What Is Common Sense?
Common Sense. We hear these two words almost every day. Use your common sense. It’s common sense. He/she has no common sense. If only people had a common sense… But what is it? I think we often take it for granted. If someone asked you to explain what common sense is, what would you say?
I asked myself the same question and found myself puzzled and not being able to give a good explanation right away. So I took some time to think about it. Here is what I came up with.
Common sense is possession of common knowledge, facts, history, traditions, culture, and our ability to explain “everyday things”. I’m talking about things that children ask us about. What’s E=MC^2? What is the moon? Where do rivers start? How do plants grow? Where do eggs come from? Where do we come from? Who discovered continents? What is air comprised of? What is time? Why do we speak different languages? How does electricity work? How does a plane fly? What makes an engine work? How do you ride a bicycle? How does electricity work? What it money? Why do we die?
And the list of these questions is endless. These are very basic questions. And I’m willing to bet a lot of money that the majority of adults do not know answers to them. Which explains the lack of common sense in our current society. We (people) have grown so attached to the internet and ability to look things up at will that we no longer think it’s necessary to store knowledge inside of our own hard drives – our brains, i.e. memory and consciousness. Many people (especially younger generations) often say that knowing these things is useless. “Why would I memorize this “junk” if I can look it up?” ??♂️
Well… It’s not just memorizing. I’m talking about understanding the core principles in these answers. Understanding how these things work. Being able to explain them to kids and adults in real-life conversations when you won’t have time to look things up on your phone.
It’s my opinion that because of this lack of fundamental knowledge and ability to understand simple (and more complex) concepts, processes, and systems that together make up our daily lives – common sense is something that is lacking in our society. Younger generations will have a major problem in the future because of their dependence on “being able to Google things”. I’m not saying the internet is bad – it’s an amazing global encyclopedia of knowledge that makes so many things possible. But if we solely depend on it to pull knowledge, we are doomed.
Common sense is, therefore, a crucial skill set. It’s not only the storage of useful and common knowledge and wisdom but our ability to apply it, to use it, to share it with others.
For example, it’s common knowledge in Florida that during rain you should turn your lights on and NOT use your flashers (emergency signal). They cause accidents because other drivers have no idea when you’re about to make a turn since both the right and left side turn lights blink simultaneously. Thus, your flashers interfere with your turning signals, confusing other drivers. YET, thousands of drivers still turn on their flashers when it rains. They don’t understand that they are endangering all other drivers, including themselves. And that’s only one example of how lack of common sense can be dangerous.
To sum up, I’d like to call everyone to a simple action. Learn at least one interesting fact every day and share it with other people in your network. Let’s create more common sense all around us. Let’s make our communities safer and better one common sense share at a time.
Thank you for reading this. Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.
Ⓒ 2019 Sergey “The Gambit” Kiklevich, Gambit Solutions Inc.