"The Laws of England place great weight on the Reasonable Man.  They will not, and sometimes will say it is because they cannot, specify exactly what ought to be done in all circumstances, and will phrase their demands instead in terms of what a reasonable man would in the circumstances do.  So too juries are directed to bring in a verdict of Guilty only if the charge is proved beyond reasonable doubt, without there being any account offered of what exactly a reasonable doubt is.  It is an old tradition.  Plato, Aristotle and St Paul all insisted on the inability of the letter of the law to exhaust the full content of its spirit, and Aristotle defines a key term of his philosophy by reference to what the reasonable man would decide.  However - "What do you mean by `Reasonable Man' it is asked?  "
The Philosphical Quarterly   13 No. 51 - April 1963  Extract from Thesis   p97

The Man on the Clapham Omnibus   
"The reasonable person is a legal fiction of the common law representing an objective standard against which any individuals conduct can be measured.  It is used to determine if a breach of the Standard of Care has occurred provided a duty of care can be proven.

The reasonable person standard holds:  each person owes a duty to behave as a reasonable person would under the same or similar circumstances.  While the specific circumstances of each case will require varying kinds of conduct and degrees of care, the reasonable person standard undergoes no variation itself.

This standard performs a crucial role in determining negligence in both criminal law - that is - criminal negligence - and tort law.  The standard also has a presence in contract law, though its use there is substantially different.

The standard does not exist independently of other circumstances within a case which could affect an individual's judgement.     "

There has been much controversy in the last week or so, in regard to South Africa's President, Jacob Zuma, in regard to the number of wives he has, his fiancee, his "affair" and his 20 children.

My blog is not privy to judge any person or event in any way.  I do however, consider myself being able to discuss what I would consider, for example, what I would consider "reasonable" in different walks of life.

But first, I came across a beautiful site on the Culture of the beautiful Zulu People of which Jacob Zuma is one, which covers:    Reed dance, Women and domestic work, Wedding, Traditional Clothing, Traditional Healing and Cultural Villages which I think is absolutely fascinating and I would recommend a view to anyone who reads my blog.

The Reasonable [ ? ] in 2010
My couple of definitions (first with a touch of tongue in cheek!):

Housewife - (Oooops   -   We are not talking 1950's here!)  can delegate, have assistance, help, etc., but should ensure that the house is tidy, the washing and ironing are completed timeously, dishes done, food cooked and laid on the table for her family.  And so if hubby is rich - what is wrong with that tennis, gym, hair, nails, spa, massage, movies, lunch out, etc?

Lawyer - A lawyer has to be a person who goes that extra mile - we are not talking 9 am till 5 pm here.  This has to be a person who is a mixture of professional dedication but also can be awarded lucratively.

Secretary - Punctual, brilliant typist (do they still use that word type???), brilliant at filing, carrying a notebook at all times (even to the loo!!!) writing everything down that she hears from early morning until night, untill she departs for her home, every single telephone number that she comes across, hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil!    Incidentally when she departs for her home she becomes "housewife" - etc. - etc. - etc!

Star Soccer Player - We are talking "big bucks" here!  With 2010 I had to mention them pretty high on the list.  You have to expect as well as huge talent, some naughtiness - as where you are talking money you are talking about the women stalking brigade!   The two always go hand in hand - hmmm I wonder why?  And so I am afraid the reasonable Star Soccer Player (who also travels frequently), is exceedingly fit, and thus has a very good body, would thus be expected to be stalked also by tabloids, have a gigantic home, visit exotic places and don't question his personal life.

Golfer - I have to divide this into two categories:  The Top Professional whose talent in providing entertainment on the golf course is awe inspiring ------ - and then again, the weekend golfer, who in actual fact spends just as much (sometimes more time) socialising at the 19th hole than he does on the golf course. 

NB:   The entertainment top sportsmen (including golfers), provide for the "average guy/girl on the Clapham bus, is priceless!  and therefore any variation from "the reasonable man" has to exclude most of them.  They aren't where they are because of a piece of luck, of how they look - they in actual fact have a focus and dedication that we can all just wonder and become inspired at, and that they are "where they are" is due to enormous hard work.  

NB:  The second category - the "reasonable" weekend golfer is actually quite harmless and would more than likely have worked hard all week, borne the brunt of many a problem, love his golf, enjoy his couple of drinks, and there are a lot worse places one's husband could be.

Tennis Player
I have discussed the top players under top sportsmen which equally applies.
The average tennis player is very fit, focused on his sport and would leave the recreation venue far sooner than the golfer.

Very outgoing and friendly, whether famous or not.  An actress differs from a celebrity.

Minister of Religion
Someone to look up to, whose morals are beyond reproach, whose wife is supportive to her husband and to the community.  A person of dedication.

The list could be endless of what could be expected as "reasonable" in each instance.  Which brings me to what I consider to be :

The Reasonable President
To my mind, the reasonable President should be a person who is academically astute, who has that special something that the people under his care can relate to, and understand.  He should be a person of integrity, as where we can forgive our friends or ourselves for transgressions, our President is our Icon.   He should be a person who burns the midnight oil with his learnings, with ways to improve the way of life for the people under his care, for the woman in the shack in the squatter camp, and for the executive of a high powered company.  A person who is 24 hours out of 24 hours working hard to make our country safe, beautiful, and prosperous.  A man or woman high above the rest of us, a man of complete dedication.

On this - the 20th year of the Anniversary of his Freedom - I am talking about our beloved Nelson Mandela.