Nothing makes my kids bristle and cringe more than when I say, “Common Sense says….” or better yet, “You aren’t using Common Sense.” They can’t take it. It makes them crazy when I say it, but mostly because they know I am right. As many ways the Digital Age has enlightened us, we seem to have thrown out good old Common Sense.
One day this week, while waiting for my Little Boy, I sat at a café table within my local YMCA. In a span of 15 minutes I watched a Korean family, an African-American family, an Indian family speaking Telugu, an Indian family speaking Hindi, a Mexican family, a Japanese family, a Pakistani family, a Chinese family, as well as several others, greet one another and the staff as they came in to the Y. It was glaringly apparent that all of the greetings were more pronounced, more affectionate. Cultures not usually versed in the typical “American Hug” were doing what they had to do to make sure that they conveyed that outward kindness. There was a shared, common sense of needing to reach out to one another in spite of forces of violence trying to drive us apart. There was a common sense of expressing compassion, kindness, and a need to make a connection.
Earlier that same day, my Hair Magician, Jessica (ok, she’s really an artist, but I know there is a secret wand involved), who hears and sees it all from her clients, shared with me her insights. She allows me to outwardly express my deeper thinking. In one of our exchanges, she said, “you never really know all that a person has to say until they are vulnerable.” Things they may have never been moved to admit or say reveal themselves.
There is a common sense of vulnerability of late, and that vulnerability is Fear. It is obscuring our GOOD Common Sense. Unspeakable violence is pervading our newsfeeds and our TVs again, and again, and again, and again, and again. With each passing incidence of hatred and violence, our fears are reinforced, our hearts break, and our Good Common Sense fades into the background.
When I started writing in this space, the premise was that the world encourages polarization, and forces us to choose if we are THIS or THAT. The answer must be A or B. When, in fact, most of us aren’t on one of the two Sides presented to us. We are on the Side of the Good. We want to be instruments of kindness, compassion, and humanity. The layers of Violence upon Violence upon Violence seek to blur our Good Common Sense. It wants to take away our ability to follow the command of so many spiritual thinkers: Love one Another.