Do you ever find yourself asking if people these days have any common sense? Maybe it just boils down to who is doing the asking (ah hah).

A client recently asked me if I could offer a class in common sense. In the owner’s opinion, the employees at the firm seemed to lack ANY common sense whatsoever. He was very frustrated.

Common sense – maybe it’s NOT common knowledge. Could it be generational perhaps that what we baby boomers learned as children was not passed on to our own children and grandchildren? Could it be that what you learned and what I learned in our growing-up years was very different? Maybe some people who have always had someone else to do things for them have never really had an opportunity which requires them to “think on their own two feet”? Maybe, because of the rapid advancements in technology that have been made, we ourselves, have forgotten how to use common sense.

Let me provide an example. Not long ago a friend of mine told me that when the battery to the remote control of her husband’s car died, he told her he wasn’t going to be able to go to work. When she asked him why, he said “because I can’t unlock the car – the remote control battery is dead”. She then looked at him a little dumbfounded and in a commanding voice said, “Use the key then to unlock the door”. He began to show frustration towards her as the intensity of his voice was stronger when he responded, “I just told you….the remote control battery is dead that unlocks the door.” She then rolled her eyes as if to imply the word “duhhhhh” and proceeded to repeat her original statement, “Use the key to unlock the door. YOU KNOW….the old-fashioned way when you actually walk to the car door, insert the key into the keyhole, turn it and manually unlock it.” As she made this statement, she went through the motions to physically show him that he could indeed walk up to the door of his car, insert the key and turn it to unlock it. As she demonstrated this, he felt rather embarrassed. However, he realized that he was so attached to the technology tools, that he forgot how to think through the situation. She remarked, “If he had just used common sense”.

So then, could it be that what each of us thinks is common sense might only be common to us? We often make the assumption that we’ve all been taught the same things in the same ways and maybe at the same time in our lives. However, that’s probably not the case. The example I used might seem rather comical, particularly because it was between spouses. However, these types of scenarios appear in all kinds of places, i.e. at the Post Office, at the grocery store, at the gym, in an office, etc. We tend to view the world from our perspective only and sometimes that leads to frustration. That makes me think we must continue to be more tolerant and open-minded. What do you think?

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