Numerous crimes are committed every day and not all of them get reported. Why is it that we’re so hesitant to report crimes?
I’ve a theory. What if not reporting crimes is a habit that we’ve developed from a very young age? Let me elaborate. Do you think that your mates in school and college discouraged you to report things to your teachers and parents? Like, maybe someone bullied you but, as a schoolboy or schoolgirl, you didn’t want to report it to your parents and teachers because you wanted to handle things on your own?
There’s a code among students, especially in residential schools: you do not report the acts of other students to parents or teachers, you deal with it on your own without involving adults in it. Imagine this: a classmate of yours did something that your school didn’t approve of and when everyone in your class was asked about it, none of you said anything even though all of you knew everything! You accepted punishment over reporting your mate who was probably not even your friend.
I remember how teachers would play tricks with us to make us speak what we didn’t want to. It was like they were the officers of law and we, the students, were the criminals who were been interrogated. The teachers would lie to us about what our mates have said and make it look like everyone is speaking except us. This would make us insecure and we’d say some things we didn’t want to say. Or, the teachers would tell us that everyone was pointing fingers at us and that’d make us angry, as a result of which we would say things we didn’t want to say. But with time we picked this tricks and thus, we started prepping ourselves up for such “interrogations”. We made stories and decided to stick to them come what may.
There’s a charm in this act of hiding things from adults and fooling them. Often, children close the doors of their world for adults. But often the charm fades away and leaves behind a habit. To keep this world hidden, lies are said and stories are made. Like, the bruise of a punch becomes an injury incurred while playing football. I think that it’s this that often leave teens with a feeling of loneliness. Also, since they cannot say the truth to their family, this affects their behaviour and makes them people who get irritated instantly because of trivial things.
But, what if this becomes a habit that stays with us for life? Something that finds a way in our subconscious mind and influences/controls our behaviour? What if most crimes are never reported because of a habit that most people developed while following the code of students which is similar to the code of criminals? Chris Paley, in his book titled ‘Unthink’, suggests that our subconscious mind take decisions on the basis of impressions and our conscious mind builds reasoning around such decisions. Our conscious mind thinks that it’s in control whereas it’s fooled into thinking so by our subconscious mind. So, maybe when people witness a crime, that’s either committed against them or somebody else, their subconscious mind decides to not report the crime as that’s the instinct that it’s developed since childhood. To back this decision, the conscious mind create reasons which indicate that reporting a crime may put us in danger or that the crime is too trivial to be reported!
This is just a theory though. It’s maybe true in some cases and not applicable to some incidents. But that’s fine! Theories often lead to astonishing discoveries/inventions. Thus, if you’re reading my theory, maybe you can present a contradictory view to it or, maybe you can add something to this simple theory: modify it and make it more interesting? Do leave a comment in the comment box that you can either already see or shall see if you scroll down!