Monday, July 5, 2010

Not-So-Common Sense?

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Is there something wrong with your commonsense? Read on.

I wrote several articles on happiness, motivation and lifelong learning. Many found resonance with my thoughts but some said I merely made commonsense statements.

I could not agree more. Indeed, I merely made commonsense statements.

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What is commonsense any way?

Thanks to our survival instinct, commonsense may come naturally and intuitively. For eg. you would cup your ears when it gets too noisy. You do not need to go to school to learn that. Somehow, you just know not to test the depth of a river with both feet.

Otherwise, commonsense is a set of understanding that most people can agree to. Their agreement is usually drawn from their common knowledge and experience gathered in life.

A commonsensical matter is not something we need to conduct a research on before forming an opinion or making a judgment.
For eg. we would commonly agree to the fact that 'wars are bad'.

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Is commonsense really common?

Voltaire (French Philosopher, Writer 1694-1778) once said "Common sense is not so common" and that is so true.

The thing about commonsense is that, many know what it is but few are conscious in applying it.
In Lifelong Learning - My Way, I said "Lifelong learning is a commitment". Think about it, who doesn't know that?

Think again. How many people do exactly that?

While we can agree that wars are bad but why do we have no lack of similar events since time immemorial?

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Why is commonsense not so common?

You have commonsense. Perhaps, I should put it this way, "You believe that you have commonsense." Given that belief, you tend to instinctively dismiss or belittle anything you perceive as commonsense.

For eg, if I say "Happiness depends on your positive emotions", you would probably go, "who doesn't know that?" Such a response blocks your senses and you cease to give the matter a further thought.

Sometimes, we avoid or fear commonsense. We give ourselves reasons, justifications but mostly excuses to distinguish ourselves out of given circumstances.

For eg. we know it is commonsense to eat well and exercise regularly to stay healthy. For those who do exactly the opposite, they are not lacking of commonsense. They merely have more excuses than others.

Commonsense is also often discarded because people succumb to greed and lust. That is one main reason why we never cease to have wars even though our commonsense tells us that they are bad.

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Commonsense means wisdom?

Not really, but there would be no wisdom without commonsense. Look at it this way: Knowledge + Commonsense = Wisdom.

Since commonsense is rarely common, the lack of wisdom in many people is only to be expected.

In Perspective of Life, I shared that life would be less of a routine if we would simply do some of things differently. I was obviously stating the obvious, no?
If it is so, why are there so many people lamenting about their lackluster lives?

There you go, I may be merely making commonsense statements but that is necessary. Very often, our commonsense needs to be woken up before it can be blended with our knowledge to give us some wisdom.

Once again, everything I say here is commonsense. Hold on to your prejudices and give it a thought. Your commonsense may be in a slumber. Wake it up.

You might also want to read:
Get Your Daily Motivation
Monday Blues - No More

Happiness is a Choice

Erasing The Past?

"Common sense is instinct. And enough of it is genius."
~Josh Billings~

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1 comment:

Inspirational Motivational Quotes said...

Wow, that's great. Thanks for sharing about "Not-So-Common Sense?" Not too many people would actually think about this the way you just did. Well written.