Last week I had an interesting experience observing humans that made me alternately shake my head, chuckle, shake my head and then eventually slap my desk and bulge out my eyes in disbelief, ending with audible exclamations of “Oh, come on people!” and “Seriously????”.
One after another, confused people were acting before paying attention or taking a moment to read and examine what was before them. Without that preparation, their actions didn’t make sense, and simply prolonged a problem that could have been entirely avoided.
Later in the day, reflecting on this, I penned this poem:
Uncommon Common Sense If it’s called common sense, How is it quite rare sometimes? Today made me realize, the lack Thereof does not discriminate Based on age or position or anything else True, it cannot be taught Even in kindergarten, though teachers may try A bit surprising it can be I suppose paying attention Is half the battle In a world perpetuating The myth of multi-tasking And the idea that it’s a need For all to happen at lightning speed When I find a person with That uncommon common sense There comes a sweet sigh of relief
I considered “common sense” here as doing the reasonable, effective thing, not necessarily the thing that society agreed was the right course of action. You’ll find quotes about how common sense is sparse. However, reflecting more on this, I realize there’s something I find much more interesting beyond this lack of common sense.
If you always go with the flow, following only common sense, you’ll never stand out, and if you don’t stand out in some way, how can you change your world? You don’t need to change the world, but everyone can be a leader in some sense, in some capacity, and can shine for others around them. For that you need common sense, yes, but also something beyond that.
From a blog post a few years back at simpletruths.com, there’s a discussion on thinking beyond the norms that compose common sense. Here’s a bit of how they explain it:
Uncommon sense is not about throwing common sense totally out the window. Tapping into our uncommon sense allows us to take a deeper look at things we often take for granted. It fights against the thought or perspective: Well, it’s just the way things are.
You can read the entire, but brief, article here: Tap into Uncommon Sense. So, what does common sense mean to you? Why is it so “uncommon”? What would you consider to be “uncommon sense”? What do you do to pay attention a little more and give your brain some time to think more creatively to respond effectively and avoid difficulties or solve problems? I welcome your thoughts! Feel free to leave a comment below.