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Common sense should be rated as a superpower

They say common sense is actually a curse because you have to deal with all those who don’t have it. Indeed common sense is not as common as we may think. What strikes you as obvious may not be so for someone else. Indeed “nonsense is so good only because common sense is so limited” (George Santayana).

Things like looking both ways before you cross the street; not parking on a turn or on a sidewalk that pedestrians should use; editing before printing; counting your change; and simply paying attention to what you do and where you’re going, may be justly classified as common sense. Not to everyone though. Some people take things for granted. Like the fact that your change will always be the right amount. Or the fact that if there is no other place to park, leaving your car in the middle of the road is an acceptable practice. It’s the things that can tick a person off. That can irritate you and ruin your mood for the day. But it is also things that we simply should learn to accept, for the fact alone that human nature and its mentality are very difficult to change.

Common sense is defined as “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts” or even as “the basic level of practical knowledge and judgment that we all need to help us live in a reasonable and safe way”. Common sense is based on a person’s rationale. His/her ability to rationalise situations and decide the appropriate form of action, simply based on what is obvious. For example, walking around a street lamp in the street and not climbing up it and down the other side; or even keeping your hand away from the fire. It is this ability to rationalise that supposedly gives humans their superior character. But what is obvious to one person doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be viewed the same way by another. That is why communication is intrinsic. It actually enables people to understand each other and one another’s perspective, and hence, their rationale on certain situations.

The only problem with common sense is that everyone thinks they possess it and this can lead to arrogance and the determined belief that “my way is more right than yours”. In such situations, however, it is important to remain calm and use justified arguments for your case. Patience, after all, is a virtue…


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3 thoughts on “Common sense should be rated as a superpower

  1. Pingback: Ψάχνοντας τα αυτονόητα / Seeking the obvious | MC's Whispers

  2. Pingback: Goosfraba | MC's Whispers

  3. Pingback: Superstitious thirteenth | MC's Whispers

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