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Common Sense what is it and do we have it?

Updated on August 16, 2010



     Common sense is a term we often hear but do we really know what it means and do most individuals have it.  This is a question which must be answered.  The current economic condition we are experiencing sorely needs this characteristic to be a part of the individuals who are making decisions affecting our daily lives.  This not only includes those elected officials in all levels of government but those in management positions in corporate America.  We must get back to what we believe to be a normal economy and this must be accomplished through individuals who possess the trait of common sense.  What may be considered normal may be a matter of opinion but the current economic environment is not and should not become the normal situation.

     To begin discussing the term common sense we need to look at how a dictionary defines the term.  According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary the definition of common sense is sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.  While this is a textbook definition we as individuals all have our own opinion of what constitutes common sense.  Perception is something that appears to be fact based on our analysis of the situation involved.  The term can be applied to elected officials where the appearance of violations of rules and regulations may not actually exist but the appearance gives the public a sense of distrust based on what is reported. Sound and prudent judgment is a quality that many individuals may have but the public does not recognize.  They can also be qualities that appear to exist based on decisions made but do not have the sound and prudent aspects engrained in the information on which a decision is based.

     One example of a statement related to the common sense principle includes is the statement he does not have the common sense to come in out of the rain.  Today there are many situations which appear to lack the principles of common sense as they can be seen in the decisions made throughout society and the political spectrum.  I am not stating that common sense does not exist by the writing of this article only that it needs to be more prevalent.  Many individuals make common sense decisions every day by deferring buying something on sale that they do not need.  Sometimes we buy things on impulse whether this is a common sense decision is determined by the reason for buying.  The principle of common sense applies to every fabric of society whether we realize it or not.  Our individual actions and decisions can and do play an important role whether it exist in our environment.  The existence of common sense in companies is the result of the individual actions of their employees, especially those who are in positions of authority making decisions on what must be done on a daily basis.    

     The principle of common sense plays an important role in our lives and the success of the companies or organizations for which we work or interact.  Today there are many decisions being made by our elected officials for one that appear to lack the common sense necessary in generating legislation.  While we may not always agree with decisions made by elected officials the principles of common sense needs to be applied to every piece of legislation being presented for a vote.  The principle of sound and prudent judgment in our legislative process appears to be lacking in many cases.  Common sense must exist in our legislative process so the right decisions are based on sound and prudent judgment to address our country’s needs in this current economic environment.   

     Another aspect of common sense is that it is sometimes what a group of individuals would agree to be common sense in specific situations.  While this is great common sense as determined by a group of individuals may not match the majority opinion of the community, state or our country.  Common sense ideas tend to relate to events with human experience.  Sometimes ideas which appear to be common sense are in fact false.  Common sense according to Aristotle is an actual power of inner sensation whereby the various objects of the external senses (color for sight, sound for hearing, etc) are united and judged.  Our senses do have an impact on our actions and we must listen to them when it comes to making decisions affecting our lives and the lives of our family and friends.  The same must occur with our elected officials and those in private industry who are in management and make decisions on a daily basis affecting their company and their employees.  Our senses can give us a sense of direction and they sometimes help us to distinguish between right and wrong.  We as individuals sometimes do things that in our hearts we know are wrong and in this respect they lack common sense. 



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    • Chaotic Chica profile image

      Chaotic Chica 7 years ago

      Well said!!!