Common sense – dictionary.com describes it as sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like; normal native intelligence. (Normal native intelligence? That’s scary!)
Yesterday, as I watched a man stand beside his car and blow his nose in the cold and snow instead of getting into the car and out of the weather before taking care of the task, I wondered where the common sense was in that.
Is common sense a dying art in America? Are we teaching common sense in our schools? If common sense is practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge or training, then how do we gain common sense? Are we really calling common sense instinct? Even in the act of finding a good definition of a word, we must use common sense!
As I started writing about common sense based on that definition, I didn’t really agree with it. Soooo, I looked it up under oxforddictionaries.com. Wow! Read on: common sense: good sense and sound judgement in practical matters. (No wonder I’m always misspelling judgment! I must be English!)
Now I’m on a roll! At dictionary.cambridge.org, common sense is defined as the basic level of practical knowledge and judgment that we all need to help us live in a reasonable and safe way.
The bottom line is this: where do we get common sense? Are we born with it? Does it hinge on the disciplines of our parent’s parenting? Does it come with experience? Is common sense the same thing as wisdom?
Take a look at dictionary.cambridge.org’s definition of wisdom: the ability to use your knowledge and experience to make good decisions and judgments.
Oxforddictionary.com: the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise.
Put the two definitions for common sense and wisdom side by side, and we see that they are very similar. So, we throw out the first definition realizing that we must gain wisdom or common sense through knowledge as well as experience. Is common sense in the Bible? No, but wisdom certain is! In fact, it is mentions 226 times. Would it seem reasonable to say that the waning evidence of common sense in our society is directly related to the waning interest in the Bible?
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:
a good understanding have all they that do his commandments:
his praise endureth for ever. Psalm 111:10
Perhaps the children’s song is for all of us:
Read your Bible pray every day
and you’ll grow, grow, grow! (in common sense!)