Wednesday, February 25, 2009

One of the things I like best about e-mail is you get some pretty funny—and pretty astute—missives from others. Often these have come through so many people, you have to figure they’ve been around the world a couple of times.

One of my favourites just made the rounds again, and it’s a topic I find myself dwelling upon in my thoughts a great deal lately. I’m sure you’ve all seen it. It’s called an Obituary for Common Sense.

You have to agree that common sense has seemed “dead” for a long time. I last recall seeing it when I was a kid. As listed in this e-mail, common sense was known for such tenets of wisdom as knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; the fact that life isn't always fair and the true possibility that maybe it was my fault.

I had a little chuckle as I read this email, and this time, thinking ahead, copied and pasted it to a folder where I keep little gems for future reference. And then I got to thinking: what if common sense isn’t really dead? What if he’s just comatose?

In recent times we have witnessed something that I for one would have sworn was simply not possible. We have seen a man rise, in about four years total, from relative obscurity to the Presidency of The United States. Love him or hate him, you cannot deny his meteoric rise, or that his success was against all odds.

So if a man can go from unknown to President in just four years, why can’t we resuscitate Common Sense?

Think about it for a moment: wouldn’t that really be something? Take some time to envision, if you will, a grass roots movement dedicated to the restoration of the rule of Common Sense in our families, in our society, in our institutions! Why, who among us can honestly deny that such a movement undertaken fifteen, ten, or even five years ago might have prevented the current apparent meltdown in the economy we are suffering through now?

What would a world comprised of people governed by common sense look like?

There’d be fewer lawyers, because there would be a lot fewer frivolous law suits. (What? Sue McDonalds because I spilled hot coffee on myself? Ridiculous, it was my own fault for not being careful.)

Collection agents might experience a “down-sizing”, too. (No, we’re not going to throw our money away on frivolous things. First we pay the bills, then we treat ourselves.)

Cancer rates would decrease: (Smoking causes cancer? Then, no thanks. Too much sun brings on melanoma? Pass the hat and the sunscreen, please.)

Traffic deaths would go down: (Everybody buckle up, and don’t tell me to hurry, I’m going to drive the speed limit.)

There would be fewer deaths in house fires, too: (For the cost of a battery I can protect my family? I’d be a fool not to.) And so on, and so forth.

What worries me more than anything is that when you say to today’s young people, “Where the heck is your common sense?”, they look at you as if you’ve just spoken a foreign language.

If a man can go from obscurity to the White House in four years—two years, if you count from when he got serious about it—and if they can build a house in seven days, you just have to wonder. Why can’t we resuscitate common sense?

Or maybe the question is better phrased: why don’t we?

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Faithful readers,

It has been brought to my attention, just now, that the e-mail to which
I referred this morning in my Wednesday's Words was not written by that
old sage, 'Anonymous', after all.

If you would like to read the original of the "Obituary To Common Sense"
that I referred to, you may find it here:



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