June 14, 2022. (Photo: Alberto Pezzali/Pool via REUTERS)

Trump was already impeached twice, and Johnson faced a no-confidence vote, but the charges rolled off them like water off duck’s back. But it is not over yet for Trump, legal jeopardies abound, Johnson is significantly weakened, and his staff jumping ship.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, U.S. February 26, 2022. (Photo: REUTERS/Octavio Jones)

The foregoing examples are further afield, but what good examples they provide for us at home, in business and the country at large. It is time for reflection on playing numb and dumb.

Children learn what they see and we wonder how we have got to this place where home, school and communities have become battlefields.

“Who let the horse out of the barn.”

Audrey Hinchcliffe is CEO and founder of Manpower and Maintenance Services Limited Group. Email comments and correspondence to


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