Well, as site owner, I felt it time to write my first blog. By all accounts this is my first time ever, as I have never involved myself in social media or written anything to post on any site…So, here goes.
Perhaps you may see the significance of my blog choice, ‘Common Sense’ as it might pertain to my site. Perhaps not. Either way, in keeping with the comment about my site not being a doom and gloom site I have elected to look at common sense on the lighter side, even though the lack of it could be life altering.
Much as has been written about this subject and, perhaps, none more paraphrased than the Nicholas Amhurst one liner in his satirical political writing back in 1726. Amhurst included this line, “The one thing that is usually said about common sense is that it isn’t as common as it ought to be.”
Of course, being paraphrased over the years his ‘ought to be’ was changed to ‘used to be’, which altered the meaning of his sentence dramatically. Where Amhurst spoke of his particular time, the paraphrasing change seemed to indicate that people (in general?) seemed to feel our forefathers had more common sense than we do. Which are you more familiar with and do you agree with either?
Even Albert Einstein weighed in when he commented, “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by the age of 18. It is also a result of some pervasive and extremely stupid logical fallacies that have become embedded in the human brain over generations, for one reason or another. These malfunctioning thoughts--several of which you've had already today--are a major cause of everything that's wrong with the world.”
Well that’s Einstein being Einstein, I guess. Obviously, Albert, had little time for the idea but, he raised some interesting notions about the subject. Is common sense nothing more than acquired prejudices during our formative years or, worse, the embedding of fallacies over generations of time? Whatever your view, his words certainly beg thinking about.
I’ve always considered common sense to have value. Not that we walk around consciously thinking in those terms but, rather as a ‘sense’ available to us (and are aware of) to really protect ourselves from ourselves. Of course, having it or at least having it available, is a far cry from using it.
Consider the youth enamored with the super hero – Superman. Perhaps you can even relate to his sudden decision that he too could fly and decides to jump from the house or garage roof, complete with cape. Common sense would dictate not – right? The danger of a broken limb would indicate the same thing and yet all is ignored for the one time simple thrill of trying to fly.
At this point, Albert might have been right. The ill-fated decision, in this case, would most assuredly have added to the young man’s common sense library, of things not to do – right? But, then I had to smile when considering what Einstein might have written about the “Jackass” movies and programs, where common sense is thrown to the wind for a laugh.
“A city gentleman, far removed from country life, finds himself on a working ranch. He’s amazed at the life style, as he looks around. Hearing a noise from inside the barn he walks in to investigate and finds the rancher hard at work. The rancher is working on horseshoes, heating and pounding them back into usable shape. Approaching the rancher, the city man sees a horseshoe lying on an anvil and picks it up. A split second later the city man puts the horseshoe back down, much to the amusement of the rancher. “Hot was it?” the rancher asked and grinned. “Nope, it just doesn’t take me long to look at a horseshoe.” the city man answered back.”
An amusing anecdote, perhaps, and yet it points out our human failings where common sense is concerned. I have little doubt that each and everyone of you readers has your own story(s) about common sense failings. If not, you only have to watch the news or pick up a newspaper to read about the latest.
Before leaving you, I’m going to a guy that you just have to laugh with. Capt. Edward Murphy, a US Air Force engineer, has long been credited for writing the compilation of Murphy’s Laws. However, there are some that take these writing much farther back and to other countries and I came across this little tid-bit…
“Incidentally, a lot of Brits think that Murphy's Law is an Irish joke. Murphy is an Irish name of course, and the Irish have been the butt of jokes from Brits for a long time.
Anyway, a lot of Brits seem to think that what Murphy's Law refers to is that the Irish are to blame for things going wrong because they are careless or stupid or both, at least according to British mythology on the Irish.”
No matter the true origin, these observations are hilarious. Murphy’s primer law states:
‘That if something bad can happen, it will happen’. And while that attitude may leave you depressed and irritable, believing the opposite can leave you having to sell a kidney to pay the rent.
Another little gem, ‘If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which something can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop.’
In closing, I didn’t find any law directly related to common sense but, several seemed to skirt the issue. Being sensible and preparing is never wrong, no matter Murphy’s view. Whether right or wrong, procrastination will only make his first law worse and rest assured that ‘Nature always sides with the hidden flaw’ is pretty much fact. If your flaw is not being prepared then nature will surly find a way to mess with you in the most unpleasant manner.
Have a great day!