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Common Sense Approach to Life

Updated on July 10, 2018
jackclee lm profile image

Jack is currently a volunteer at the Westchester County Archives. Before retiring, he worked at IBM for over 28 years.

Introduction

What is common sense anyway? Is it something we all can agree on? Is it something we should know instinctively? Or should we learn it while growing up? For example, is the Golden Rule universal? Should we all know that treating others the way we want to be treated is an ideal way to live?

- July 2018

My List of Suggestions...

  • look on the bright side of things
  • be curious
  • ask questions
  • help others in need
  • Always try and do the “right” thing
  • give generously
  • pay it forward
  • listen to others
  • read
  • be happy
  • write it down
  • make a wish list

Details...

Looking on the bright side. Even in adversity, we can always take it as a lesson and learn from our experiences. It is as the old adage of treated a glass as half full instead of half empty. It is just a perception and changes nothing. Yet, it is profound. The power of positive thinking is real.

Be curious about our surroundings. Life is full of wonderful mysteries. The world is a classroom. You can learn from all and knowledge is key to success. The more you learn, the more you understand how little you know.

Ask questions. The old adage of ask and you will find and knock and it will be answered. Knowing what and when to ask questions is a sign of intelligence. Once you ask, the answers will come. It is like the person driving around a new city looking for a place. He can drive and circle around aimlessly or he can stop and just ask a local resident. He will get the directions to the place he seeks.

Help others in need. In the old days, a well respected custom is for anyone that shows up at your door, even a stranger, is to be treated with respect and welcomed and fed and a place to rest. It is the same as seeing someone broken down on the road. He is in need of help. If you stop and help them, you are doing exactly what you are suppose to do. You are in the right place and the right time to help someone. It may be a life or death situation.

Doing the right thing. This is much harder than you think. Sometimes, it seems doing the right thing can hurt. It takes real courage to stand up to authority and do the right thing. It may be uncomfortable to act or say something but it may be needed.

Giving is part of selfishness. It may seem contradictory. The act of giving makes one feel good. Therefore, if you are able to give to others, you are truly blessed. It means you are financially well off and able to share your bounty with other less fortunate. Thus, you are making yourself feel good by giving to others.

Pay it forward. It is another common sense action. By given to others, you setup a chain reaction and bring out the best in others. They will in turn help others in need. Who knows, it may eventually come around and help you or your family. It is called karma.

Listening is something most of us are not good at. We are all good at telling others our thoughts and opinions. It is much harder to stop and listen to what others have to say. They all have a message and a perspective and some may be different from yours and may offer some insight. Listen and you will learn.

Reading is joy. It is something we can all do in our leisure. It is a way to broaden our horizons without leaving home.

Being happy is a choice and a state of mind. You can choose to be happy or sad. You can choose to be free or a servsnt of your worries. You can choose to ignore your past and your failings and hope for a better future. Everyone has a different path to happiness. It could be as simple as listening to a favorite song or watching a favorite movie.

Write it down. Putting something to paper means something. It makes it real and important. It is a reminder and it helps you focus.

A wish list. This is your guide and your plan. It has all the components of a happy and fulfilling life.


Summary

I guess it all comes down to what makes one happy? Is it money, health, family, love or power and recognition?

Once you’ve identify what makes you happy, then it is a matter of going after them and making a conscious decision to do it.

The common sense solution is usually the best. For some, we have lost it. Due to the complexity of our modern world, we don’t seem to learn the basics. It is not taught in school. It should be taught by our parents in the home and in churches and in schools. Common sense is what created our society and insured our survival all through the millennium. It is time we get it back and use it to our advantage.

© 2018 Jack Lee

Comments

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    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      13 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Wow, that is some story. It is unfortunate that our higher education system is so broken. That is also why some cannot seem to think for themselves. It is the same with the media today. With so much bias...some cannot seem to separate truth from fiction.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      13 months ago from now on

      Jack, this brought me back to my freshman year in college like it was yesterday. That would be September 1968.

      My first class was a mass lecture Psychology 101. There were so many in the class there was no way the professor could recognize any of us and he could have cared less. I wound up cutting almost all the classes except when tests were given and if I remember correctly I cut a couple of them and made up the tests.

      Why did I cut the course? Because the first hour and a half lecture was spent trying to convince the class that there was no such thing as common sense! And the prof made a big deal about this making it a recurring theme through out the length of the course. But being a mass lecture there was NO discussion at all on the subject. This was total indoctrination coming from a state college institution forced upon naive teenage freshman and it left me with the realization that psychology was nothing more than quackery. This is what my high school college prep curriculum prepared me for? Not in my mind and this course was just the beginning of my disillusionment with our education system. As my time spent at college progressed I discovered first hand what a scam colleges are on some levels and how professors weren’t accredited by their achievement as much as who they knew and how scratching each other’s back was really the way to advancement or favor. We had profs who were phenomenal teachers and then there were profs who were worthless as teachers and solely there because of who they knew.

      Anyway, it was my experience with psychology trying to brainwash me to believe there is no common sense and truth is relative with an in your face methodology that set my mind to question everything they tried to teach me and looking back I’m so glad that was my reaction to what I can only describe as an indoctrination by an abusive authority I volunteered to subject myself to. and for what? In their minds I’m sure it was to mold me into a mindless one of them.

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