Have We Witnessed the Death of Common Sense?


Travelling in the UK these past few weeks has given me a much clearer indication of just how much social standards have deteriorated and just why I have become “a grumpy old man”

Every time I visit, I think to myself “I must leave these shores – and soon” and then, rather like awakening from a bad dream, I realise that I already have and being here is just a temporary inconvenience. You cannot imagine the relief.

Most of all, I have witnessed the death of “common sense” which has prompted me to re-publish this post from 2008 …..

Here is his obituary:

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense,  who has been with us for many years.

No one knows for sure how old  he was, since his birth records were lost long ago in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the  worm; life isn’t always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge)

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but  overbearing regulations were set in place.

Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife Discretion, his daughter, Responsibility, and his son, Reason.

He is survived by his four stepbrothers: I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I’m A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

(With gratitude for the collusion, to a fellow “grumpy old man” living down under – my very good friend and leadership guru, Kevin Dwyer)


News: I am actually on vacation and enjoying three weeks of “battery re-charge”

The store is in the capable hands of the senior elves, who will ensure that there is either a favorite arhchived piece from me, or a guest post from the best minds in the sales space. Oh, and do look out for three special posts from me on Dec 30th/31st and Jan 1st.

If you are celebrating Christmas, I hope you have a wonderful festive break.

I will be back in the saddle on Tuesday January 15th – JF


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