Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people. W C Fields
The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness. Vladimir Nabokov
Ivonprefontaine has a nice phrase from his wife Kathy in a comment on my last post about telling the time when the clocks change. He refers to “uncommon common sense”, a phrase from Kathy’s farming culture. “Common sense” was a phrase I woke up with this morning. Such telepathy across the world. This stream of consciousness comes from my having to justify the value of the common sense of a group of highly intelligent people (and the knowledge and understanding that their common sensing has developed over a period of time) against inflexible bureaucratic procedures.
I grew up in a house of common sense. My questions were often answered with “it’s just common sense”. That is a frustrating answer for someone too young to understand how common sense is developed and who wants to question cultural forms.
Common sense approaches are developed from evidence that reaches beyond proscribed data bases, that are pre-conscious, sub-conscious and conscious; from our gut, our core, our thinking; from all our senses and sensing; from our relationships and our timing.
Common sense may often defy logic and challenge reason because it draws on deepest seated learning. It grows through communities of practice and cultural interactions which sometimes transform common sense out of all recognition.
I suggest that there is a common sense about common sense.
- it makes sense
- it frustrates the young
- it builds intelligence
- it represents a practical wisdom
- it networks
- it represents more than words can ever tell
- it has its own ethic which is to be always open to learning (that is what senses do: they learn and sense)
- its capacity for learning is infinite – each and every sense has mind blowing intelligence gathering capacity
- it is the culture of community and home
- it makes community wonderful.
The image is via Gail Bottomley