(Not So) Common Sense?


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It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense. -Robert Ingersoll

What may seem to be common sense to some, is not to others.    Or is it that common sense, is really not that common?  Even the definition of common sense varies from person to person.  For example, some believe common sense is based on what we expect or think others should know.  Thus, common sense is derived from experience and knowledge that people already have.  Others relate common sense to sound practical judgment and good sense.  Therefore, common sense is based on making wise decisions, and not irrational ones.

For those who we feel have little or no common sense, terms such as  “immature,” “ignorant,” “impractical” and “unreasonable” come to mind.  We call them adolescents or kids.  In some cases, we go as far as calling bad sense simple stupidity.  Is it that certain people lack the basic understanding of the five senses that otherwise would give information that ensures we make rational, and not irrational decisions?  Or do some people simply ignore the practical understanding for other reasons?

I’ve thought about this as its something that I cannot explain.  Nonetheless, I’d like to say I follow common sense and strive to make sensible choices.  Of course, looking back there have been decisions I’ve made that certainly do not make sense to me now!

Like others who write, the things I write about often relate to things that I encounter.  So, this thought on common sense had to do with a person who a couple of days ago went into my inbox when I had stepped away from my desk for a moment.  The thought was it was okay, since the particular e-mail (with attachment opened) was not “personal.”  I was shocked and thought it was common sense that going into someone’s e-mail without permission was just not something done.  Boy, was I wrong!

Your thoughts?

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