Commom Sense Reality Check

We all have common sense, but the questions are - - - Is your common sense with or without sense? Are you using it the right way or not?
We all have common sense, but the questions are - - - Is your common sense with or without sense? Are you using it the right way or not?

As a Psychology and Human Resource professional, I have been bothered lately by a long time issue about COMMON SENSE. I encountered a lot of things that I thought people should have used their common sense when they decide to do something.

I believe that everybody have COMMON SENSE that varies in different levels. But people might be guilty, to some extent or occasionally, of not using it the right way. I tried to look up its definition to express it in laymen’s term for better understanding. It comes from the Latin word “sēnsus commūnis”, which is the common feeling of humanity. Common Sense is defined as - - -

Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary

- sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts

- sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like; normal native intelligence

The Free Dictionary

- sound judgment not based on specialized knowledge; native good judgment

MacMillan Dictionary

- the ability to use good judgment and make sensible decisions

If we might noticed in the four definitions, it was commonly defined as a sound judgment, prudent judgment, practical judgment, and good judgment. These all refers to one thing that is common sense should reflect a sensible way of thinking, reasoning and feelings of people. We do need to know everything to have common sense. This does not necessarily mean that a person should be a genius or intelligent to decide on how to act on simple matters.

Here are some of my unfortunate experiences with people who supposed to have common sense but failed to use it.


My husband and I were on our way to my sister-in-law’s house for dinner. It was already dark at that time when a man who was wearing a black shirt suddenly crossed the street. Just imagine! It was a main road with no pedestrian lane. The man didn’t even bother to look if there were cars approaching him. So, did the man use his common sense in this situation?

It is just a common sense that there are pedestrian lanes that must be use for crossing the streets. There are also traffic lights that need to be followed by everybody. These are provided in order to avoid any car accidents. It is also obvious that black color is not too visible at night. If something bad happens, people would just instantly blame it to the driver. But does that make sense always?

On the otherhand, I also have experienced crossing the street. I was on my way to the mall from my office to meet my husband for lunch. The traffic turned green and the walk sign turned white, so I already took a few steps when suddenly a big SUV goes towards my direction and was perhaps a feet away from me. Honestly, I felt nervous at that time. I shook my head and thought, this driver needs to take a seminar from the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV). He doesn’t know the right thing to do when somebody is crossing the street. So, where is the common sense of this driver? Does he know the meaning of respect? I’m sure he does, but he is just one person with common sense who doesn’t use it. Or should I say, he has a COMMON SENSE WITHOUT SENSE?


There was no traffic and I was on my way to work that morning. I was supposed to make a left turn going to our office street. I saw two cars on the left lane and the traffic light was still on red. I stopped at the back of the second car. When the light turned green, the two cars didn’t moved, so I wondered what’s wrong with them. The light turned red again in just a few seconds. So I missed it! The second time the light turned green, I transferred to my right lane since there were no other cars at that time. Guess what? The first car in front doesn’t have a driver and had his emergency car lights on, but the second one has a driver just sitting inside. So, where’s the common sense in this situation?

It is just a common sense that the second car that is visible to other drivers should have put his emergency car lights on as a signal that there is a problem. In this way, it will not delay or cause inconvenience to others. It is sad to say that the driver who was sitting inside his car just didn’t use his common sense the right way. Oh yes, another common sense issue without sense.


There was another instance when I was in a bookstore. I was looking for new books that might also be a good buy for me. There was another woman who kept moving towards my way. I tried to move a little bit away from her everytime she moved closer. I was trying to reach for a book when she suddenly bumped me at my side and stepped on my shoes. Oh my goodness! My toes were dead because of her weight. But seriously speaking, she didn’t even bother to apologize. So, did the woman used her common sense? Definitely not . . .

It is just a common sense that if somebody is ahead of you or has the right of way in any situation, you should extend some courtesy to the other person. If you are in a hurry to move ahead, then you should at least ask permission. You should also apologize if you have done something wrong even if it is an accident. A person’s actions can also reveal if he/ she has good manners and etiquette. But this woman is just another disrespectful being who doesn’t use her common sense.


