Thursday, June 28, 2012

Where has Common Sense gone?

I owe credit or blame, whichever applies, for this piece to a fellow business owner friend of mine (that might change, when he sees it). Just to cement his well-deserved embarrassment, his name is (Boom Boom) Don. He came to me a while back ranting about what he sees in his business a growing lack of Common Sense. Being a long time business owner and from the long of tooth generation, where exacting details, responsibility and trust were and still are everything, he told me he’s daily floored with the lack of Common Sense from both his customers, their employees and even his at times. So here ya go Don. In addition to your neighboring fellow business owners, the rest of the world will now know how grumpy you’ve become in your twilight years.

When I was a youngin hanging around the old farmstead, all us kids were expected to have a modicum of that elusive but very real quality called Common Sense. Back then, there was no need for silly laws telling us to come in outa the rain, don’t look down the barrel of a loaded gun, don’t throw gasoline in a burn barrel, don’t run down a hill too steep, don’t tell your parents no nor any number of other things. You just knew these things as part of the logic of life.For our parents, it was obvious they shouldn’t spend more than they made. In fact, if they didn’t have the money for something, they didn’t get to have it. Simple arithmetic they’d learned in the work fields of their own childhoods.They learned simple, reliable parenting skills like the adults are in charge, not the kids. Us kids learned that quickly in the time honored tradition of having to go collect our own switch from the field outback.In those simpler times, it was also OK to come in second, having learned there were winners and losers with clear distinctions between the two. If you lost. Oh well. Maybe next time.

For decades, petty rules, silly laws and frivolous lawsuits held no power over Common Sense.
Then along came the dreaded “If it only helps one person, it’s worth it” Virus. Then it’s natural strength slipped further into the abyss of the idiotic with the ravages of overbearing federal regulations, starting to be overpowered by self-seeking lawyers and activists of every nutso bearing. These nutcases crawled out of the woodwork making the decision they knew what the people needed more than themselves.

The health of Common Sense then rapidly deteriorated more when schools endlessly implemented stupid intolerance policies. Insane policies like banning teachers from consoling or especially hugging students hurt out on the playground, a teen suspended for taking a swig of mouthwash after lunch, a six year old charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate or a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student.How about requiring parental consent to administer aspirin to students but not allowed to inform parents when a female student was pregnant?

How about criminals receiving better treatment than their victims, along with federal judges sticking their noses in everything from Boy Scouts to professional sports? Then there’s the new and improved Common Sense like questionable regulations for asbestos, low flow toilets, smart guns, motorcycle helmets and mandatory airbags.

So in those long ago but sorely missed days, all young people were taught the Common Sense logic of gun safety, like never point it at a person, always keep the safety on and make sure your field of fire is clear. Above all else we were taught guns were innocent pieces of metal until handled by an irresponsible or crazed human, that it was the human’s fault if anything went wrong not the piece of metal.

The apparent demise of Common Sense was clearly preceded by several other long gone attributes sorely missed by clear thinking people, like truth, trust, discretion, responsibility and reason. These great things seem to have been replaced by rights, tolerance and most especially, the right to whine.

I think the bottom line is the powers that be or think they are, keep deciding every time something untoward happens, they need to make a new law, instead of trusting the innate ability of human beings to use the Common Sense we were all either given at birth or taught by our parents.

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