“Logic and common sense are rare assets nowadays.”
-Muhammad Faiz (@Faiz_thefareast)*
“Common sense isn’t that common anymore.” – this is something I hear way too often. It’s something my friends and I talk about, but it’s something that really triggered in me during all that hype on 21st December 2012 aka “The End of the World”.
What happened to it? How did it enter a state of rarity? Then again, was it ever common?
Common sense, I believe we can all agree, is sound judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts. This, however, would mean that the person who uses the phrase “Common Sense” would expect the audience to be homogenous and have a similar set of beliefs.
Our world today is becoming more open, more liberal. We are more accepting of sexualities, cultures, races, etc. and thus, creating a wider range of beliefs among the equally wide population. With the increasing varieties of culture, for example, we as humans will observe messages from different forms of media and interprete them differently because of our mixture of backgrounds and experiences. This will result in differing opinions on ‘common sense’, not only between people of different ethnicities, but between everyone in general.
Don’t be too fast in throwing the word ‘common’ out though. ‘Common’ here is used in the most basic sense. A word to describe something similar within different individuals, which we can safely say should not go with the word ‘sense’.
What if – ‘common’ was not used to describe among individuals, but from a more philosophical sense, among entities within a single individual. A great example would be our 5 senses, literally.
Take a piece of glass for example – this is what you may observe:
- Sight – shiny, a definite shape
- Touch – tough, brittle, a definite shape
- Taste – Why are tasting glass?
- Smell – Why are you smelling glass?
- Hear – Okay, really?
So the 2 senses that have helped you analyze this piece of glass have concluded for you that this glass is solid, right? Now that’s what the common sense is telling you, but if you did your science homework, you would learn that glass though solid, is special, being considered a Amorphous Solid, the same family as gels. (Yup, that stuff in your hair) Did your senses tell you that?
Common sense seems to be our first step into experiencing something as a whole. We use our senses to analyse what’s on the surface. Without that surface, we wouldn’t have dug deeper. Curiousity is a step-by-step process and with common sense, we can actually take that first step.
We all have our own set of beliefs, experiences and perspectives. Being common as individuals was never an option and it should never be. It was all a misunderstanding – a misunderstanding of what the word ‘common’ referred to. We all have it – Common Sense.
*Be sure to hit up Faiz’s blog when you can! Personally a fan of the writing style when he “Ramble Ramble”s about stuff