At the parking lot, my husband and I loaded the stuffs that we bought from the grocery store. He then placed the push cart at the station area where it should be. I went inside our car and then my husband followed me. We saw a woman and her son, whose car was next to us, were also unloading their grocery items. After a few minutes, we moved our car slowly but we felt that we hit something at the back. My husband stepped out of the car, and guess what he saw?!? A push cart! It was not visible in our rear view mirror, a blind spot in driving. These mother and son placed their push cart at the back of our car. The mother suddenly tried to move backwards. You can see from her face that she wants to immediately run away from this incident. I may pardon the mistake of her son, but this woman is another example of one being who doesn’t use her common sense. Again, the person has a common sense without sense.

It is just a common sense that there is a push cart station in every parking lot where you can place these carts after you use it. You don’t leave it at the back of another person’s car. That doesn’t make sense!

These are just few of my unfavorable experiences with people who don’t use their common sense. If I am going to tell you more, you might also go crazy. But I’m sure that you also have your own encounter with these types of people. However, if you are one of those personas who are guilty of not using your common sense, then you might as well have a second thought before you react to this article. We all have common sense, but the questions are - - - “Is your common sense with or without sense? Are you using it the right way or not? How does your action affects others?” This is the right time for all of us to have a reality check if we are using it or not.

So why do people, even the smarter ones, do dumb things? It is simply because they failed to use their common sense.

In our training sessions, we think that people usually retain only 25% of what they have heard, seen or read in any articles. This is the reason why I mentioned the word COMMON SENSE over and over again. . . retention in our minds.

Try to watch the videos I uploaded from youtube by BlackMarketDude and Tru TV. You can judge it yourself if these scenes are with or without common sense. I have also listed some excerpts from news that I found online. You may click the link to read their whole story:

What’s common about sense?

Some things should be self-evident, but some people missed the memo

Las Vegas Sunday, Saturday, May 8, 2010

“Common sense, as the saying goes, isn’t all that common. In fact, it can be something of a precious commodity if you look at some recent new stories: … about federal efforts to clean up desert areas in Southern Nevada because people are dumping their junk there… and the case of a 17-year-old Philadelphia Phillies fan…”

NAPLAN breakthrough 'a win for common sense': QTU

ABC News, May 6, 2010

“The Queensland Teachers Union (QTU) says the backdown on the boycott of the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests is a win for common sense.”

Obama to Wall Street: Work with me on 'common-sense rules

USA Today, April 22, 2010

“Even so, Obama argued that new regulations on the financial industry would help businesses, customers, and the U.S. economy as a whole. "We need to enact a set of updated, common-sense rules to ensure accountability on Wall Street and to protect consumers in our financial system," he said.”

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Comments 45 comments

Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

I hear you load and clear, as a past manager of several hundred people, sometimes I would have to shake me head in bewilderment, common sense is an instinct, something that parents could help their children with, sad to same some parents themselves are a a loss, great hub, thank you for this great advise

TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Hi Darlene, I agree with you that common sense starts from an early training in childhood. Parents and family members contribute much to it. I really appreciate your comment. Have a great week!

Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

Hi Tina, it is incredible how little some people think. In Texas we had another expression for the examples you gave--what you called common sense we called manners. Thanks for the reminders. =:)

lctodd1947 profile image

lctodd1947 6 years ago from USA

Tina V; very good advice and oh so necessary. People stay in such a hurry and do not think about others and the conquencies of their erratic behaviours. It is very important to think before we do anything really. I am sure we all have to pinch ourselves every now and then. Thanks for sharing this information with us.

satomko profile image

satomko 6 years ago from Macon, GA

I like your opening with its epistemic approach to "common sense." Because of the paradoxical rarity of common sense I vote we instead call it "practical wisdom" like Aristotle suggested.

Healthy Living Is profile image

Healthy Living Is 6 years ago from allergies, people, flowers. health, diet, art, medicine, mental health

Great photo

TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Hi Winsome,

I really appreciate your comment. In my opinion, common sense pertains to the reasoning and judgment of a person; while manners is the action done based on it.

If a person uses his/ her common sense, he elicits good manners and right conduct. But if he fails to use it, it usually results to bad manners or stupidity of doing things. I don't want to actually use the words dumb or stupid in my article. My apology to our readers. But that's the reality as a result of one's nonsense decision.

Thank you for checking out this hub. Have a great week!

TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Hi lctodd1947,

I do agree with you that all of us need "to pinch ourselves every now and then." This is really the purpose of my article that is to have a reality check of our common sense. I mentioned this word over and over again so that it would really retain in the minds of our readers.

Considering the global economic situation, it would be best for all of us to have a reality check if our behaviors affect our society. I hope that, in one way or another, this would all remind us to be more sensitive, too.

