Common Sense Meter

The light had just turned on but I knew I could make a few more miles before I had to get gas, at least that is what I thought. This was a friend’s car and so it had different limits, thus making me have to wait for someone to come help me get gas. My “common sense meter” was not working that day. Common sense, good sense, can be described as “the knack for seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done” We get our common sense by learning, watching, having experiences and making mistakes. We don’t expect small children to have a good sense of how things are supposed to be until we teach them and allow them to make mistakes. Over time they learn the right and wrong ways of doing things. The same applies for those just starting out in the world. They have to learn how to adult while trying to be an adult. The Bible even says in Proverbs 3: 21-26 says:

My child, don't lose sight of common sense and discernment.  Hang on to them, for they will refresh your soul.  They are like jewels on a necklace.  They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble.  You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly.  You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the Lord is your security.  He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.

Most people relate that "small voice in their head" as common sense.  Sometimes seen as the little devil on one shoulder and the little angel on the other shoulder.  Common sense keeps us from doing the wrong or harmful thing.

A few years back I worked with a gal that knew how to get under your skin. Everything was her way or no way at all, and if something went well at work it was because she was a part of it, but if it went wrong everyone else was to blame. She definitely was not an easy person to work with. Being a normally easy going person that gets along with everyone, it was very hard to get along with her. One day I had had enough, I was done with the bullying, with the attitude and against my best judgement I started to find small ways to start bugging her. Everyday I would have the same conversation with myself: “Be nice today, don’t poke the bear today, just go to work get your stuff done and mind your own business”, and then I would walk into work start my day the best I could and then she would do or say something that would irritate me and all that common sense would go out the window. I am not proud about any of this and had I gone to the Bible more than I did myself I would have made better choices for sure, but since I was taking things into my own hands I had to deal with the consequences of poking the bear too much and getting myself in trouble with my boss.

I wish that I didn’t have to go through that experience but because I did I matured and moved on and made better choices because of it. Common sense is there to guide us, to help us do the right thing, to grow us into better people. It keeps us from harm and helps us to make better life choices.

  • Common sense tells us to stay inside when there is a lightening storm
  • Common sense tells us to not speak when all we want to do is have the last word
  • Common sense tells us to fill the gas tank before the light comes on
  • Common sense says plan for the worst, hope for the best
  • Common sense tells us to eat something before we get hangry
  • Common sense tells us to get to work on time
  • Common sense tells us to put the trash can up if you know your dog is a “dumpster diver” whenever you leave the house
  • Common sense tells you to stop eating before you get that “too full belly” pain
  • Common sense tells you not to stick your hand in the cat carrier when the cat is hissing and spitting
  • Common sense is needed all of the time

When we go against it, that is when mistakes happen and someones ends up getting hurt. So why do we ignore it at times? Why do we put ourselves through having to make mistakes? It’s how we grow. It’s how we learn. It’s how we can then use our experiences to help others. It’s how we know to pay attention to the gas light in our cars and fill the tank before it’s too late. We gain more by doing more. We do more by bravely stepping out and saying whether I fail or succeed it is good that I am at least trying. What experiences will you have that will eventually shape your common sense? Until next time:

Common sense is the exercise of applying experiential learning to a situation heretofore inexperienced in order to establish an action or behavior that leads to satisfactory conclusion. 

Byron R. Pulsifer

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