The Sixth Sense

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Common sense would dictate a lot of rules about life, that is — if we had any left.  Most common sense isn’t so common anymore, and it’s getting more and more obscure every day.   

Anyone with a slight touch of common sense would think about their actions and their consequences before doing anything. Judging by recent events like the Vancouver riots, this doesn’t seem to happen. In a situation like that all thoughts of “Should I be doing this?” are swept away by the mob mentality and that person gets swept into the trouble as well. My opinion is that consequences are not taught as well anymore: for example a child having issues with paying attention to authority is given therapy instead of practicing polite behaviour, leading that child to believe that the punishment is “OK”, so they feel free to do it again.

Common sense would tell us that we should “save for a rainy day”, yet more and more people are living paycheque to paycheque and this is becoming the norm.  Some would blame it on lower incomes, more taxes, smaller minimum wage, but I don’t see how that makes that much of a difference. It was recently a rainy day for me (or month), as we had to budget almost to the penny to put my partner into his third year of school. That’s where you start to think about your savings. The idea of stashing cash in your sock drawer, under your mattress or in a tin in the kitchen … it’s antiquated, but it’s a good idea. With our recent “blackout” knocking out all the ATM’s in the city, I knew of only two people who had emergency cash stashed away in their house for a rainy day. 

Common sense would also tell us how to behave in certain situations, like meeting someone for the first time, attending a meeting or luncheon, or socializing with work colleagues.  Behaviors such as introductions: always introduce the most important person first, followed by the next. For example, “Mr. Obama, please meet my second cousin Alfred.”  If they have titles, use them. If in doubt as to who’s the most important, go with age. Behaving at social functions always requires smiles, small talk and shaking a lot of hands.  Shaking hands: Don’t grasp fingertips, always thumb-web to thumb-web and two solid up/downs.  Seriously, this is important.  It shows you are confident in yourself and you are enjoying meeting this new person.  Another point of note is the common sense in appropriate work attire — clubbing clothes should be saved for the bar — exposed cleavage, jeans hanging below the waistline, etc. From a female’s point of view, the makeup should be considered when determining what is appropriate as well. Glitter, bright colours and extreme eye makeup is a no-no.

Common sense would have us following driving laws closer as well. Merging into traffic requires close attention, not multitasking with an iPod, two children playing Yahtzee and a puppy jumping on your lap. Common sense would tell us that when we are operating a machine that weighs a ton, among other drivers also operating these oversized projectiles who may be having a Yahtzee game of their own, please open your eyes. Common sense would also SHOUT at you to be patient and considerate with other drivers. Let someone go ahead of you if they are waiting to turn into your lane, or wave them through if you can.

Common sense would whisper to us about all the gossip that happens when you least expect it. It’s not something to be proud of when you are gossiping about co-workers, bosses, clients, etc.  You should try to hold your tongue in check when speaking at work, as this can influence how everyone up the chain of command might regard you. Personal issues are best left at home, not discussed loudly with co-workers while serving customers their morning coffee and muffins. We don’t want to hear about your “night before.”  And in such a community as ours, where our threads are all so closely woven, you may be speaking about the son, daughter or cousin of the person eavesdropping on your conversation.

Aristotle would tell you that the common sense is an actual power of inner sensation where the five external senses are combined to form another. So it’s not common to everyone, just common to individuals. This explains a LOT to me. Thank you for letting me rant about this, but bear in mind these are my opinions and my inspiration — I have not yet reached 100 per cent of these. As with any other human, I am fallible, but I never stop trying!

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