According to The New Penguin English Dictionary, common sense is “sound and prudent judgment.” Nowadays we are so bombarded by instructions and guidelines we could be inclined to think Voltaire was right when he suggested: “Common sense is not so common.”
It might be that today is in fact no different from yesteryear. Common sense is given space in personal aspects of life, yet once we enter the public realm it seems it is not enough. Or maybe we cannot be trusted to apply it.
Our actions in actual fact can be guided by any number of consideration: common sense, our values, needs of the moment, sense of duty, intuition. At times we may even find there is harmony among these items. Common sense tells us we will, in any case, make choices in accordance with what is best for us – possibly.
Without wishing to expand this reflection on common sense further, perhaps through an analysis of who sets the standards for what is socially accepted as ‘common sense’, I will stop here.
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