Whatever happened to Common Sense? Unfortunately, it’s not so common anymore. While Common Sense used to be everywhere—courtrooms, classrooms, Congress, and cable—now not so much. Common Sense is rarely found these days in textbooks, newspapers, judicial decisions or social policies. In fact, Common Sense is well on his way to becoming extinct. Instead, he’s being replaced by his six other brothers. Let me introduce them to you.
Non-Sense is the eldest brother and has, it seems, been around since the beginning of time. However, it actually hasn’t been that long. Non-Sense really came into his own in the late 60’s and particularly made a name for himself at a place called Woodstock. Since then, he’s been spotted in various places including Hollywood, Washington DC, and in most universities around the world.
Non-Sense babbles incessantly on some national news network. I forget which one. Does it matter?
Get Some Sense
Next is Get Some Sense. He’s big on education and thinks that the more degrees he gets, the more wisdom he’ll have. As a result, he’s up to his neck in PhD’s, MA’s and MS’s, MD’s, and whatever other alphabets he can buy. Unfortunately, while he’s smart enough to know that a tomato is a fruit and not a vegetable, he’s still putting it in his fruit salad. Furthermore, in his vast acquisition of knowledge, Get Some Sense has deemed entitlement and self-esteem more important than hard work; government regulations more important than parental authority; and “political correctness” more important than, well—common sense.
Then we have Common Sense’s third brother, N.O. Sense. (N.O. stands for “No Originality”.) NO Sense is, basically, a follower. Whatever’s popular or the current trend or whatever the crowd is doing, NO Sense will be found doing, too. Needless to say, he has very few independent thinking skills and even less interest in developing any. He’s the soul of every sort of mob mentality from bullying to gang activity to drug use and crime. Tragically, he’s never been known to be the source of any good deed.
Dollars and Sense
Somewhere in the mix there’s Dollars and Sense. Dollars believes everything is about money. The only two questions he ever asks when making any decisions are, “How much will it cost me?” and “How much will it make me?” For example, since vacations generally cost money rather than make it, he’s never taken one. He did fly to Aruba once but that was just to deposit money into a “non-existent” bank account. (He wrote it off as a business trip on his tax return.) Dollars is also a big fan of insider trading. But you didn’t hear that from me.
Who Needs Sense?
Who Needs Sense? is a twin. Who Needs has been—not coincidentally—knocked around by life’s experiences. He’s not very open to listening to advice; in fact, he’s a do-it-yourselfer. He has to find out everything for himself. The hard way. Like the time he told Sister Mary Catherine Margaret Rachel Francis that she should get a life. They warned him not to do it… And the time he bought that fruity computer stock from some guy out of his garage and Uncle Milt told him to hold onto it. But he didn’t. He needed beer money. Sometimes Who Needs Sense? is a slow learner.
Next is Nota Lotta Sense. (Who Needs Sense? is his twin. They hang out together frequently.) Nota Lotta has the ability to think for himself; he just doesn’t. He tends to rush into actions and decisions with not a great deal of forethought. He’s often late to work (when he’s working), drives too fast (license optional), and spends money like he’s got a tree in the backyard. He is, however, really good at video games.
So—since Common Sense’s six brothers have taken over, Common Sense has become rather rare. He’s found in few places these days: old books which no one any longer reads, the minds and hearts of an “obsolete” generation—the “Greatest Generation”—and in original, unabridged copies of sacred documents like the U.S. Constitution and the Holy Bible. Common Sense has become so endangered that I now suppose he’s better known as—”Uncommon Sense.”
I will miss him.