Thank you for your insights. Have a great week!

TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Hi satomko,

"Practical wisdom" is a good term. Thank you for sharing your idea about Aristotle's suggestion. But whatever words we used, I hope that all of us will learn something from it.

Have a great week!

DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

Tina V, Great observations! Fabulous insight! Great vdeos! The Proverbs are a great source of wisdom and helpful, practical common sense!

However, Common sense, manners along with proper etiquette are gradually being laid aside more and more. I believe It has a lot to do with the lackadaisical approach to moral and ethical values that are continually dissipating from our society! Thank you for sharing! In His Love, Peace & Blessings!

TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Hi Deborrah, I agree with you. We can learn a lot from the book of Proverbs as well as the book of Psalms.

I really appreciate the additional insights that you have shared, too. Thank you.

Have a great week!

Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

Most people attribute all the sense they have to common sense, and since there are a lot of very strange ideas in our world about what's right or wrong, it doesn't surprise me that one man's common sense is another man's idiocy. :)

drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 6 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

GREAT VIDEO! I agree, Common sense is a instinct! Some people takes things for granted! Hmmm... A great way to fail!! Blessings my friend!!

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Tina, I agree with you on the common sense and I think some people are just lacking. I see it all the time also. Courtesy however, should be taught at a young age. Good hub.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Gee willickers! Thank you Dear!!!

TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Hi Springboard, you've just mentioned some thoughts to ponder on by our readers. Thank you for your comment.

TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Hi drpastorcarlota, I agree that some people take it for granted. So I think that we all have to do a reality check that we are not part of those "some people". Thank you for your additional insights. Have a great week!

TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Hi Pamela, you've just hit it right. I'm sure you can empathize with me. Common sense starts at an early age. So parents really play an important role in forming it. Thank you for your insights. Have a great week!

TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Hi Micky Dee, thank you for checking out this hub. Have a great week!

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Linda Myshrall 6 years ago

Hi Tina, I was wondering if it was just me! I find myself frustrated on a daily basis by the complete lack of common sense and common courtesy around me, and it feels like it is getting worse! A week ago, I watched a man driving a pick-up truck make a hard turn in front of a couple who was legally driving through an intersection; he took their right-of-way, then he took their lives. So disgusting. I really appreciate this article as it allowed me to vent. Thumbs up, Linda

TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Hi Linda, I'm sure that it is not only you and me who felt this way. I also felt that it is getting worst nowadays. I hope that our readers will also learn from what you have just shared. It is sad to know that damaged had been done and it caused the lives of the couple. I hope that all drivers can read your comment so that everybody will realize something before we regret it at the end.

Thank you so much for your comment. Have a great week!

muley84 profile image

muley84 6 years ago from Miami,FL

Good Hub. What is referred to as common sense isn't always so common after all. When I was younger my dad would tell me "you haven't got the sense God gave a goose" after I did something dumb. I don't think I was stupid, but I really didn't think about what I did. If we all took the time to think about what we do, many more of us would have common sense.

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines

Reality check on one's common sense! Very timely. I was wondering lately how people could be so lacking in manners- inside vehicles, inside the church, along the road, everywhere I turn to. Many times I fear exposing myself in public places. What if anything happens to me- will someone be kind to give an old ailing woman a helping hand? I have reasons now to be more caring to others- acquaintance or stranger. Thank you for sharing this.

TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Hi muley84, it was nice of you to share your experience with your father. I believe that everyone of us have our own share of responsibility to check if we are doing something that are dumb or stupid. I just thought that this is the right time to have a reality check of our common sense. Thank you for your comment. Have a great week!

TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Hi Lita, it's good that you have shared your sentiments, too. Many from your same age also share the same sentiments with you. But I hope you will be able to manage your fear of going out in public places. I am sure that our readers will learn from it. A person who lacks manner is a result of his lack of common sense. I guess, now is the right time to have a reality check. Thank you for your comment. Have a great week!

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

great advice TinaV, common sense is all and we need this, times are difficult as well, How are you, sorry been late in reading my baby was sick, Maita

TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Hi Maita, I'm sorry to hear about your baby. I hope he's fine now. I really appreciate your additional insights. We really need common sense especially that time now is difficult. Thank you for the visit.

nadp profile image

nadp 6 years ago from WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA

It is a good idea for all of us to reflect on our road and driving habits and think about whether we are using common sense or being careless. Thanks for your thoughts.

TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Hi nadp, I agree with your comment. It is also good to reflect and check ourselves once in a while in our life. We might miss out something. Thank you for your additional insights.

billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

It is quite amazing how some people seem to have no common sense. Often it is a reflection of being so absorbed in themselves. Other times they just have sensibilities and vulnerabilities that give that appearance. You raise some interesting points here.

TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Hi billy, I hope a lot of our readers will read your comment. I agree with you that lack of common sense is "often a reflection of being so aborbed in themselves." People tend to exhibit lack of sensitivity to the needs of others, but rather focuses more on their own convenience. Thank you for checking out this hub. Have a great week!

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

Oh, how I wish for common sense! My mother stressed this above everything else. And when we were young she told us if we were out there and there was stupidity going on around us and we didn't know what to do with ourselves - we should go home. Go home and stay there.

We are constantly reminded that driving is a privilege not a right - I just don't know why so many menaces remain on the road.

Thanks for a common sense hub.

TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Hi BkCreative, I really appreciate your additional insights. I like what your mother said, “go home and stay there.” I bet your mom doesn’t want any of her kids to have a bad effect to others. I guess we cannot control stupidity of others, but we can still control ourselves not to become one of them. The menaces of others on the road can possibly have a bad impact to many. I saw once on TV that a mother of 3 children was disabled and half paralyzed because of the negligence of a drunk driver. I believe that common sense plays a big role in the growth of our country. I hope people would understand its importance.

Thank you for checking out this hub.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

Hi, Tina, this one is very timely for something that happened yesterday. I was walking down my high street and in front of me was a major accident, a woman driver had shot up the street and turned right, straight into a woman crossing the street, she ran her over, panicked ever more and then ran up onto the pavement and squashed two young men, luckily their injuries were to their legs and they are going to be okay, but I have no idea how the poor woman who was run over is, this stupid driver shot up the street going so fast that she couldn't stop. I live in a small village and she should have only been doing twenty at that point. Common sense? seems she didn't have any sense! cheers nell

TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Hi Nell, I am glad that you shared this story. I hope our readers will learn from this. You are indeed right! That woman is really a stupid driver and she didn't used her common sense. I hope people would realize that their actions can affect others and may possibly change one's life.


Thank you so much.

Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 6 years ago from Long Island, NY

Tina, Why is it that we find lack of common sense mostly among drivers. I remember once I was driving down a hill in the winter and there was ice on the street. So I was leaving a whole lot of distance in front me in order to maintain control and have time to react to the unexpected. The fellow behind me was obviously frustrated that I was not keeping up with the car in front of me and he started tailgating me. I tried to move out of his way a little despite the snow banks, when suddenly he pushed on his gas in anger and took off around me. What happened next is absolute stupidity. He lost control of his car on the ice and slammed into the car way ahead of me. Lucky for me I was able to stop before hitting both of them since I had left all that distance. My common sense paid off. But this driver was living proof that some people can totally lack any common sense. What a shame. Thanks for your hub. I think more drivers need to read it.

OpinionDuck profile image

OpinionDuck 6 years ago

Using common sense should include the reality of the bible, the media talk, and the political party speak.

TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Hi Glenn, thank you for sharing your experience. Although it is not only limited to drivers, but as well as to every one of us. Drivers just have a greater risk to cause the life of another person if we don’t use our common sense. Oh well, we can definitely hear it in the news. We should all learn from this incident.

I hope that what you’ve just said would be an eye-opener to all our readers that a little common sense goes a long way. If we use it, we could avoid accidents and help make our country a better place to live.

I really appreciate your comment. Thank you. Have a great week!

TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Hi OpinionDuck, I really appreciate your feedback. We can learn a lot of words of wisdom from the Bible. Thank you for checking out this hub. Enjoy your week!

Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 6 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

Common sense aint so common. "Thinking is a lot of work, that's why so few people engage in the activity"... Henry Ford.

Good hub

TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Hi Neil, thank you for sharing this quote from Henry Ford. I'm sure our readers will learn from it.

Have a great week!

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Beautiful a second time around! God bless!

TINA V profile image

TINA V 6 years ago Author

Thanks Micky! God bless you and your family, too.

kj force profile image

kj force 4 years ago from Florida

funny how many people do not have common sense...when we take it for granted that we are born with it...common sense is an aquired art..very informative and researched hub..good job

TINA V profile image

TINA V 4 years ago Author

Thanks kj force! I really appreciate your feedback.

Enjoy your week!

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