Chapter 21. Common Sense Counts

"Be committed to living by the rules of common sense, common honesty, and common decency."

Common sense is a collection of the pearls of conventional wisdom. It's the basic governing principles of life that most of us know intuitively, even though we waste valuable time trying to deny them. Common sense is the clear line that separates right and wrong, helpful and harmful; it is the simplicity that can be found just on the other side of complexity.

Common sense can be elusive, at times; after all, the obscure takes a while to see, the obvious even longer. Nevertheless, common sense is a valuable resource that deserves our attention and admiration. It tells us when to come in out of the rain; it teaches us that the early bird gets the worm, and that we must take the bitter with the sweet. Common sense also tells us not to spend more than we earn. It offers reliable parenting strategies that ensure the adult is in charge, not the child, and advises us to follow prudent dietary plans, such as rounding out the eggs and bacon breakfast with a little fiber and orange juice. Most of all, common sense encourages us to do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason.

Life is a series of ordinary events that follow the laws of logic and probability. These events are indifferent to our fantasies and require the careful, accurate navigation of common sense. Using common sense means applying our knowledge to solve everyday problems in ways that might ...

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