I’m not sure how or when it happened, but common sense has definitely become a rare occurrence in the world. I notice it when I’m driving, when I’m at the mall, when I’m in the grocery store. It has fallen by the wayside like so many other memorable things – personal responsibility, etiquette, handwritten notes, leg warmers, portable cd players. I fully expected leg warmers and walkmans to eventually become extinct. Thank God, leg warmers are now only visible in dance classes (where they belong) and goodwill stores. Walkmans, well I’m not exactly sure where they have all ended up, but I’m pretty sure someday someone on an archaeological excavation site will be wondering what the hell they are and why they are everywhere. It almost makes you wish you could be there, watching, just waiting to see the look on their faces when they dig up all the crap we’ve left behind.
I had hoped that common sense would be one of those things that would be plentiful for many years to come, like spandex. (I’m in big trouble if spandex disappears.) But alas, I see it disappearing at a truly alarming rate. You’ve witnessed it, I know you have…every time some idiot can’t figure out how to pick the appropriate line at the DMV, or how to blow the leaves out of his yard and not make them land in his neighbor’s yard. I saw it this week in the news, all over the news in fact - every time some journalist or pundit pointed the finger at Sarah Palin or partisan politics, calling either or both the reason for the Arizona shootings, I shook my head in disbelief. Maybe, JUST maybe, it was the fault of a seriously deranged and mentally ill individual who was on a mission, and who managed to buy a gun. That was what common sense told me. Apparently a lot of people missed that memo. Or they simply wanted someone more interesting to blame, because the common sense answer to this unspeakable horror wasn’t sensational enough to generate the ratings they want. Whatever their reasoning, I found it to be sickening. People were seriously injured and people died, a child died. Families were devastated and lives were changed, all at the hands of a 22 year old with a smirk I can’t seem to erase from my mind. I believe his facial expression from his photo is right up there with photos of Charles Manson. And by the way, no one ever blamed partisan politics or whatever right wing extremist was in the headlines back in the day for the evil that was in Manson’s heart, even though he was very politically motivated, as well as a nut case. What I’m trying to say is that all the finger pointing in the world is not going to bring back the sparkle in that child’s eyes. It was like a bright star in the sky was simply snuffed out. My heart broke into a thousand pieces for all of the victims and their families, but particularly for that child’s family. There was definitely no common sense involved in that situation.
I’d like to see a resurgence in common sense, from everyone. I’d like to see politicians use common sense when making life altering decisions on behalf of their constituents. I’d like to see a LOT more common sense from our government in general, although I’m not holding my breath for that one. I’d like to see a great deal more common sense from strangers that I pass, from friends and family. I do believe that if people would simply STOP and THINK before taking action or opening their mouths, we’d all find that there is more common sense in the world than we think.