28 January, 2004

On common sense

For all the talk about ‘common sense’ as something which is a good thing, I thought I would share with you my interpretation of where it comes from.
Common sense is that which we have determined works in a given situation. We always try to loosen to the left (lefty loosy righty tighty) because that is the way it has always worked before.
We apply common sense to a problem immediately, in order to refrain from thinking the problem through; we are lazy. Me too. Laziest man you’d ever met, right over here.
Problems arise when we are taught the wrong things, by society or by environment. If my mother always cleans up after me, common sense will tell me I do not have to be responsible for my actions, mommy fixes it. If the only way I can see that I can get respect (a higher need, according to Maslow, and I agree) is to be a gang banger or a drug dealer, what does my common sense tell me to do?
I have no common sense. Drill Sergeants told me that, and I believe them. I always had to ask questions about WHY something worked the way it did. I can now poor piss out of a boot, but because I read the instructions on the heel.
I don’t have a whole lot of uncommon sense about some things, and about some things I am downright ignorant. But the things I know, I know because I thought them through; not because it is’common sense’. Call me stubborn, I confess it’s true, but that is just what I call my determination.

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