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.

Open mouth, insert foot

Leave a comment

I will apologize in advance, but this post may encompass a few previous ideas and come to one volcano-like explosion at the end.  It’s time to get personal.

It amazes me how some people on this revolving earth can manage to walk and chew gum at the same time.  The cavernous space where a brain should reside is so glaringly empty, that common sense just bounces from side to side, but is never allowed the freedom to exist or be put into practice.  The filter, that is most commonly used by people who actually utilize the firing neurons in their brain, will inevitably catch the phrases that tumble into our mouths before they have a chance to cross our lips.  That filter can save us from grave embarrassment and potential retribution.  Some people are not lucky or smart enough to know that the filter is available to them, or to be able to use it effectively.

Before we speak, we should ask ourselves certain questions.  1) Is it true?  2) Is it necessary? 3) Is it inspiring?  4) Will it improve upon silence by talking about it?    If not, keep your mouth shut and keep it to yourself.

I got a phone call from my brother tonight on his way home from the golf tournament he participated in today.  He was paired with a local couple in the same business that my dad worked in for decades.  Upon learning of my brother’s family name, the man made a comment so disparaging to my deceased father’s character that my brother was dumbfounded.  That one inane comment continued circulating to the forefront of his thoughts and plagued what should have been an enjoyable afternoon.

Foot in mouth disease is not just a myth.  It exists and is apparently thriving, preying on unsuspecting windbags who do nothing more than speak to hear the sound of their own melodic idiocy.  The venom that is currently coursing through my veins is making my vicious thoughts turn into a verbal barrage of words that my poor dog has never heard before.

If you have been following my blog, you know that I am a firm believer in Karma.  As much as I would like to hunt down this moron and let my vocabulary loose on him with the fury of a thousand hurricanes, I will heed my dad’s sage advice and rise above.   I revert, again, to one of my previous posts and say – you can’t cure stupid.

I can only hope that this sack of leaking idioms will have the light-bulb moment when he realizes what a gross misjudgment he made by opening his mouth in the first place.  And I can only hope he has very expensive taste in shoes, because he just jammed both of those Sperry Top-Siders in at the same time.  Bon appetit, asshole!