“Common sense is not so common.” – Voltaire

I love common sense. Common sense is such a relative term. What makes sense to me likely is gibberish to someone else. But that doesn’t stop us from all saying what is common sense, from our perspective.

“Common sense is the most widely shared commodity in the world, for every man is convinced that he is well supplied with it.” – René Descartes

So how do I define common sense? I over-think it of course. Common sense is just that, plain simple thought. Turn the breaker off before changing a light switch. Why? If you don’t you will get electrocuted. That’s common sense. The bag of garbage is at the front door. Why? Whoever opens the door next needs to take it out to the trash bin. Common sense.

When my kids do something that makes no sense to me whatsoever, I fire a comment to them say to use their common sense. Of course they did, their perspective is different from mine. I may have the maturity of a nine year old boy at times, but I have 26 years more experience than him.

So comparing the common sense of my kids to my own is like comparing Apples and Cauliflower. That I can deal with, although I will still act like the old guy sitting on the front step telling people to get off his lawn.

Where common sense starts to raise my blood pressure, is when there are people of the same or older age than I, using their common sense and failing. A good example of this is the debate in Ottawa recently about wither the public library should stop charging fines for late fees to help encourage more people to use the library. That makes about as much sense as saying that parking bylaw officers should stop giving tickets to help encourage more people to use parking spaces.

Another fit of common sense is stance that if the Americans don’t want our oil sands, we should sell it to China because they do. Never mind that Eastern Canada imports oil still. Why would we not build our own pipeline from East to West and put a few refineries in Ontario to process it? Why would we become self sufficient and not import any oil?

More common sense in my own community. My township is hiring a consultant to develop a concept and plan of what the people in the township want as the plan for the township for the next several years. The consultant will cost $25,000. An ad in the local paper would cost $65 and get the same results. Common sense.

So when my son says it makes sense to use the Krazy Karpet to sled down the stairs because there is not enough snow in the yard to sled outside, who am I to argue?