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Common Sense is not So Common

Updated: Jan 13

Written by Jahnvi Vyas


Edlodge wishes you a happy new year!


Did Voltaire think about all the common people while writing the phrase, “Common sense is not so common,” or was he thinking about a small bunch of people? Anyway, I could not find enough evidence that he stated it.


Even if it’s not common, it’s there. But what exactly is common sense? Is it something that ‘I’ believe is sensible? Is it something that ‘you’ think is a must? Or is it something that a 'large section of people' believe to be sensible and appropriate?


There’s no definitive answer to this. Or at least, I could not find any. So eventually, I turned to the most popular search engine. Which search engine? Well, you know what it is; I know what it is, even if I do not name it. You already know that it is a search engine with six alphabets, of which two repeat themselves twice. We both know it, not because of common sense or maybe because of common sense. Who knows? It depends on the time and age, I guess.

 

If I time-traveled and asked Voltaire about it, what would he say? Would not knowing something about what the future holds, make the great historian stupid or someone who lacks common sense, in his own words? Maybe. Maybe not! It all depends on your perception of common sense.



So, back to what is common sense. This famous search engine, which is owned by the largest technology company in the world today, states that common sense is the ability to make good, sensible decisions or to behave sensibly. It also says that it is a noun. Now, please don’t ask me what a noun is; have some common sense.

 

Anyway, I’ll tell you that also. A noun can be a person, place, object, or even an idea. This suggests that ‘common sense’ is nothing but an idea because it cannot be all those other things. Why not? Common sense.

 

So again, common sense makes common sense an idea, thus making it a noun or vice versa. And an idea can be anything. If common sense is, in fact, just an idea, then it is a highly subjective idea. An idea such as the idea of common sense can be highly variable, depending on your unique view of the world.


You might consider one thing to be a generally understood and sensible idea, but that might not be the case for me. Because, as individuals, we come from different backgrounds, cultures, and regions. We speak differently, and our view of the world differs because we hold different perspectives.

 

So not knowing something doesn’t make you stupid, nor does it make me, or, for that matter, even Voltaire, smarter. But yeah, we can still say that two widely celebrated television characters, Mr. Bean and Sheldon Cooper, lacked common sense because millions of us believe in this idea. So cheers! Out of all the differences, we finally agreed on something.

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