Common Sense


Common sense may not be as common as we would like to think.  Common sense is described as the basic level of practical knowledge and judgement that we all need to help us live in a reasonable and safe way.  Although that seems like a very simple idea there are many people who are unable to harness the that basic level of sense.

I have had this discussion with many friends on many occasions – would you rather be book smart or have common sense?  My answer was always the same and always will be – I would far rather have common sense. People with book smarts that lack that aspect of common sense are few and far between, but it does happen.  They can memorize an entire year of law reviews and quote Roe v. Wade verbatim but when it comes to simple, common sense decisions they lack the ability to put things into a functional perspective.

I am fortunate that I was born with a quick, analytical mind.  I can take a situation and process it quickly to come up with a viable solution.  This to me is common sense – being able to scrutinize your surroundings and make a valid decision based on your opinion.

Common sense allows you to interpret and respond to a situation within seconds.  It may seem like a snap judgement but there is stronger force helping guide you to that decision that you feel in your gut is the right thing to do. Book smarts can only get you so far but common sense will guide you seemingly and effortlessly through this journey we call life.  I can’t tell you the details of Roe v. Wade but I can certainly get myself through any situation with some careful thought and conscientious decision-making.

There is a profound satisfaction in knowing that, although I may not be entirely book smart, I can navigate my way through life with a sense of knowing that I will be able to conquer whatever arises with a bit of common sense.  I can always pick up a book or Google the answers that evade me in certain circumstances, but situational awareness and the comfort in having common sense will far outweigh being my own Encyclopedia any day.

21 thoughts on “Common Sense

  1. It can be so frustrating dealing with people with no common sense. I like to think that I have a good combination of wisdom and common sense…but I guess most people like to think that.

    • It is. I watched a law student who was a waitress for a summer. She was holding a tray of shots in one hand and typing in an order with the other. She felt she needed two hands on the keyboard and let the tray of shots hit the floor. I’m sure she’s a fine lawyer!!

  2. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m the rare fusion of both. I call it Heavy Intelligence, like there’s a few extra atomic nuclei in there or something. As such, I am afforded awesome powers of observation when it comes to a distinct lack of common sense in others. It’s what I do.

  3. Fortunately, what I lack in common snese, I make up for in owning up to my mistakes.
    And if common sense were so common, we wouldn’t all speak so highly of it.

  4. There’s something to be said about something I sense you also have, which is uncommon sense, i.e., the kind of sense that goes beyond average know-how in regard to people, feelings and observations.

    In short: a writer 😉

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