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The Editor speaks: Common sense

I hope you read the Front Page story in today’s iNews Cayman headlined “Obituary: Common Sense is dead”.

The death of common sense article is humorous and is equally so true.

There are three links where I found Common Sense sources because they have the same common thread and two of them have ‘borrowed’ some of their content from the original writer author, columnist and speaker, Lori B Bortman.

However, the version that is widely circulated over the Internet and the one that drew me to writing this Editorial is attributed to George Carlin. He ‘borrowed’ it from Bortman.

I was given this version to read at a Meeting I attended last week and it drew a standing ovation. Not for my prowess in delivering it, but its content. I had seen it before, some years ago, and sadly forgotten it.

It is, in my humble opinion, brilliant.

What is “Common Sense”?

“Sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts” – Merriam-Webster

“Your common sense is your natural ability to make good judgments and to behave in a practical and sensible way” – Collins Dictionary

“The basic level of practical knowledge and judgment that we all need to help us live in a reasonable and safe way” – Cambridge

“Good sense and sound judgement in practical matters” – Oxford

The word ‘judgement’ occurs in all four definitions and is preceded by the word ‘sound’ in two.

Collins Dictionary uses the word ‘good’ instead.

Cambridge Dictionary tends to devalue it a little by preceding it with the words ‘basic level’.

I asked the question on my search engine “Has common sense gone?” and the overwhelming answer was “YES”.

Chris Moerdyk, a columnist in South Africa writes:

“ Listening to a radio talk show last week I heard one listener after the other suggesting that the quickest way to solve the problems of society was just to ban whatever it was that led people astray. The lack of logic in these knee-jerk solutions suggested to me that common sense was an extremely rare commodity these days.

Then later, as I watched the news on television I saw people protesting against low wages by beating the daylights out of those who were exercising their democratic right not to protest. And of course the ongoing feud between Julius Malema and the media in which common sense has never been even vaguely been present.

Even looking at a lot of legislation coming out of parliament, common sense does not seem to have played any meaningful role.

In these mad and far too politically correct times we live in, common sense seems to have become devalued somehow. No-one appears to make use of it anymore.


Moerdyk even quotes the Obituary from George Carlin.

Stef Daniel writing on “Professor’s House” nails it 100% when he starts by teaching children common sense and then asks ‘For what?’

“By the time so many people reach adulthood, they have literally no common sense left. Suddenly life is about living in the moment and not thinking about consequences or personal responsibilities that we may have to others and ourselves. Life is lived precariously from one moment to the other.

“The list of endless crap that only signifies society has lost its ability to use common sense is completely endless. Today, courts are spending millions of dollars on bogus court cases and ridiculous bickerings between individuals who didn’t choose to utilize their common sense and then want to blame someone else for their ignorance.

“The lack of common sense boils down to two things. Selfishness and ego. People today place so much stock in being right all the time, in winning – even when there is nothing to win or lose, that they have lost touched with the most basic of human functions. Common sense.

“Before long, the lack of common sense and the placement of burden on every one and everything else in this world to accommodate it, will cause people to discontinue thinking at all. At least for themselves. Then what?”


And close to home?

Why would my Newlands elected MLA, Alva Suckoo, open a ‘District Council Office’ with the man who came last, Raul Gonzales? The landlord …?

As for Suckoo’s claim many Newlands people reached out to him to open the office I wonder where they reached him? It’s certainly not by telephone! Common sense should tell him to at least have voice mail where one can leave a message, and to call back the person who has telephoned him – that is if he has the ability to read the number.

That is common sense.


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