I’ve managed to get involved with several conversations over on Quora.com lately revolving around the concept of common sense. Sometimes it’s more general, and other times the discussion revolves around a more specific topic, and how common sense could, or should, be applied. Almost every time, it becomes more and more apparent that common sense and education are often inversely proportionate.
It seems that, the more education we acquire, the more common sense deprived we become. Or, to put it another way, the more knowledge we acquire, the less wisdom we tend to exhibit. I go back to the passage in the first Average Joe book, the one detailing the concept of common sense.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom, known in this case as common sense, is knowing NOT to put it in a fruit salad.
I’m sure nobody will argue with that one. It’s just plain common sense that tomato does not go in a fruit salad. Others like, not putting one red item in the a load of all whites, or that driving the wrong way on the freeway are both likely to end poorly are a couple more examples where most of us woudl think, “No kidding”.
Beyond these simple examples though, many people are at a complete loss. It’s as if logic and reasoning are removed from the equation, and all that is left is raw emotion. The issue comes into play when decisions are made based on emotion. When we act based on emotion, it almost always is the wrong action to take. Thinks of the last time you acted in anger, in fear, out of lust, or maybe jealousy. How did it turn out. Afterward, were you able to see a better way it could have been handled?
They say hindsight is always 20/20. Common sense is turning your foresight into 20/20 vision. Learn to think before you act, rather than after, and you can save yourself a lot of trouble and second guessing later.